European Working group
Dr. Julie Nonnekens (contact person)
Assistant Professor and Group Leader Radiobiology of MRT. Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Department of Radiology & Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Genetics
Dr. Julie Nonnekens
Dr. Julie Nonnekens received her MSc in Medical Biotechnology at Wageningen University, The Netherlands in 2009. She obtained her PhD in cancer biology with the focus on DNA repair mechanisms at the University of Toulouse, France in 2013. After that, she was a postdoc at the Hubrecht Institute working on ribosome biogenesis in cancer and longevity. In 2014 Julie joined the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, The Netherlands with a joined appointment as Assistant Professor at the Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine and Department of Molecular Genetics. Her group is studying DNA damage repair mechanisms to better understand the underlying radiobiology of molecular radionuclide anticancer treatment in order to ultimately optimize treatment regimens.
Julie has received several (young investigator) awards and is principal investigator on various research grants. She is secretary of the Netherlands Society for Radiobiology (NVRB) and scientific committee member of the Dutch Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (NVRO).
Netherlands Society for Radiobiology
Dr. Bart Cornelissen
Bart is CRUK Junior Group Leader based at the Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology and has headed the Radiopharmaceuticals and Molecular Imaging group since early 2013. Bart trained in analytical chemistry and radiochemistry at the Universities of Hasselt and Ghent, Belgium. He obtained his PhD in radiopharmaceutical sciences from the University of Ghent in 2004 and spent several years at the University of Toronto as a post-doctoral fellow before joining the University of Oxford in 2007.
The group aims to develop new radioisotope-labelled compounds for the imaging of tumour biology, with a focus on DNA damage repair imaging, especially in pancreatic cancer. Most molecular imaging targets are extracellular epitopes: cytokines, growth factors, or extracellular receptors. However, there is a mismatch between molecular imaging methods, which mostly target proteins or receptors on the outside of cancer cells, and cancer biology, where mostly intracellular events are studied. Therefore, one aim of the group is to develop novel methods to enable imaging of intracellular proteins, such as those involved in DNA damage repair signalling.
Dr Cornelissen has published more than 70 papers on the subject of PET and SPECT imaging in oncology, and holds several patents. He is a member of the Nuclear Medicine and Biology and Tomography editorial boards.
Dr. Samantha Terry
Dr. Samantha Terry, a biologist, obtained her PhD in Radiation Biology with a focus on the mechanisms of radiation-induced chromosomal damage at the University of St Andrews, UK, in 2010. Her postdoc at the University of Oxford investigated the influence of the density of chromatin packing on the therapeutic efficacy of molecular radiotherapies. She then moved to an industry-funded postdoc on radionuclide imaging of the tumor microenvironment and monitoring therapy response in tumor and arthritis models at the Radboud UMC, Nijmegen, the Netherlands, in 2011.
Since 2015, Dr Terry has started her own research group at King’s College London, UK, to determine how radionuclides used for therapy or imaging affect the cells they are targeting in order to predict how radionuclides and radiopharmaceuticals can be more efficacious. Questions to answer for a whole range of radionuclides are:
· How can therapeutic radionuclides be used to maximize tumor cell kill for the same amount of radioactivity whilst minimizing damage to healthy tissues?
· How important is subcellular localization?
· Does the cell cycle affect response?
· How can radionuclides be made more effective, in terms of combination therapies?
· How safe are imaging radionuclides?
· How do radionuclides and external beam differ in their biological effects?
Dr Terry has received many grants from industry partners, several early career grants and is principal investigator on various research grants. She is also active on twitter (@syaterry) and acts on organizing committees for molecular radiotherapy meetings, as editorial board member for Nuclear Medicine and Biology, as well as member of the Inflammation and Infection Committee at the European Association of Nuclear Medicine.
Dr. Jean-Pierre Pouget
Dr Jean-Pierre Pouget obtained his PhD thesis in Radiobiology in 2000 from the Curie Institute in Paris and carried-out a post-doctoral fellowship in the Nuclear Medicine Research Laboratory at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry. He then moved to Paris to the French Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (IRSN) for 4 years where he worked on radiation casualties.
After moving to Montpellier, he joined the French National Institute for Health and Medical research (INSERM) where he is now leader of the “Radiobiology and Targeted Radiotherapy” team at the Cancer Research Institute of Montpellier (INSERM, France).
He develops new radiopharmaceuticals for cancer imaging and therapy with a special focus on radiobiology. More specifically, his team has developed murine and humanized monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed against the anti-Müllerian hormone receptor (MISRII) overexpressed in ovarian cancers. Radiolabeled with α, Auger, β- or with β+ and gamma/x-rays emitters, they can be used for theranostic purposes.
His radiobiology work is focused on the role of targeted (radiative) and non-targeted (bystander and abscopal) effects of molecular radiotherapy involving intercellular communications and / or the involvement of the immune system. The final aim of his research, led by a multidisciplinary team, is to be transferred to the clinic for optimal cancer diagnosis and treatment.
He has published more than 60 papers and book chapters dealing with radiobiology and radionuclide therapy and several patents. Besides research activity, Dr Pouget is involved in teaching at the University of Montpellier. He is also member of Frontiers in nuclear medicine and Current radiophramaceuticals editorial boards.
Pouget group website