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Philip Blower

Chair in Imaging Chemistry, Head of Dept. of Imaging Chemistry and Biology


PA Contact Details:
Katy McNamara
020 718 88366


BA, DPhil, CChem, FRSC


After studying Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, Phil Blower carried out his graduate research in transition-metal chemistry with Jon Dilworth at the AFRC Unit of Nitrogen Fixation, University of Sussex, receiving his DPhil in 1984. He then joined the group of Malcolm Chisholm at Indiana University on a Fulbright Scholarship, later returning to England to work with Stephen Cooper at the Inorganic Chemical Laboratory, Oxford University. In 1987 he moved to Canterbury and joined the National Health Service, accepting a joint position as Clinical Radiochemist and Lecturer in Radiochemistry with Kent and Canterbury Hospital (Nuclear Medicine Dept) and the University of Kent (Biosciences Dept). There, with the collaboration of interdisciplinary colleagues in medicine, medical physics, chemistry and biochemistry, he was able to combine his inorganic chemistry training with experience of clinical radiopharmacy and nuclear medicine, developing research programmes in coordination chemistry, radiochemistry (especially with rhenium and copper isotopes), bioconjugate synthesis and clinical investigation of novel radiopharmaceuticals, including some of the earliest clinical evaluations of rhenium-186 and rhenium-188 therapeutic agents. In 2006 he was appointed to the present position where he has developed a flourishing multidisciplinary research group developing novel molecular imaging approaches and new chemistry to underpin them. He is Programme Director of the MSc in Radiopharmaceutics and PET Radiochemistry, Editor of Nuclear Medicine Communications and associate editor and reviewer for many other journals in chemistry and nuclear medicine.  He has served on the UK Radiopharmacy Group committee, the RSC Radiochemistry Group committee, and the EPSRC College of Reviewers.  He is currently Interim Head of KCL's new Department of Chemistry which was formed within the School of Biomedical Sciences in 2012 and accepted its first undergraduate cohort to the new MSci in Chemistry with Biomedicine.

Research interests

Radiopharmaceutical chemistry, bioconjugate chemistry, PET chemistry, nuclear medicine, molecular imaging. The chemistry group aims to develop novel imaging probes for novel molecular targets to detect and measure disease and therapy response, and to develop chemistry that is high quality, robust, economic and easy to use for maximum patient benefit. The group works with a wide variety of small molecules and metal complexes, peptides, proteins, antibodies and nanoparticles, and with many radionuclides for PET, SPECT and radionuclide therapy, taking new molecular imaging concepts and tracers from concept through synthesis, biological evaluation to clinical application.

Group members

  • DAVID BERRY: post doc who was awarded his PhD recently within the group working on novel chelators for labeling biomolecules with Ga-68 for PET imaging; now funded by NIHR working on novel multivalent Ga-68-labelled peptides for imaging angiogenesis, with Dr Jim Ballinger
  • PUTTHIPORN CHAROENPHUN: PhD student working on radiolabelling of living cells with PET radioisotopes for tracking cell migration in vivo with PET (1st supervisor, with Dr Greg Mullen).
  • KAZUMI CHIA: Clinical Training Fellow funded by Cancer Research UK working on design and use of PET imaging agents (e.g. Cu-64-ATSM and related compounds) for imaging hypoxia in relation to radionuclide therapy of cancer (1st supervisor, with Dr Greg Mullen).
  • DEBRA JOSEPHS: Clinical Training Fellow working a collaborative project with Cancer Division and Randall Division of cell and Molecular Biophysics on novel immunotherapies for cancer based on IgE antibodies (2nd supervisor, with Dr James Spicer, Cancer Division).
  • ALEXANDER KOERS: Phd student working on a collaborative project with Cancer Division and Randall Division of cell and Molecular Biphysics on novel immunotherapies for cancer based on IgE antibodies (2nd supervisor, with Dr James Spicer, Cancer Division).
  • LEVENTE MESZAROS: Postdoctoral research associate working on radiolabelled calcitonin analogues for molecular imaging of multiple myeloma, in collaboration with Yolanda Calle of the Dept of Haemato-Oncology.
  • JENNIFER WILLIAMS: PhD student funded by CRUK/EPSRC Cancer Imaging Centre working on novel approaches to site-specific radiolabelling of proteins for molecular imaging  (1st supervisor, with Dr Greg Mullen).
  • KRISANAT CHUAMSAAMARKKEE: PhD student (medical physics) working (with Lefteris Levieratos) on radionuclide dosimetry at microscopic and macroscopic level. Funded by Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Thailand (2nd supervisor, with Dr Lefteris Livieratos).
  • ZAITUL MD SAFEE: PhD student working with Dr Rick Southworth on molecular imaging of myocardial toxicity (2nd supervisor, with Dr Rick Southworth).
  • DR MAITE JAUREGUI-OSORO: previously EPSRC Early Career fellow working on inorganic nanoparticles for pretargeted radionuclide delivery for cancer imaging and therapy, now regulatory affairs specialist funded by the King's and GSTT Biomedical Research Centre working on the translation of novel contrast agents in human use.
  • DR MAGGIE COOPER: Postdoctoral scientist and radiopharmacist, funded by the CRUK/EPSRC Cancer Imaging Centre on radiolabelling methodology for biomolecules and regulatory affairs to support clinical translation of new imaging agents.
  • DR FLORIAN KAMPMEIER: Postdoctoral scientist working on protein bioconjugate design and synthesis and nanoparticle conjugation for molecular imaging applications, funded by Wellcome/EPSRC Medical Engineering Centre.
  • DR KAVITHA SUNASSEE: manager of the pre-clinical imaging facility, funded by Wellcome Trust, training researchers in preclinical imaging and overseeing pre-clinical imaging experiments.
  • DR XIANJIN CUI: Postdoctoral scientist working on design and synthesis of novel inorganic nanoparticles for molecular imaging applications. Funded by Wellcome / EPSRC Medical Engineering Centre programme grant.
  • DR MICHELLE MA: Postdoctoral Fellow (Royal Society Newton Fellow and EC Marie Curie Fellow) working on multivalent and pretargeted radiopharmaceutical design.
  • ALEX KHOSHNEVISAN: PhD student funded by EPSRC Industrial CASE studentship with GE Healthcare, working on novel chemistry for processing fluorine-18 (1st supervisor, with Prof Tony Gee).
  • JULIA BAGUNYA-TORRES: PhD student funded by the Alzheimer’s Society, working on imaging of copper trafficking in Alzheimer’s disease models (1st supervisor, with Prof Tony Gee).
  • DR ERICA ANDREOZZI: Whitaker Fellow, working on molecular imaging of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • MUHAMAD FAIZ ATHMAN: PhD student funded by Malaysian Government working on radionuclide therapeutics based on Auger electron emitters (1st supervisor, with Prof val Lewington).
  • DR ROBIN FORTT: postdoctoral scientists funded by the Biomedical Research Centre at King’s and GSTT, working on clinical translation of novel chemistry for PET applications in humans.
  • DR ZILIN YU: postdoctoral scientist funded by the Biomedical Research Centre at King’s and GSTT, working on clinical translation of novel chemistry for PET and SPECT imaging applications in humans.
  • SAIMA NAWAZ: PhD student working on novel Ga-68 labelled bioconjugates for imaging prostate cancer (2nd supervisor, with Dr Jim Ballinger).
  • SECKOU DIOCCOU: PhD student working on in vivo reporter gene (primarily the human sodium iodide symporter) applications fr studying phenotypic heterogeneity in metastatic cancer models (2nd supervisor, with dr Greg Mullen).
  • JAYANTA BORDOLOI: PhD student funded by BHF Centre of Excellence working on novel radiotracers for imaging vascular calcification (2ns supervisor, with Prof Cathy Shanahan, Cardiovascular Division).
  • DR KAREN SHAW: postdoctoral associate managing preclinical MRI and radioisotope supply for research.

