Vanderbilt University
Institute of Imaging Science

Mike Nickels, Ph.D.

Director, Radiochemistry Core Laboratory

Contact Information
(615) 343-5484


My research involves the development of new and novel radiopharmaceuticals and the necessary labeling techniques used to incorporate radionuclides.


I am currently investigating the use of microfluidic chemistry as a means to accomplish fluorine-18 labeling on both model compounds and authentic radiopharmaceutical agents.  I am also undertaking the synthesis of several new agents for imaging with fluorine-18 and carbon-11.


Luo, N.; Nixon, M.J.; Gonzalez-Ericsson, P.I.; Sanchez, V.; Opalenik, S.R.; Li, H.; Zahnow, C.A.; Nickels, M.L.; Lui, F.; Tantawy, M.N.; Sanders, M.E.; Manning, H.C.; Balko, J.M. ?DNA Methyltransferase Inhibition Upregulates MHC-I to Potentiate Cytotoxic T Lymphocyte Responses in Breast Cancer? Nature Communications, 2018, 9(1), 248.

Schulte, M.L.; Fu, A.; Zhao, P.; Geng, L.; Smith, S.T.; Kondo, J.; Coffey, R.J.; Johnsons, M.O.; Rathmell, J.C.; Sharick, J.T.; Skala, M.C.; Smith, J.A.; Berlin, J.; Washington, M.K.; Nickels, M.L.; Manning, H.C. ?Development of a Glutamine Transport Inhibitor: A Novel Therapeutic Strategy in Oncology? Nature Medicine, 2017, 24(2), 194-202.

Nickels, M.L; Pagel, M.D. ?Managers of Molecular Imaging Laboratories (MOMIL) Interest Group? Molecular Imaging and Biology, 2017, 19(3), 332-335.

Li, J.; Smith J.A.; Dawson, E.S.; Fu, A.; Nickels, M.L.; Schulte, M.L.; Manning, H.C. ?An Optimized Translocator Protein Ligand for Optical Molecular Imaging and Screening? Bioconjugate Chemistry, 2017, 28(4), 1016-1023.

Tang, D.; Li, J.; Buck J.R.; Tantawy, M.N.; Xia. Y.; Harp, J.M.; Nickels M.L.; Meiler; J.; Manning, H.C. ?Evaluation of TSPO PET Ligands [18F]VUIIS1009A and [18F]VUIIS1009B: Tracers for Cancer Imaging? Molecular Imaging and Biology, 2017, 19(4), 578-588.