The STEM and Medicine Seminar Series hosted by Bangor University
A new research seminar series centred around STEM and Medicine has begun in Bangor University. The seminar series will showcase research at the interface of STEM and Medicine and increase collaboration between scientists across the University’s Schools and Colleges and clinical colleagues at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. Seminars will be held on the first Thursday of each month until the 7th of July, 2022. This Thursday, Lee Evitts of the NFI was asked to share his expertise on Nuclear Medicine.
Dr Lee Evitts’ Nuclear Medicine Lecture
The NFI’s own Dr Lee Evitts, Sêr Cymru Lecturer in Nuclear Medicine, delivered the second lecture of the STEM and Medicine series.
Lee’s lecture introduced the concept of nuclear medicine i.e. the application of radioactive material to diagnose and treat disease. The most common diagnostic procedures involving single-photon computed emission tomography (SPECT), which utilises 99mTc or Technetium-99m, and the use of 18F or Fluorine-18 for PET scanning. These diagnostic tools can examine physiological function within the body, for example investigating afflictions in the brain such as Parkinson’s disease or progressive supranuclear palsy.
The talk also touched on some applications of radiotherapeutics i.e. using the radiation emitted from radionuclides to target and damage specific tissues. One of the most common procedures for this is brachytherapy using 125I or Iodine-125 but other novel treatments are becoming available, like the 90Y or Yttrium-90 doped glass spheres – also known as TheraSphere™ by Mo-Sci Corporation – which can be used as a treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Lee’s presentation moved onto the area of the security of the supply of radionuclides within the UK – the global production of radionuclides faces a shortfall due to aging reactors but an independent study has shown that Trawsfynydd is a fantastic location to potentially remedy this short supply. It is hoped that one day Trawsfynydd will be the home of ARTHUR – the Advanced Radioisotope Technology for Health Utility Reactor at Trawsfynydd. Could ARTHUR hold the solution to the lack of regional and national radionuclide supply?
The Best is Yet to Come!
Penultimately, the lecture discussed the research interests and expertise of the Nuclear Futures Institute group, as well as the current student opportunities available within the Nuclear Medicine Group.
- An open MRes with KESS and Creo Medical to couple nuclear medicine with Creo Medicine’s established microwave technologies and the development of an alginate gel that could deliver radionuclides
- Ph.D opportunities to investigate production mechanisms of alpha emitting radionuclides in a reactor environment, to be confirmed and announced soon.
Please do not hesitate to contact Dr Lee Evitts by email if you are interested in either of these projects.