Dr Graham Smith trained as a synthetic organic chemist, receiving a PhD from the University of Surrey. Subsequent to this he carried out postdoctoral research at Newcastle University with Dr Mike Carroll, working on the synthesis and evaluation of diaryliodonium salts for use in Positron Emission Tomography (PET) radiochemistry. From there he moved to Imperial College's Faculty of Medicine to work on the development of new PET imaging agents for use in cancer (with Professor Eric Aboagye).
A collaboration at Hammersmith Hospital saw Dr Smith work with scientists from GE Healthcare on a CRUK-EPSRC-MRC funded project. This research resulted in the selection, validation and clinical translation of a caspase-3 targeted PET probe ([18F]-ICMT-11). A separate project evaluated metabolically stable choline derivatives with a lead candidate ([18F]-D4-choline) advancing to clinical trial.
In 2011 Dr Smith accepted a position as Lecturer in Molecular Imaging at the University of Hull where he helped to establish a new PET research facility. In 2013 he moved to the Institute of Cancer Research to lead radiochemistry development within the Division of Radiotherapy and Imaging. In addition, Dr Smith has responsibility for the radiochemistry component of the Cancer Research UK Imaging Centre Grant.
Research in the PET Radiochemistry team is primarily concerned with the development of new imaging agents (small-molecule or biomolecule based) to quantify response to therapy, innate/acquired resistance to therapy, and tumour metabolism. Further research is focused on the clinical translation and application of PET radiotracers in collaboration with Nuclear Medicine clinicians from The Royal Marsden.