Meet Dr Jennifer Young, Research Associate and Chemistry Lead for the NCITA QA/QC Unit
Tell us about your role in NCITA
I am a Research Associate and chemistry lead for the QA/QC Unit based at the Department of Imaging Chemistry & Biology, King’s College London. My role involves supporting the development of radiopharmaceuticals for clinical PET imaging and contrast agents for MRI studies. I work closely with the teams involved in the NCITA Exemplar 2 MISSION-FUMARATE Trial and the Exemplar 6 EXODIMER PET study. I am also involved in the NCITA infrastructure activities, including the management of the NCITA Q-Pulse Quality Management System.
What is a typical week like for you as a Research Associate?
I split my time between supporting the NCITA exemplars and NCITA infrastructure activities. This includes writing standard operating procedures and documentation for the quality monitoring system Q-Pulse and training NCITA staff to use this system. I have worked with the QA/QC unit manager and NCITA coinvestigators to conduct a national survey on radiotracer production facilities. These results, along with a review of the nuclear medicine clinical studies that have been carried out in the UK in the last 5 years, have been published in “An Overview of Nuclear Medicine Research in the UK and the Landscape for Clinical Adoption” Nuclear Medicine Communications, December 2021 – Volume 42 – Issue 12 – p 1301-1312. DOI: 10.1097/MNM.0000000000001461
What do you like most about your role?
I enjoy the opportunity of working with colleagues across different institutions and departments on a variety of nuclear medicine and MRI imaging projects. I also really appreciate the opportunity of using my chemistry background in a practical way in order to translate radiopharmaceutical tracers and contrast agents for clinical use.
How did you get to where you are today?
I completed my PhD at King’s College London, where I focused on the development of a PET radiotracer for detecting prostate cancer which went on to phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials. I then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University on the production of gallium-68 radiotracers at Barts NHS Trust for clinical research studies and NHS patients. In this role I gained practical experience in the clinical translation of radiotracers. This experience inspired me to pursue my research career in the translation of clinical imaging radiopharmaceuticals and contrast agents at NCITA.
I really enjoy doing ‘Improv’ comedy and had my first comedy show in London at the beginning of March 2020, just before lockdown! I am looking forward to continuing again with live audience shows!