Validation of Pulmonary Drug Delivery Assessment using PET

About this project

The PET Healthcare technologies cluster aims to expand the scope of PET research at both the University and the Hull & East Yorkshire NHS Trust with the aim of improving patient outcomes using a ‘dose-on-demand’ approach for the provision of PET service to patients. The University is unique in that it houses a benchtop cyclotron dedicated to preclinical research in a bespoke PET facility, and links to a clinical dose-on-demand cyclotron development at Castle Hill Hospital – one of the first such facilities to be built worldwide. Studentships in the cluster build on local academic and clinical expertise and focus on specific areas of PET-themed research, including i)  lowering the cost of ‘dose-on-demand’ 18F-radio-pharmacy production via the application of microfluidic devices, ii) the improvement of 68Ga-PET methods to assess radiation dose from molecularly targeted radiotherapy using 177Lu, iii) the validation of translational methods to allow inhaled drug deposition to be quantified using PET, and iv) the application of machine learning tools to improve scatter correction and thus the quality of reconstructed PET images.

Validation of Pulmonary Drug Delivery Assessment using PET

The delivery of drugs for respiratory illness via aerosol is the major route for current therapies, with a wide range of available formulations and delivery protocols. Although considerable research effort is expended to improve inhaled drug delivery, current methods of assessment lack validation due to the difficulty of accurately measuring lung deposition in man. PET labelling of inhaled formulations represents a novel and highly sensitive way to evaluate this. This project will develop methods of formulating radiolabelled drugs for delivery with imaging initially in mouse models and subsequently in patients. Direct radiolabelling and uptake of characterised radiopharmaceuticals (using fluorine-18) followed by the synthesis of radiolabelled formulation components and prosthetic groups will be undertaken. Optimization of PET CT imaging will allow accurate pharmacological targeting in disease.


You are strongly advised to contact a potential supervisor and to discuss your research proposal, well before you submit an application. Please refer to the Faculty of Health Sciences research pages.

If you have any queries, please email Dr Chris Cawthorne.

Next steps


To celebrate the University's research successes, the University of Hull is offering a full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarship or International Fees Bursary.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have at least a 2.1 undergraduate degree in Chemistry or Biomedical engineering for Project 1, Pharmacological Sciences for Project 2, Pharmacological Sciences or Chemistry for Project 3, and Biomedical engineering/Computer Science for Project 4 together with relevant research experience. It is anticipated that the successful applicant will have a 1st class undergraduate degree or Masters level qualification. 

How to apply

Applications for scholarship consideration at the University of Hull should be made through the Postgraduate Application system.

On the second page of your application, please select “Graduate Scholarship” as the type of scholarship you are applying for. 

Applicants are strongly encouraged to first identify and contact a potential supervisor.

Apply now

Application deadline: Monday 19 February


Full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarships will include fees at the ‘home/EU' student rate and maintenance (£14,553 in 2017/18) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.

Full-time International Fee PhD Studentships will include full fees at the International student rate for three years, dependent on satisfactory progress.