Research Group Jason P. Holland


Radiochemistry, PET imaging, oncogenic signalling, companion diagnostics

Summary & Mission statement

Our lab designs new radioactive drugsfor non-invasive imagingofkey protein biomarkers of cancer.The mission is to developnew waysofinstallingradioactive elements into the structureof cancer-specific drugs,and at the same time provide fullpreclinical evaluation and translation of promising positon-emitting radiotracers for use in the clinic.


Our research is highly interdisciplinary. Projects lie at the interface of chemistry, biochemistry and translational molecular medicine.Our primary aims are to explore interesting new ways of attaching radionuclides to different chemical structures, and simultaneously to develop new imaging agents that can measure biomarker expression for use in monitoring anti-cancer chemotherapy. Chemical goals focus on designing new radiochemical routes for making radiolabelled drug molecules, peptides, proteins, antibodies and nanoparticles. We are particularly interested in the radiochemistry of 18F, 64Cu, 68Ga, 90Y,89Zr, 111In, and 177Lu for designing both diagnostic and therapeutic radiotracers. Our research involves organic and inorganic synthesis, computational studies of reaction mechanisms andmetal ion bonding using density functional theory, synthesis and characterisation of radioactive molecules, and complete radiotracer development from cellular assays invitroto full imaging, biodistribution and pharmacokinetic profiling invivo. Imaging goals focus on using positron-emissiontomography (PET) to measure how oncogenic cellular signalling pathways change in response to chemotherapy.We collaborate with physicians at theUniversityHospital Zurich(USZ), and beyond,to ensure that our most promising radiotracersare translated efficiently so patients can benefit as soon as possible from our research, and from the latest technology.