Mitacs Accelerate Internship Opportunity

ARTMS Products, Vancouver, BC, and London, ON, Canada

Design, Implement and Test a Novel Cyclotron Target for the Production of Gallium-68

Desired discipline(s): Engineering – biomedical, Engineering, Chemistry, Natural Sciences
Company: ARTMS Products
Project Length: Longer than 1 year
Preferred start date: 07/31/2019
Language requirement: English
Location(s): Vancouver, BC, Canada; London, ON, Canada
No. of positions: 1
Preferred institutions: University of British Columbia, University of Western Ontario

About the company: 

In 2007 & 2009, the world experienced a shortage of medical isotopes due to reactor outages. The isotope shortage caused price increases and resulted in delayed and canceled medical procedures. In response to the global demand for medical isotopes, which are the backbone of nuclear medicine, ARTMS Products developed an award-winning, breakthrough technology for producing Tc-99m using existing, hospital-based medical cyclotrons. ARTMS holds the exclusive commercialization rights and has partnered with global innovators like GE Healthcare to transform the nuclear medicine industry. The company is based in Vancouver and their innovative technology has been featured in Popular Science and Physics World magazine.

The project: 

The Postdoctoral fellow will work with a leading-edge research team to design, implement and test a novel cyclotron target for the production of gallium-68. This project is an exciting collaboration between Lawson Health Research, ARTMS Products Inc. and TRIUMF. Gallium-68 is an emerging and important isotope used for the diagnosis and treatment monitoring of prostate cancer. The postdoctoral candidate will have the opportunity to work independently or with colleagues in the use of various metal manufacturing techniques and chemistry methods to detail target performance and isotope yields and purity. Being a joint position between these organizations, the Postdoctoral candidate will work roughly 50% of the time in Vancouver and 50% in London, Ontario performing tests at the Lawson Cyclotron Facility. The time spent in each location is flexible and will be determined in discussion with the successful candidate.

Research Objectives:

  • Develop a novel target design including automated target dissolution, purification and radiopharmaceutical preparation and quality control.
  • Leverage past chemical engineering experience to study and establish target performance specifications during and after proton irradiation.
  • Represent the project at conference symposia and publish the study data in the peer reviewed literature

Required Expertise/Skills: 

A PhD. in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or an equivalent field of research is required. A knowledge of isotope-based research is preferred. In addition, candidates should have the ability to learn to safely prepare and handle radiopharmaceuticals. Skills will be developed in the areas of high-temperature sintering techniques, electroplating, electrodeposition, chromatography, radiation detectors, and other analytical devices. This posting is seeking a PDF to work with Dr. Michael Kovacs (Western University) in partnership with ARTMS, based in Vancouver.