Teaching responsibility

  • Programme Director of MSc in Radiopharmaceutics and PET
  • Interim Head of Department of Chemistry, School of Biomedical Sciences
  • Working group to develop undergraduate chemistry programme
  • External Examiner at Imperial College and University of Kent

NHS liaison and relationships

Strong collaboration with PET Imaging Centre and Nuclear Medicine Department, with several joint projects and joint staff.


Cooper MS, Ma MT, Sunassee K, Shaw KP, Williams JD, Paul RL, Donnelly PS, Blower PJ.  Comparison of 64Cu-complexing bifunctional chelators for radioimmunoconjugation: labeling efficiency, specific activity and in vitro/in vivo stability. Bioconjugate Chem 2012; 23:1029-1039.

Berry DJ, Ma Y, Ballinger JR, Tavaré R, Koers A, Sunassee K, Zhou T, Nawaz S, Mullen GED, Hider RC, Blower PJ.  Efficient bifunctional gallium-68 chelators for positron emission tomography: tripodal tris(hydroxypyridone) ligands. Chem Commun, 2011;47:7068 - 7070.

Torres Martin de Rosales R, Tavaré R, Paul RL, Jauregui-Osoro M, Protti A, Glaria A, Varma G, Szanda I, Blower PJ. Synthesis of 64Cu(II)-bis(dithiocarbamate-bisphosphonate) and conjugation with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles: in vivo evaluation as dual-modality PET-MRI agent. Angew Chem Int Ed, 2011;123:5623-5627.

Jauregui-Osoro M, Williamson PA, Glaria A, Sunassee K, Charoenphun P, Green MA, Blower PJ. Biocompatible inorganic nanoparticles for [18F]-fluoride binding with applications in PET imaging. Dalton Trans. 2011;40:6226-6237.

Meszeros L, Dose A, Biagini SCG, Blower PJ. Synthesis and evaluation of analogues of HYNIC as bifunctional chelators for technetium. Dalton Trans. 2011;40:6260–6267.

Torres Martin de Rosales R, Tavaré R, Glaria A, Varma G, Protti A, Blower PJ. 99mTc-Bisphosphonate-iron oxide nanoparticle conjugates for dual-modality biomedical imaging. Bioconjugate Chem 2011;22:455-465.

Jauregui-Osoro M, Sunassee K, Weeks AJ, Berry DJ, Paul RL, Cleij M, Banga JP, O’Doherty MJ, Marsden PK, Clarke SEM, Ballinger JR, Szanda I, Cheng S-Y, Blower PJ. Synthesis and biological evaluation of [18F]-tetrafluoroborate: a PET imaging agent for thyroid disease and reporter gene imaging of the sodium/iodide symporter. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 2010;37:2108-2117. See also accompanying Editorial: Youn H, Jeong JM, Chung J-K. A new PET probe, 18F-tetrafluoroborate, for the sodium/iodide symporter: possible impacts on nuclear medicine. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 2010;37:2105-2107.

Torres Martin de Rosales R, Finucane C, Mather SJ, Blower PJ. Bifunctional  bisphosphonate imaging agents for the diagnosis and therapy of bone metastases. Chem Commun 2009;4847-4849.



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