Dr Vu Nguyen

Radiopharmacology Interface/Radiotracer Evaluation Co-ordinator
ANSTO Life Sciences
Phone - +61 2 9717 9081
Vu Nguyen



Role at ANSTO

Dr Nguyen applies his knowledge in pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics to radiotracer evaluation at ANSTO LifeSciences for their various aspects, including tumour and brain imaging. He also facilitates further radiopharmacological research for potential tracers, research collaborators or commercial entities. 



Dr Nguyen studied Pharmacy and obtained a Bachelor Degree of Pharmacy at the University of South Australia (Adelaide). After graduating, he joined Faulding Pharmaceuticals (Adelaide) and specialised in sustained release antibiotics, NSAIDs and narcotic analgesics until 1991.


Since joining ANSTO, Vu has participated in various projects including cancer imaging, neuroimaging and clinical trials for radiopharmaceuticals. He has been Principal Investigator for a number of joint projects with business partners including:

  • Agen Biomedicals Ltd in the contract research project “Stability and Safety Investigations of Thromboview®, a diagnostic agent for the imaging of Pulmonary Embolism and Deep Vein Thrombosis”
  • The Wollongong University/Newcastle University in “Antagonists of Corticotropin Releasing Hormone as therapeutic agents for the prevention of premature birth in humans”.


Research Interests and Areas of Expertise

Research Infrastructure
• In vitro drug evaluation: drug characterisation, affinity, selectivity, specificity, stability and metabolism, mechamistic and functionality investigations.
• In vivo drug evaluation: drug characterisation, selectivity, specificity, stability, metabolism, toxicity, pharmacokinetics, animal model development, pathogenesis investigations.


Research Themes
• Neurosciences, neurological disorders, drug abuse and cancer.
• Radiopharmacology interface between internal ANSTO projects and between ANSTO and universities/industry to enhance the use and visibility of LifeSciences radiotracers through advanced research co-ordination and/or liaising with internal or external collaborators.


• Project management, project planning, study design and execution to meet milestones, timelines and expected outcomes.
• Radiopharmacology Interface between internal ANSTO projects; and between ANSTO and universities/industry to enhance Lifesciences radiotracers’ usage and visibility through advanced research co-ordination and/or liaising with internal or external collaborators.


Qualifications and Achievements


  • PhD. (Pharmacology) - Sydney University
  • Grad. Cert. (Radiopharmacy Practice) – Monash University/The Victorian College of Pharmacy
  • BPharm. – The University of South Australia


Professional affiliations


  • Reviewer and Editor for the quarterly J. Nucl. Med. & Mol. Imaging (Pharmacology Section)
  • Member of The Australian College of Pharmacy




Selected publications

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


Ashford, M., Ngyuyen, V. H., Greguric, I., Pham, T., Keller, P., Katsifis, A. Synthesis and in vitro evaluation of tetrahydroisoquinolines with pendent aromatics as sigma-2 (σ2) selective ligands. Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, 12, 783-794 (2014). doi: 10.1039/C3OB42254B

Verdurand, M., Dalton, V. S., Nguyen, V., Gregoire, M-C., Zahra, D., Wyatt, N., Burgess, L., Greguric, I., Zavitsanou, K. Prenatal poly I:C age-dependently alters cannabinoid type 1 receptors in offspring : a longitudinal small animal PET study using [18F]MK-9470. Experimental Neurology, 257, 162–169 (2014). doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2014.05.004

Nguyen, V. H., Pham, T., Fookes, C., Berghofer, P., Greguric, I., Arthur, A., Mattner, F., Rahardjo, G., Davis, E., Howell, N., Gregoire, M-C., Katsifis, A., Shepherd, R. Synthesis and biological characterisation of 18F-SIG343 18F-SIG353, novel and high selectivity sigma2 radiotracers, for tumour imaging properties. EJNMMI Research, 3(1), 80 (2013). doi: 10.1186/2191-219X-3-80

Nguyen VH, Wang H, Verdurand M, Zavitsanou K (2012) Differential Treatment Regimen-Related Effects of HU210 on CB1 and D2-Like Receptor Functionality in the Rat Basal Ganglia, Pharmacology 89(1-2), 64-73.

