Frank Wuest Research Group

The Dianne and Irving Kipnes Chair in Radiopharmaceutical Sciences


Oncologic Imaging, Department of Oncology, University of Alberta

Cross Cancer Institute
11560 University Avenue
Edmonton, AB T6G 1Z2
Tel: 780.989.8150780.989.8150

Full Professor, Oncologic Imaging, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta

Dr. Frank Wuest studied chemistry at Technical University of Merseburg and Dresden University of Technology in Germany. He obtained his PhD in the field of radiopharmaceutical sciences in 1999. After his PhD, he did a post-doc with Dr. Michael Welch at the School of Medicine in St. Louis where he dealt with radiolabeled fatty acids for cardiac research. After his return to Germany in 2001, Dr. Frank Wuest became head of the PET Tracer Division of the Research Centre Dresden-Rossendorf. From 2001-2006 he was also head of the junior research group “Radiopharmceutical Chemistry” of the Research Centre Dresden-Rossendorf. Frank Wuest accomplished his habilitation thesis in biochemistry at Dresden University of Technology in 2006, where he also obtained the venia legendi for biochemistry. In 2008 he started as the Dianne and Irving Kipnes Chair in Radiopharmaceutical Sciences in the Department of Oncology at the University of Alberta. He was member of the local and international scientific committee for the organisation of the 18th ISRS meeting in Edmonton in 2009.

Dr. Wuest’s research interests are embedded in the multidisciplinary field of translational cancer research with special focus on the design, synthesis and radiopharmacological characterization of novel radiopharmaceuticals to optimize current diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Research activities are aimed at the evaluation and translation of the diagnostic and therapeutic potential of novel molecular targets and specific biochemical signatures associated with the development and progression of cancer. This especially involves the use of PET radiopharmaceuticals and pre-clinical small animal PET imaging for non-invasive assessment of cancer-related metabolic pathways and biochemical processes at the cellular and molecular level. Current research activities include (1) the design, synthesis and characterization of novel molecular probes for targeting cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and neuropeptide receptors in cancer, (2) the assessment and characterization of novel molecular targets for translational cancer research like GLUT5 and (3) the application of novel technologies for molecular imaging and therapy of cancer.

Relevant Publications

Perreault, J. Knight, M. Wang, J. Way, F. Wuest. 18F-Labeled wild-type annexin V: Comparison of random and site-selective labeling approaches. Amino Acids. In Press.

Yang, S. Richter, F. Wuest, M. R. Doschak. Synthesis and Structural Identification of Fluorine-18 Labelled Parathyroid Hormone. J. Label. Compds. Radiopharm. In Press.

J. Al-Hourani, M. I. El-Barghouthi, R. McDonald, W. Al-Awaida, F. Wuest. Docking studies and the crystal structure of two tetrazole derivatives: 5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-{4-(methylsulfonyl)phenyl}-1H-tetrazole and 4-{5-(4-methoxyphenyl)-1H-tetrazol-1-yl}benzene-sulfonamide. J. Mol. Struct. 2015, 1101, 21-27.

Kaur, O. Tietz, A. Bhardwaj, A. Marshall, J. Way, M. Wuest, F. Wuest. Design, synthesis and evaluation of a 18F-labelled radiotracers based on Celecoxib-NBD for PET imaging of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). ChemMedChem. 2015, 10, 1635-40.

J. Al-Hourani, R. McDonald, M. I. El-Barghouthi, W. Al-Awaida, S. Sharma, F. Wuest. Molecular Docking Studies and X-ray Structure Determination of 1-{4-(Methylsulfonyl)phenyl}-5-phenyl-1H-tetrazole. Jordan J. Chem. 2015, 10, 34-40.

Wuest, A. Perrault, J. Kapty, S. Richter, C. Foerster, C. Bergman, J. Way, J. Mercer, F. Wuest. Radiopharmacological evaluation of 18F-labeled phosphatidylserine-binding peptides for molecular imaging of apoptosis. Nucl. Med. Biol. 2015, 42, 864-74.

Olivier-Mohamad Soueidan, B. J. Trayner, J. R. Henderson, T. N. Grant, F. Wuest, F. G. West, C. I. Cheeseman. New fluorinated fructose analogs as probes for the hexose transporter protein GLUT5. Org. Biomol. Chem. 2015, 13, 6511-6521.

Wuest, M. Kuchar, S. Sharma, S. Richter, M. Wang, L. Vos, J. R. Mackey, F. Wuest, R. Loeser. Targeting lysyloxidase for molecular imaging in breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res. 2015, 17,107.

Laube, C. Gassner, S. Sharma, R. Günther, A. Pigorsch, M. Köckerling, F. Wuest, J. Pietzsch, T. Kniess. Diaryl-substituted (dihydro)pyrrolo[3,2,1-hi]indoles, a new class of COX-2 inhibitors – Synthesis, COX inhibition potency and structure affinity determination. J. Org. Chem. 2015, 80, 5611-5624.

Tietz, M. Wuest, A. Marshall, M. Wang, C. Bergman, J. Way, F. Wuest. PET imaging of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in a colon cancer model. J. Nucl. Med. Submitted.

