Professor Erik Arstad

  Erik Årstad is Professor of Radiochemistry. He leads a multidisciplinary research group bridging medicinal chemistry, radiochemistry and nuclear imaging. The group currently consists of 5 postdocs, 4 PhD students and 2 Master students. The focus of his work is to advance biomedical research by developing labelling chemistry and novel tracers for non-invasive diagnostic imaging with Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET). The group is part of the Institute of Nuclear Medicine, UCL/UCLH (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/nuclear-medicine), and collaborates closely with the Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging (CABI; http://www.ucl.ac.uk/cabi). Prof Årstad has worked at UCL since 2008 (2008-2015: Senior Lecturer; 2015 Professor). Before this, he was a research associate at Imperial College, working with Professor A.G.M. Barrett (2001-2002), he then took up a postdoctoral position at UCL, working with Professor P.J. Ell (2003-2004) and later worked for GE Healthcare, Hammersmith Imanet, as Chemistry Research Team Leader (2004-2006) and Tracer Research Team Leader (2006-2008). 
Summary of research group
  The radiochemistry group aims to advance biomedical research by developing new methods for labelling, designing radiotracers for nuclear imaging, and translating diagnostic agents to human studies.
Research highlights
  • Sander, K., Gendron, T., Yiannaki, E., Cybulska, K., Kalber, T. L., Lythgoe, M. F., Årstad, E. (2015), Sulfonium Salts as Leaving Groups for Aromatic Labelling of Drug-like Small Molecules with Fluorine-18. Scientific Reports, 5: 9941.
  • Yan, R., Sander, K., Galante, E., Rajkumar, V., Badar, A., Robson, M., El-Emir, E., Lythgoe, M.F., Pedley, R.B., Årstad, E. (2013). A one-pot three-component radiochemical reaction for rapid assembly of 125I-labeled molecular probes. Journal of the American Chemical Society 135(2): 703-709.
Research Facilities
  • Radiochemistry lab, including 2 hot cells and 3 shielded fume hoods, synthesis modules and radio-HPLC. 
  • GMP facilities for production of clinical grade radiotracers are under construction (2015).
  Member, Royal Society of Chemistry; Society of Radiopharmaceutical Sciences; World Molecular Imaging Society
Research interests

• Radiolabelling (radioiodine and fluorine-18)

• Tracer development

• Medicinal chemistry

• Nuclear Imaging (PET, SPECT, autoradiography)

  Teacher, 1st-4th Year UG, Master degree and PhD organic chemistry and Chemical Biology