Dr Nigel Lengkeek

Radiometals Team Leader / Organic Chemist
Phone - +61 2 9717 3622
Nigel Lengkeek



Role at ANSTO

Nigel leads the radiometals theme within radiochemistry covering projects exploring radioisotope generators, radiochemical separations, novel ligand design for radiometals such as 64Cu, 68Ga, 89Zr and 177Lu, radiometal labelling of small molecules through to particles, and novel bio-conjugation strategies.


After completing his PhD in Chemistry in 2007 at the University of Western Australia under the supervision of Prof. George Koutsantonis and Prof. Jack Harrowfield, Nigel remained at UWA until June 2010 working as a postdoctoral research associate in the Chemistry and Pharmacy Disciplines.

Nigel joined ANSTO in July 2010 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow supported by the CRC for Biomedical Imaging Development. In June 2011 he moved to the role of organic chemist in ANSTO Lifesciences and has continued to develop the radiochemistry capability in radiometal research.

Research interests and areas of expertise

Nigel’s research interests lie in rational radiometal ligand development, novel bioconjugation methods, production and separation of PET and therapeutic radionuclides, and use medical and industrial use of radiometals. He has expertise in synthetic inorganic and organic chemistry, radiochemistry and a proficiency in a broad range of physical characterisation and separation techniques, including multinuclear NMR, UV-Vis-NIR, IR and fluorescence spectroscopy, analytical and preparative HPLC, SEC/GPC, GC, GC-MS, electrochemistry, ion-exchange and size-exclusion chromatography.

Nigel maintains collaborative research ties with researchers at University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales. He co-supervises a PhD student.

Nigel’s key international collaborators in the area of radiometals include Prof Jason Lewis and A/Prof Kishore Pillarsetty at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York.

Qualifications & Achievements

PhD (Chem) from the University of Western Australia (2007)
BSc (Chem) / BE (Materials) from the University of Western Australia (2002)

During his PhD, Nigel was awarded the Alexander Cohen Postgraduate travel award to work in the laboratories of Prof. Jean-Pierre Sauvage at Université Strasbourg (formally Université Louis Pasteur) for three months.

Nigel is a member of the Royal Australian Chemical Society (MRACI CCHEM), the American Chemical Society the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nuclear Medicine. He currently serves as the Treasurer for the RACI Radiochemistry Division.



Selected publications

Oehlke, E., Lengkeek, N., Le, V. S., Pellegrini, P., Greguric I., Weiner, R. The role of additives in moderating the influence of Fe[III] and Cu[II] on the radiochenical yield of [68Ga(DOTATATE)]. Applied Radiation and Isotopes, 107, 13–16 (2016). doi: 10.1016/j.apradiso.2015.09.008

D'Alessio, D.; Skelton, B. W.; Lengkeek, N. A.; Fraser, B. H.; Krause-Heuer, A. M.; Muzzioli, S. ; Stagni, S.; Massi, M.; Ogden, M. I. Ionophoric properties of a tetra- tetrazole functionalised calix[4] arene. Supramolecular Chemistry, 27(11-12), 787-791 (2015). doi: 10.1080/10610278.2015.1075536

Kampmann, S. S., Skelton, B.W., Yeoh, G. C., Abraham, L. J., Lengkeek, N. A., Stubbs, K. A., Heath, C. H., Stewart, S. G. The synthesis and fluorescence profile of novel thalidomide analogues. Tetrahedron, 71(42), 8140-8149 (2015). doi: 10.1016/j.tet.2015.08.036

Quinn, J., Soldenhoff, K. H., Stevens, G. W., Lengkeek, N. A. Solvent extraction of rare earth elements using phosphonic/phosphinic acid mixtures. Hydrometallurgy, 157, 298–305 (2015). doi: 10.1016/j.hydromet.2015.09.005

Roberts, M. P., Nguyen, V., Ashford, M. E., Berghofer, P., Wyatt, N. A., Krause-Heuer, A. M., Pham, T. Q., Taylor, S. R., Hogan, L., Jiang, C. D., Fraser, B. H., Lengkeek, N. A., Matesic, L., Gregoire, M. C., Denoyer, D., Hicks, R. J and Greguric, I. Synthesis and in vivo evaluation of [123I]melanin-targeted agents. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 58(15), 6214-6224 (2015). doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.5b00777

