Michael R. Zalutsky, Ph.D., M.A.

  • Professor of Radiology
    Jonathan Spicehandler M.D. Professor of Neuro-Oncology Research
  • Professor of Radiation Oncology
  • Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Associate Professor in Pathology
    Director, Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry Laboratory
  • Research
Address DUMC Box 3808
Bryan Research Building, Room 161H
311 Research Drive

Durham, NC 27710
Telephone 919-684-7708
Fax 919-684-7121
Awards and Honors
  • The Jonathan Spicehandler, M.D. Professor of Neuro-Oncology Research
  • PhD, Washington University, 1974
  • MA, Washington University, 1972
Research Interests The overall objective of our laboratory is the development of novel radioactive compounds for improving the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. This work primarily involves radiohalo-genation of biomolecules via site-specific approaches, generally via demetallation reactions.

Radionuclides utilized for imaging include I-123, I-124 and F-18, the later two being of particular interest because they can be used for the quantification of biochemical and physiological processes in the living human through positron emission tomography.

For therapy, astatine-211 decays by the emission of alpha-particles, a type of radiation considerably more cytotoxic that the beta-particles used in conventional endoradiotherapy. The range of At-211 alpha particles is only a few cell diameters, offering the possibility of extremely focal irradiation of malignant cells while leaving neighboring cells intact. Highlights of recent work include:
1. Development of reagents for protein and peptide radioiodination that decrease deiodination in vivo by up to 100-fold

2. Demonstration that At-211 labeled monoclonal antibodies are effective in the treatment of a rat model of neoplastic meningitis

3. Synthesis of a thymidine analogue labeled with At-211 and the demonstration that this molecule is taken up in cellular DNA with highly cytotoxicity even at levels of only one atom bound per cell

4. development of radiohalobenzylguanidines which are specifically cytotoxic for human neuroblastoma cells.