Nguyen VH, Verdurand M, Dedeurwaedere S, Wang H, Zahra D, Gregoire M-C, Zavitsanou K (2012) Increased Brain Metabolism after Acute Administration of the Synthetic Cannabinoid HU210: A Small Animal PET Imaging Study with [18F]FDG Brain Res Bull 87(2-3), 172-179.

Verdurand M, Nguyen VH, Stark D, Zahra D, Gregoire M-C, Greguric I, Zavitsanou K (2011) Comparison of cannabinoid CB1 receptor binding in adolescent and adult rats: A Positron Emission Tomography study using [18F]MK-9470, Int J Mol Imaging 2011, 1-11.

Zavitsanou K, Wang H, Dalton VS, Nguyen VH (2010) Cannabinoid administration increases 5HT1A receptor binding and mRNA in the hippocampus of adult but not adolescent rats, Neurosci 169, 315-324.

Zavitsanou K, Nguyen VH, Newell K, Ballantyne P, Huang X-F (2008) Rapid cortico-limbic alterations in AMPA receptor densities after administration of PCP: Implications for schizophrenia, J. Chem. Neuroanatomy 36, 71-76.

Pham T, Berghofer P, Liu X, Greguric I, Dikic B, Ballantyne P, Mattner F, Nguyen V, Loch C, Katsifis A (2007) Preparation and Biological Evaluation of a Novel Radioiodinated Benzyl-Piperazine, 123I-MEL037, for Malignant Melanoma, J. Nucl. Med. 48(8), 1348-1356.

Zavitsanou K, Nguyen VH, Greguric I, Chapman J, Ballantyne P, Katsifis A (2007) Detection of apoptotic cell death in the thymus of dexamethasone treated rats using [123I]Annexin V and in situ oligonucleotide ligation, J. Mol. Hist. 38, 313-319.

Zavitsanou K, Nguyen VH, Salvadori P, Smith S (2007) Radiopharmacy and Radiopharmaceuticals: 2007 Update, Q J. Nucl. Med. & Mol. Imaging 51, 3-5.


Zavitsanou K, Nguyen VH, Han M, Huang XF (2007) Effects of typical and atypical antipsychotic drugs on rat brain muscarinic receptors, Neurochem Res. 32, 525-532.


Zavitsanou K, Nguyen VH, Han M, Huang XF. (2007) Effects of typical and atypical antipsychotic drugs on rat brain muscarinic receptors. Neurochem Res 32: 525-532.

Lin HQ, Nguyen VH, Ballantyne P, Berghofer P, Chapman J, Katsifis A, Barbe C, Larkin M, Burch WM (2006) Application of a Tumour Calculation Method to Biodistribution Studies with the Mouse B16F10 Lung Metastasis Model. Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 27 Suppl 1, 215.


Lin HQ, Nguyen VH, Chapman J, Burch WM. (2001) Comparison of growth rate and 18F-FDG uptake between intradermal and subcutaneous A375 melanoma xenografts in mice. In: Hodgson WC and Loiacono RE (Eds). Proceedings of Australian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists 9, 88.

Nguyen VH, Mardon K, Kassiou M, Christie MJ (1999) In-vitro and in-vivo characterisations of [3H]ANSTO-14 binding to the sigma1 binding sites, Nucl. Med. & Biol. 26(2), 209-215.

Nguyen VH, Ingram SL, Kassiou M, Christie MJ (1998) Sigma2-Binding site ligands inhibit potassium currents in rat locus coeruleus neurons in vitro, Eur. J. Pharmacol. 361, 157-163.

Nguyen VH, Kassiou M, Johnston GAR, Christie MJ (1996) Comparison of binding parameters of sigma1 and sigma2 binding sites in rat and guinea pig brain membranes: Novel subtype-selective trishomocubanes, Eur. J. Pharmacol. 311, 233-240.

Kassiou M, Nguyen VH, Knott R, Christie MJ, Hambley TW (1996) Trishomocubanes, a new class of selective and high affinity ligands for the sigma binding sites, Biorg. Med. Chem. Letters 6(6), 595-600.