Vanderbilt University
Institute of Imaging Science

Radiochemistry Core Resource

Contact for Radiochemisty Core

Scientific Director:
Todd Peterson, Ph.D.

What we can do for you

The mission of the VUIIS Research Radiochemistry Core Laboratory is to help Vanderbilt Investigators (1) develop and translate novel radiopharmaceuticals to patients, (2) non-invasively visualize and quantify molecular events in preclinical in vivo models and patients, and (3) conduct clinical trials that feature molecular imaging endpoints

Radiochemistry Core - Guide to Ordering


The Core Laboratory is housed within the VUMC PET center in Robinson Research Building. The laboratory consists of separate cGMP, preclinical, and research radiochemistry laboratories in contiguous space immediately adjacent to Vanderbilt’s cyclotron and Radiopharmacy. Using the GE 130 uA PETtrace, the Core can produce 18F, 11C, 13N, and related radionuclides on a routine basis.  In addition to cyclotron-produced isotopes, the radiochemistry core has access to SPECT isotopes and generator-produced positron emitters, including 68Ga, 99mTc, 111In, and 123I.

The Radiochemistry Core also operates a dedicated SPECT isotope labeling facility. This lab has been equipped with the an activated charcoal filtered hood for the manipulation of iodine isotopes and has been outfitted with the latest equipment for the purification and identification of the compounds being prepared.


Newly renovated radiochemistry facility housed in the VUMC PET Center
  • GE 130 uA PETtrace – negative-ion cyclotron optimized for generating 18F, 11C, 13N, and related radionuclides
  • 2 Von Gahlen hot cells with CRL manipulators and two Von Gahlen "dual mini-cells" dedicated to the production of tracers for both human and animal
  • 2 Radiation Shielding hot cells with Tru-Motion manipulators dedicated to new tracer discovery and animal production
  • 2 GE Tracerlab FX-FN fluorination modules
  • 1 GE Tracerlab FX-C Pro gas phase 11C methyl iodide/methylation module
  • Advion Nanotek self-shielded microfluidic chemistry module - Varian gas chromatogram equipped with both FID and conductivity detectors
  • 3 Bioscan Radio-TLC scanners
  • 3 Microwave reaction accelerators
  • Amercare automated dose dispenser
  • Multiple analytical and semi-prep HPLCs with radiometric detectors
  • Multiple Capintec dose calibrators
  • 5 Radiochemical fume hoods dedicated to low level radiation work
The PET-Chemistry Research Lab is connected to both cyclotrons through lead-shielded lines allowing direct delivery of [18F] fluoride or [11C]carbon dioxide to shielded "hot cells" for production of radiotracers.

Active Compounds/Tracers generated at VUIIS

Radionuclide Precursors and Intermediates:

[18F]F- in aqueous solution
[68Ga]Cl3 in solution
[11C]CO2 gas
[11C]CH3I methyl iodide
[64Cu]CuCl2 in dilute HCl
[111In] InCl3 in solution

Research Radiopharmaceuticals – Human (partial list)


Other tracers upon request; please contact Todd Peterson, Ph.D. (

Research Radiopharmaceuticals – Animal (partial list)


Custom labeling; novel probe development; other tracers; please contact Todd Peterson, Ph.D. (todd.e.peterson