Isaac Jackson, an MRC sophomore, was recently published as the second author of "Synthesis and evaluation of [11C]PBD150, a radiolabeled glutaminyl cyclase inhibitor for the potential detection of Alzheimer's disease prior to amyloid ß aggregation". He currently works in the Scott lab radiochemistry research Group within the division of Nuclear Medicine within the department of Radiology. His research project, which he began as a freshman in the MRC, entails the development of PET(Positron Emission Tomography) radiotracers, ultimately used to identify various diseases/conditions. Specifically, his work is presently focused on the preclinical evaluation of a radiotracer intended for use in presymptomatic diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. On a day to day basis, his work entails working with a post-doctoral fellow on each part of the development process- from carrying out the chemistry, purifying and identifying products, troubleshooting, searching the literature for alternative methods and ways to optimize the work, preparing doses for imaging studies in rodents, and writing up results. Each morning he prepares a clinically approved PET radiotracer called FDG(Fluorodeoxyglucose), widely used in imaging cancer.
"I thoroughly enjoy what I do, the challenge it provides, and the further opportunities and other projects that are potentially available beyond the completion of this one- there is no shortage of work in our lab, and it is an exciting notion for me to be able to keep working on something I enjoy for the foreseeable future," recalls Isaac when reflecting on his past two years in lab. "Additionally, it is very exciting to me that the work I do now has the potential to help improve the lives of many people. The research I am doing now also matches my long term career goals quite well- beyond a B.S. degree in Chemistry, I intend to pursue a dual degree M.D./Ph.D program, and ultimately become not only a researcher but also a physician". One day, Isaac hopes to work in either Nuclear Medicine or Radiation Oncology, where he can apply and strengthen the skills that he is beginning to acquire now in a clinical setting. Ideally, Isaac hopes to simultaneously work as a researcher in a lab utilizing chemistry and radiochemistry to approach complex, prevalent issues such as cancer and also in a clinic interacting with and helping patients as a physician.