Chemistry and Materials Science Seminar: Synthesis of Molecular Imaging Agents for Use in Prostate Cancer MRI

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scms seminar andrew obrien

Chemistry and Materials Science Seminar
Synthesis of Low and High-Relaxivity Gd(III) Targeted Molecular Imaging Agents for Use in Prostate Cancer MRI

Andrew O'Brien
Chemistry MS Candidate
School of Chemistry and Materials Science, RIT

Register Here for Zoom Link
This seminar may be attended in person in 1174 Gosnell Hall or online via Zoom.

Andrew will be presenting a thesis proposal on his work in Dr. Schmitthenner’s lab synthesizing imaging agents for use in prostate cancer MRI imaging.


Prostate cancer is a serious disease that will affect 1 in 8 American men in their lifetime. Existing prostate cancer diagnosis methods are invasive, inaccurate, and location-nonspecific. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) allows for non-invasive, highly accurate. and location-specific imaging-based prostate cancer detection. Gd(III) chelates serve as MRI contrast agents that reveal the location and detailed images of tumor structures within the body. The effectiveness of these chelates as contrast agents is dictated by a property called r1 relaxivity. The kinematic, thermodynamic, and kinetic properties of these contrast agents affect not only their r1 relaxivity but their safety within the body. Targeted Molecular Imaging Agents (TMIAs) are contrast agents with a targeting group attached, enabling them to selectively bind to a specific protein known as a biomarker. This allows for cancer-specific imaging. In our approach, DCL is a targeting group that allows the contrast agents to bind to PSMA, a protein found on the surface of cells within prostate tumors. The aim is to synthesize a variety of mono- and di-Gd(III) TMIAs using peptide synthesis techniques and to determine the effect of TMIA structure on r1 relaxivity. The synthesized TMIAs' r1 relaxivities will be measured using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometry. Higher relaxivity TMIAs could improve imaging efficacy as well as improve safety as a lower in vivo concentration would be required for effective prostate cancer imaging.

Speaker Bio:
Speaker Bio: Andrew is a third-year student in the Chemistry BS/MS Program, Thesis Track. In the past, he has done research with Dr. Scott Williams growing crystals for use in lithium-ion batteries. Andrew has been involved in research with the Schmitthenner group since Spring 2021. His interests include coordination and organometallic chemistry, which lie at the intersection of traditional inorganic and organic chemistry. Andrew's long-term goal is to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry and become a college professor.

Intended Audience:
Undergraduates, graduates, experts. Those with interest in the topic.

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Michael Cross
Event Snapshot
When and Where
January 25, 2022
12:30 pm - 1:45 pm
Room/Location: See Zoom Registration Link

This is an RIT Only Event

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