Thurecht Group

Research Focus

The Thurecht Group, led by Group Leader Professor Kristofer Thurecht, has a focus on the development of polymer and nanoparticle-based devices for nanomedicine. In particular, they are interested in the design, synthesis and preclinical evaluation of nanomaterials for molecular imaging and drug delivery.

For polymers to be truly effective in nanomedicine, they must incorporate new therapies while maintaining their physical and chemical integrity. This can only be achieved by developing a strong understanding of the fundamental properties of the nanomaterial-delivery system, in addition to identifying and successfully delivering new therapies. Central to the development of these future therapeutic platforms is the field of theranostics, where molecular imaging plays a key role in understanding the dynamics of polymeric nanomedicines.

The Group works across the boundaries of chemistry and materials, biology and imaging science to probe how nanomaterial properties affect their function in living animals.




  • Overcoming acquired immunity to nanomedicines

    Despite the remarkable ability of nanomedicines to diagnose and treat disease, activation of the immune system and the development of innate and adaptive immunity against specific subsets of nanomedicines is a significant unresolved challenge.

  • Nanomedicines for precision cancer radiotherapy

    Nanomedicine, the application of nanotechnology and biotechnology to medicine, is a rapidly expanding field of research with great promise for making meaningful changes in the way we treat many diseases including cancer.

  • Investigating linker chemistries for radiochemical ligand design

    In radiotherapeutics, a wide range of organic ligands have been designed to coordinate inorganic radioisotopes for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. These ligands are typically conjugated to a targeting moiety through a linker; an organic bridge between the ligand and the targeting moiety.

  • Biological responses to radiotherapy

    Targeted alpha-therapies (TATs) are emerging as powerful radiopharmaceutical tools for cancer treatment, allowing precise and localised dosing of highly potent radiotherapy.

Select publications:

  1. BE Rolfe, I Blakey, O Squires, H Peng, NRB Boase, C Alexander, PG Parsons, GM Boyle, AK Whittaker and KJ Thurecht. 2014, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 136 (6), 2413-2419.
  2. CB Howard, N Fletcher, ZH Houston, AV Fuchs, NRB Boase, JD Simpson, LJ Raftery, T Ruder, ML Jones, CJ de Bakker, SM Mahler and KJ Thurecht. 2016. Overcoming Instability of Antibody-Nanomaterial Conjugates: Next Generation Targeted Nanomedicines Using Bispecific Antibodies. Adv. Healthcare. Mater. 5(16), 2055-2068.
  3. M Bjornmalm, KJ Thurecht, M Michael, AM Scott and F Caruso. 2017. Bridging Bio-Nano Science and Cancer Nanomedicine. ACS Nano. 11(10), 9594-9613.
  4. AV Fuchs, BWC Tse, AK Pearce, MC Yeh, NL Fletcher, SS Huang, WD Heston, AK Whittaker, PJ Russell and KJ Thurecht. 2015, Evaluation of Polymeric Nanomedicines Targeted to PSMA:Effect of Ligand on Targeting Efficiency. 16(10), 3235-3247.


We Use and Promote New/Emerging tools in Nanomedicine

  1. Access to one of only a handful of instruments that facilitate simultaneous PET-MRI for understanding nanomedicine efficacy in animal models.
  2. Development of comparative oncology as a more informative tool for understanding nanomedicine behaviour. This includes PET-CT and MRI of companion animals diagnosed with prostate, breast and brain cancer.