Radiopharmaceutical chemistry

As a competent specialist department, the Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry team ensures the patient-oriented production and preparation, quality control and portioning of radiopharmaceuticals for nuclear medicine issues.

Our team is made up of academic and non-academic specialists from a wide range of disciplines (chemists, biologists, BMAs: biomedical analysts and chemical laboratory technicians). The majority of our radiopharmaceuticals cover the relevant organ groups and we also offer innovative products for the diagnosis and treatment of neuroendocrine tumor symptoms.

In a broad sense, radiopharmaceuticals are biochemically relevant molecules that are produced with short-lived radioisotopes on the day of use. The nuclear characteristics of the radiation determine, among other things, the subsequent use as a radiodiagnostic or therapeutic agent and the camera technology (PET or SPECT: Positron Emission Tomography or Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography). For non-invasive molecular imaging at the cellular level (functional or localization diagnostics), we use ultra-short-lived radiopharmaceuticals with a half-life of 1-6 hours. As radioisotopes for endoradiotherapy (internal radiotherapy), we use beta minus and alpha particle emitting radioisotopes with half-lives of 3-8 days and - depending on the application - a different energy spectrum.

We are actively involved in innovative, interdisciplinary research and thus make an important social contribution to even better patient care.
We maintain close collaborations with academic and industrial partners at national and international level. Our work is regularly presented at specialist conferences and published in specialist journals.

Training the next generation is important to us. We train prospective BMAs as part of the Biomedical Analysis course at the Basel-Stadt Health Education Center (BZG) and provide qualified further training for medical-technical radiology specialists (MTRAs) and students of human medicine (see our information for prospective BMAs, prospective MTRAs and students).

Main areas of research

Our research focuses on the development and preclinical evaluation of new radiopharmaceuticals for oncological issues in nuclear medicine. Many types of cancer form certain surface features (e.g. receptors) on their cells to an increased degree compared to healthy normal cells. These molecular structures can be targeted by the body's own messenger substances, e.g. peptide hormones. Synthetic derivatives of natural peptides, which are customized for radiopharmaceutical purposes, are a particular focus of our interest.

Our approach can be summarized as follows:

  1. Design and synthesis of modified peptides
  2. Development and optimization of radiolabelling strategies and development of analytical methods
  3. In vitro evaluation on cancer cell lines
  4. Biodistribution experiments in tumor mouse models
  5. Small animal imaging experiments (SPECT/CT, PET/CT)

The main research focus currently includes the third generation of radiolabeled somatostatin peptides for the diagnosis and treatment of neuroendocrine tumors. These compounds exhibit antagonistic properties and are being evaluated against those with agonistic properties.
Other topics include research work with novel peptide ligands for the targeted targeting of previously little-known receptor systems in rare tumor forms.
In addition to basic and preclinical research, our group is also very interested in clinical research. We are currently conducting various clinical studies in collaboration with the Department of Nuclear Medicine.

The interdisciplinary research projects with internal and external partners from academia and industry are funded by grants from the University of Basel, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI).

Employees in radiopharmaceutical chemistry


Prof. Melpomeni Fani

Leitung radiopharmazeutische Chemie

Radiologie und Nuklearmedizin


Dr. Andreas Bauman

Leitung klinische Radiopharmazie

Radiologie und Nuklearmedizin


Dr. rer. nat. Manuel Alejandre-Lafont

Leiter Qualitätskontrolle und -sicherung radiopharmazeutische Chemie

Radiologie und Nuklearmedizin


Dr. phil. Rosalba Mansi

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin radiopharmazeutische Chemie

Radiologie und Nuklearmedizin


Lisa McDougall

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin radiopharmazeutische Chemie

Radiologie und Nuklearmedizin


Dr. phil. Roman Menz

Hauptverantwortlicher für den Strahlenschutz am Universitätsspital Basel

Radiologie und Nuklearmedizin


Jacopo Millul

Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter radiopharmazeutische Chemie

Radiologie und Nuklearmedizin


Fabienne Spinnler

Doktorandin radiopharmazeutische Chemie

Radiologie und Nuklearmedizin


Brigit Avis-Furler

Assistentin Nuklearmedizin und radiopharmazeutische Chemie, Fachverantwortung Patientenmanagement Nuklearmedizin, Mitglied Tumorzentrum

Radiologie und Nuklearmedizin