Dr Erik Årstad

Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Dr Erik Arstad

Address: Room?, Department of Chemistry, UCL
Phone No: +44 (0)207 6792344
Extension: 22344
Picture of Dr Erik Arstad

Research areas of interest include:

  • Design of small molecule radiotracers
  • Labelling/Bioconjugation chemistry
  • Methods for imaging and tracer evaluation
  • Use of tracers to study brain function
  • Clinical evaluation of novel tracer


Our research is focused on the development of radioactive tracers for in vivo imaging using Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT). Nuclear imaging is highly sensitive and enables studies of a wide range of physiological processes in humans. Radiopharmaceuticals are now widely used for diagnosis of cancer, to support drug development and to study brain function. Development of radiotracers involves a broad range of disciplines, including physics, radiochemistry, medicinal chemistry, biology, pharmacology and medicine.

Research Profile

Selected Publications

  1. Robins EG, Zhao YJ, Khan I, Wilson A, Luthra SK, Årstad E (2010). Synthesis and in vitro evaluation of F-18-labelled S-fluoroalkyl diarylguanidines: Novel high-affinity NMDA receptor antagonists for imaging with PET. Bioorg Med Chem Lett.20(5):1749-1751.
  2. Schoultz BW, Hjornevik T, Willoch F, Marton J, Noda A, Murakami Y, Miyoshi S, Nishimura S, Årstad E, Drzezga A, Matsunari I, Henriksen G (2010). Evaluation of the kappa-opioid receptor-selective tracer [(11)C]GR103545 in awake rhesus macaques. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging . 37(6): 1174-1180.
  3. Nguyen QD, Smith G, Glaser M, Perumal M, Årstad E, Aboagye EO (2009). Positron emission tomography imaging of drug-induced tumor apoptosis with a caspase-3/7 specific [18F]-labeled isatin sulfonamide.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 106(38):16375-80.
  4. De Rosales RTM, Årstad EBlower P (2009). Nuclear Imaging of Molecular Processes in Cancer. Targeted Oncology. 4(3): 183-197.
  5. Leyton J, Graham S, Zhao Y, Perumal M, Nguyen QD, Robins E, Årstad E, Aboagye E (2009). [18F]Fluoromethyl-[1,2- 2H 4]-Choline. A novel Radiotracer for Imaging Choline Metabolism in Tumors by Positron Emission Tomography. Cancer Res. 69(19): 7721-7728.

All Publications

Biographical details:

  • 1997-2001PhD in Radiochemistry, University of Oslo, Norway
  • 2001-2002 Postdoctoral Researcher with Prof. A.G.M. Barrett, Imperial College, London
  • 2003-2004 Research Radiochemist, Institute of Nuclear Medicine, University College London
  • 2004-2006 Chemistry Research Team Leader, Hammersmith Imanet, GE Healthcare
  • 2006-2008 Tracer Research Team Leader, Hammersmith Imanet, GE Healthcare
  • 2008- Senior Lecturer in Radiochemistry, University College London


  • 2005-2008 Honorary Lecturer, Division of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London