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Training course

Sharing radiochemistry expertise with an IAEA training course

Twenty-four participants from Asia and the Pacific travelled to ANSTO for an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)  Regional Training Course on ‘Production and preclinical evaluation of emerging cyclotron-based radiopharmaceuticals’ at ANSTO Lucas Heights from 16-20 October 2023.  

The training falls within the Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology for Asia and the Pacific. It is part of a four-year regional technical cooperation project that aims to strengthen human capacity and capability to produce qualified cyclotron-based radiopharmaceuticals.  

Dr Tien Pham, Course Convenor and Operations Manager for Biosciences at ANSTO said that the program was very well received, and the participants gained both theoretical and practical knowledge for advancing radiopharmaceuticals. 

IAEA training group activity
Participants collaborate on a group exercise

Participants from the region represented Bangladesh, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. A range of professionals in the cancer care field, including a radio pharmacist, nuclear medicine physician, lab technologists, and cyclotron operator, were represented. 

A large number of ANSTO staff contributed to the success of the course, as well as other Australian experts in the field of radiopharmaceuticals  

Ms Natascha Spark, Regional Cooperative Agreement Chair, IAEA and Head of International at ANSTO, delivered opening remarks at Lucas Heights. 

She emphasised that the course was in the spirit of the IAEA’s commitment to improving the health of people in our region using nuclear techniques and in line with the IAEA’s flagship initiative, Rays of Hope. 

Course participants shared country reports prior to the technical presentations, demonstrating the depth and breadth of expertise and the region’s commitment to the treatment of patients using nuclear medicine. 

As well as an overview of ANSTO capabilities, ANSTO scientists presented on topics including all aspects of preclinical radiochemistry.  


Site visits included a tour of ANSTO facilities, Cyclotek, where PET radiopharmaceuticals are produced at Lucas Heights, and a trip to Royal North Shore Hospital.  


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