VUMC Institute of Imaging Science (VUIIS) - Radiochemistry

Overview of Services

What we can do for you
The mission of the VUIIS Research Radiochemistry Core Laboratory is to help Vanderbilt Investigators (1) develop and translate novel radiopharmaceuticals to patients, (2) non-invasively visualize and quantify molecular events in preclinical in vivo models and patients, and (3) conduct clinical trials that feature molecular imaging endpoints.

The Core Laboratory is housed within the VUMC PET center in Robinson Research Building. The laboratory consists of separate cGMP, preclinical, and research radiochemistry laboratories in contiguous space immediately adjacent to Vanderbilt’s cyclotron and Radiopharmacy. Using the GE 130 uA PETtrace, the Core can produce 18F, 11C, 68Ga, 13N, and related radionuclides on a routine basis.  In addition to cyclotron-produced isotopes, the radiochemistry core has access to SPECT isotopes and generator-produced positron emitters, including 99mTc, 111In, and 123I.

The Radiochemistry Core also operates a dedicated SPECT isotope labeling facility. This lab has been equipped with an activated charcoal filtered hood for the manipulation of iodine isotopes and has been outfitted with the latest equipment for the purification and identification of the compounds being prepared.

Radiochemistry facility housed in the VUMC PET Center capable of pre-clinical and cGMP radiotracer production (USP 823 & CFR 212).

  • GE 130 uA PETtrace – negative-ion cyclotron optimized for generating 18F, 11C, 68Ga, 13N, and related radionuclides
  • 2 Von Gahlen hot cells with CRL manipulators and three Von Gahlen "dual mini-cells" dedicated to the production of tracers for both human and animal
  • 1 Comecer hotcell with a dose dispensing system.
  • 2 Radiation Shielding hot cells with Tru-Motion manipulators dedicated to new tracer discovery and animal production
  • 2 GE Tracerlab FX-FN fluorination modules
  • 1 GE Tracerlab FX-C Pro gas phase 11C methyl iodide/methylation module
  • 1 GE Tracerlab FX2N dual-reactor automated radiosynthesis module
  • 2 GE Fastlab 2 with HPLC+ cassette radiosynthesis modules
  • 1 GE Fastlab 2, dedicated for Gallium-68 labelings
  • 1 iPhase Flexlab dual-reactor automated radiosynthesis module
  • 1 iPhase Multisyn automated cassette radiosynthesis module
  • 1 Sofie ELIXYS FLEX/CHEM customizable cassette radiosynthesis module with PURE/FORM add-on
  • 1 GE-MX Production Modules
  • Bioscan Radio-TLC scanners
  • Amercare automated dose dispenser
  • Multiple analytical and semi-prep HPLCs with radiometric, UV, and ELSD detectors
  • Agilent Gas Chromatograph equiped with an FID detector
  • Multiple Capintec dose calibrators
  • Radiochemical fume hoods dedicated to low level radiation work

The PET-Chemistry Research Lab is connected to the GE cyclotron through lead-shielded lines allowing direct delivery of [18F]fluoride, [68Ga]gallium chloride or [11C]carbon dioxide to shielded "hot cells" for production of radiotracers. 


Director: Todd Peterson, Ph.D.
For general questions or assistance:


Location and hours of operation

Hours Location
Monday - Friday, 8 am - 4 pm         

PET Center, Robinson Research Building

Links and Resources

Core Website
Policies and Procedures
Guide to Ordering

Billing Number Activation

 VUMC Investigators with VUMC center numbers:
  All VUMC billing numbers are activated in iLab via a nightly feed from Workday. Grant Worktags are auto-assigned to the PI's lab group. All other funds (Cost Centers, Gift or Program Worktags) must be claimed within the PI's Lab Group.
 VU Investigators with VU CoA or POET numbers:
  VU users will manage the VU billing numbers via the webform on the VUMC Office of Research website
 Vanderbilt Investigators with VA (Veteran Affairs) funding: 
  Contact the VUMC Office of Research at to request access to your VA funding.  All investigators with VA funding are assigned a VA billing number (999999xxxx). The VUMC Office of Research manages VA billing numbers in coordination with the VA Research Administration.