D'Alessio, D., Sobolev, A. N., Skelton, B. W., Fuller, R. O., Woodward, R. C., Lengkeek, N. A., Fraser, B. H., Massi, M., Ogden, M. I. Lanthanoid bottlebrush clusters: remarkably elongated metal-oxo core structures with controllable lengths. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 136(43), 15122-5 (2014). doi: 10.1021/ja506677h

Krause-Heuer, A. M., Howell, N. R., Matesic, L., Dhand, G., Young, E. L., Burgess, L., Jiang, C. D., Lengkeek, N. A., Fookes, C. J. R., Pham, T. Q., Sobrio, F., Greguric, I., Fraser, B. H. A new class of fluorinated 5-pyrrolidinylsulfonyl isatin caspase inhibitors for PET imaging of apoptosis. MedChemComm, 2(4), 347-352 (2013). doi: 10.1039/C2MD20249B

Oehlke, E., So, L. V., Lengkeek, N. A., Pellegrini, P., Jackson, T., Greguric, I., Weiner, R. Influence of metal ions on the 68Ga-labeling of DOTATATE Applied Radiation and Isotopes, 82, 232–238 (2013). doi: 10.1016/j.apradiso.2013.08.010

Pellegrini, P. A., Howell, N. R., Shepherd, R. K., Lengkeek, N. A., Oehlke, E., Katsifis, A. G., Greguric, I. Synthesis and radiolabelling of DOTA-linked glutamine analogues with 67,68Ga as markers for increased glutamine metabolism in tumour cells. Molecules, 18(6), 7160-7178 (2013). doi: 10.3390/molecules18067160

Lengkeek, N. A., Boulos, R. A., McKinley, A. J., Riley, T. V., Martinac, B., Stewart, S. G. The synthesis of fluorescent DNA intercalator precursors through efficient multiple Heck reactions. Australian Journal of Chemistry, 2011, 64, 316-323. (2011)

Harrowfield, J. M., Koutsantonis, G. A., Lengkeek, N. A., Skelton, B. W., White, A. H. Structural and electrochemical studies of Co(III) cage amine complexes with pendant thienylmethylamino groups. Inorganic Chemistry, 49, 3152-3161. (2010)

Koutsantonis, G. A., Lee, J., Lengkeek, N., Nealon, G., Skelton, B., White, A. Synthesis and characterisation of trinuclear metal complexes derived from carboxymethyl-substituted sarcophagine macrobicyclic cage amines. Journal of Inclusion Phenomena and Macrocyclic Chemistry. 66(1), 61-66. (2010)

Lengkeek, N. A., Greenwood, P. F., Ngyuen, B., Koutsantonis, G. A., Piggott, M. J. Making mixtures to solve structures: structural elucidation via combinatorial synthesis. Journal of Combinatorial Chemistry, 12, 141-150. (2010)

Lengkeek, N. A., Harrowfield, J. M., Koutsantonis, G. A. Synthesis and electropolymerisation of N-(4-carboxyphenyl)-2,5-di(2-thienyl)pyrrole. Synthetic Metals, 160(1-2), 72-75. (2010)

Greenwood, P. F., Lengkeek, N. A., Piggott, M. J., Pierce, K. Structural identification and mass spectral interpretation of C3n highly branched alkanes detected in sediment and aquatic extracts and further evidence for their anthropogenic origin. Organic Geochemistry, 40, 1055-1062. (2009)

Clark, I J., Crispini, A., Donnelly, P. S., Engelhardt, L. M., Harrowfield, J. M., Jeong, S-H., Kim, Y., Koutsantonis, G. A., Lee, Y. H., Lengkeek, N. A., et al. Variations on a cage theme: Some complexes of bicyclic polymaines as supramolecular synthons. Australian Journal of Chemistry, 62, 1246 1260. (2009)

Cifuentes, M. P., Humphrey, M. G., G.A. Koutsantonis, G. A., Lengkeek, N. A., Petrie, S., Sanford, V., Schauer, P. A., Stranger, R., Skelton, B. W., White, A. H. Coordinating tectons: bipyridyl terminated allenylidene complexes. Organometallics, 27(8), 1716 1726. (2008)

Asfari, Z., Bilyk, A., Bond, C., Harrowfield, J. M., Koutsantonis, G. A., Lengkeek, N. A., Mocerino, M., Skelton, B. W., Sobolev, A. N., Strano, S., Vicens, J., White, A. H. Factors influencing solvent adduct formation by calixarenes in the solid state. Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, 2, 387 396. (2004)