The Makvandi Lab performs basic and translational research investigating radiopharmaceutical therapeutics for applications in oncology. We specialize in designing radiopharmaceuticals that emit high-linear energy transfer (high-LET) radiation; a highly cytotoxic form of radiation that travels distances from 10 nm - 50 ┬Ám. We aim to redefine the field of high-LET radiobiology by answering the following questions.

  • What determines molecular interactions with high-LET radiation?
  • What are the therapeutic limitations of high-LET radiation when targeted to sub-cellular compartments?
  • What are the genetic, epigenetic, and biological properties that determine response to high-LET radiation?
  • How can we develop radiopharmaceuticals to be safe and curative? 


  • Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Annual Meeting 2020 Monday, July 13, 2020

    Congratulations to Paul Martorano (MS candidate Penn Biological Chemistry), Adam Mansfield (MS Pharmacology), and Hannah Dabagian (MS) for getting abstracts accepted to the 2020 SNMMI annual meeting!  

    Paul Martorano, Oral Presentation - Dry distillation of astatine-211 by electromagnetic induction

    Adam Mansfield, Oral Presentation - On-target toxicities from [211At]MM4 shows a quick recovery timeline

    Hannah Dabagian, Poster PresentationExploring alpha-particle therapy in combination with immune anti-PD1 in an immunocompetent model of glioblastoma "3rd place for best poster in oncology basic and translational science" 

  • McCabe Award Monday, June 22, 2020

    Mehran Makvandi has been awarded the McCabe Scholar Award for developing synthetic systems for drug discovery - "Screening the Human Proteome for Novel Drug Targets for Alpha-Particle Therapy" 

  • "Astatine is a chemistry puzzle that shows anticancer promise" C&E news Wednesday, August 26, 2020
    Mehran was featured in an article on astatine-211 radiopharmaceutical therapy in Chemistry and Engineering News Magazine. This article including top researchers around the world and Mehran represented Penn's astatine-211 program.