Master's thesis: Synthesis of novel molecular MRI reporter probes for
imaging pH in vivo
Malfunctioning pH regulation is associated with many diseases and has significant impact on
enzyme activity, cell-cell interaction, and oxygen supply. Therefore, spatially resolved pH imaging
has a variety of useful clinical applications such as disease detection and therapy response
monitoring. The goal of this project is the development and synthesis of carbon-13 labelled pH
sensor molecules which can be used for in vivo pH mapping based on magnetic resonance
imaging (MRI), taking advantage of a unique Oxford Instruments hyperpolarizer setup which
allows to increase MRI's sensitivity on 13C-nuclei by more than 10,000.
In the beginning, synthesis of new sensor molecules will be your focus. A challenge is the
establishment of easy and cheap synthesis, starting from inexpensive carbon-13 labeled
precursor molecules (e.g. pyruvic acid). Potential new sensors will be tested for their ability to
be hyperpolarized (by dissolution dynamic polarization) being the most important hurdle before
in vivo application. Finally, an in vivo study of a new sensor molecule on a relevant disease
model (for instance cancer) will be performed.
Our labs are located at the Klinikum rechts der Isar in the Department of Nuclear Medicine (Prof.
Schwaiger). You will have access to state of the art equipment for organic synthesis, molecular
cell biology and imaging (i.e.: preparative and analytical HPLC, table top 1T NMR spectrometer,
cell culture labs, DNP hyperpolarizer, preclinical 7T MRI, preclinical PET/CT, clinical 3T PET/MR).
We are a multidisciplinary and international team of physicists, biologists, biochemists,
veterinarians and medical doctors seeking for an organic chemist.
- Background in chemistry with interest in organic chemistry and biomedical imaging
- You are familiar with MS Office and have experience with data analysis tools (e.g.
MestReNova, Matlab, Origin)
- You like to work in an international and multi-disciplinary team and are able to
communicate in English fluently