D. Way, C. Bergman, F. Wuest. Sonogashira cross-coupling reaction with 4-[18F]fluoro-iodobenzene for 18F-labelling of peptides. Chem. Commun. 2015, 51, 3838-3841.

Richter, M. Wuest, C. N. Bergman, J. D. Way, Stephanie Krieger, B. E. Rogers, F. Wuest. Re-routing the metabolic pathway of 18F-labelled peptides: The influence of prosthetic groups. Bioconjugate Chem. 2015, 26, 201-212.

Baker J. Al-Hourani, S. Sharma, J. Kaur, F. Wuest. Synthesis, bioassay studies, and molecular docking of novel 5-substituted 1H-tetrazoles as cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors. Med. Chem. Res. 2015, 24, 78–85.

Laube, C. Tondera, S. Sharma, N. Bechmann, F.-J. Pietzsch, A. Pigorsch, M. Köckerling, F. Wuest, J. Pietzsch, T. Kniess. COX-2 Inhibitors based on 2,3-Diaryl-substituted Indoles – Synthesis, Inhibitory Activity and SAR Studies. RSC Adv. 2014, 4, 38726-38742.

Foerster, J. C. Knight, M. Wuest, B. Rowan, S. E. Lapi, A. J. Amoroso, P. G. Edwards, F. Wuest. Synthesis, complex stability and small animal PET imaging of a novel 64Cu-labelled cryptand molecule. Med. Chem. Commun. 2014, 5, 958–962.

Richter, F. Wuest. 18F-labeled peptides: The future is bright. Molecules. 2014, 19, 20536-20556.

Sharma, M. Wuest, M. Wang, D. Glubrecht, S. E. Lapi, F. Wuest. Immuno-PET of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer: Harnessing the potential of CA125 for non-invasive imaging. EJNMMI Res. 2014, 4, 60.

Sharma, M. R. Suresh, F. Wuest. Improved soluble expression of a single-chain antibody fragment in E. coli for targeting CA125 in epithelial ovarian cancer. Protein Expr. Purif. 2014, 102, 27-37.

D. Way, M. Wang, M. Wuest, F. Wuest. Synthesis and evaluation of 2-amino-5-(4-[18F]fluorophenyl)pent-4-ynoic acid ([18F]FPhPA): A novel 18F-labeled amino acid for oncologic PET imaging. Nucl. Med. Biol. 2014, 41, 660-669.

J. D. Way, F. Wuest. Automated radiosynthesis of no-carrier added 4-[18F]fluoroiodobenzene: A versatile building block in 18F radiochemistry. J. Label. Compds. Radiopharm. In Press.

A. Bhardwaj, J. Kaur, F. Wuest, E. E. Knaus. Fluorophore-labeled Cyclooxygenase-2 Inhibitors for the Imaging of Cyclooxygenase-2 Overexpression in Cancer: Synthesis and Biological Studies. ChemMedChem. In Press.

O. Tietz, S. Sharma, J. Kaur, J. Way, F. Wuest. Synthesis of three novel 18F-labelled cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors based on a pyrimidine scaffold. Org. Biomol. Chem. 2013, 11, 8052–8064.

 V. R. Bouvet, F. Wuest. Application of [18F]FDG in radiolabeling reactions using microfluidic technology. Lab Chip. 2013, 13, 4290-4294.

 O. Tietz, A. Marshall, M. Wuest, M. Wang, F. Wuest. Radiotracers for molecular imaging of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme. Curr. Med. Chem. 2013, 20, 4350-4369.

J. C. Knight, S. Richter, M. Wuest, J. D. Way, F. Wuest. Synthesis and Evaluation of an 18F-Labelled Norbornene Derivative for Rapid, Copper-Free Click Chemistry Reactions. Org. Biomol. Chem. 2013, 11, 3817-3825.

J. C. Knight, M. Wuest, F. A. Saad, M. Wang, D. W. Chapman, H.-S. Jans, S. E. Lapi, B. M. Kariuki, A. J. Amoroso, F. Wuest. Synthesis, characterisation and evaluation of a novel copper-64 complex with uptake on EMT-6 cells under hypoxic conditions. Dalton Transactions. 2013, 42, 12005-12014.

J. Kaur, A. Bhardwaj, S. Sharma, F. Wuest. 1,4-Diaryl-substituted triazoles as cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors: Synthesis, biological evaluation and molecular modeling studies. Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2013, 21, 4288–4295.

S. Richter, M. Wuest, S. S. Krieger, B. E. Rogers, M. Friebe, R. Bergmann, F. Wuest. Synthesis and radiopharmacological evaluation of a high affinity and metabolically stabilized 18F-labelled bombesin analogue for molecular imaging of GRP receptor-expressing prostate cancer. Nucl. Med. Biol. 2013, 40, 1025-1034.

J. Way, F. Wuest. Fully automated synthesis of 4-[18F]fluorobenzylamine based on boro-hydride/NiCl2 reduction. Nucl. Med. Biol. 2013, 40, 430-436.

T. Ramenda, J. Steinbach, F. Wuest. 4-[18F]Fluoro-N-methyl-N-(propyl-2-yn-1-yl)benzene-sulfonamide ([18F]F-SA): A versatile building block for labeling of peptides, proteins and oligonucleotides with fluorine-18 via Cu(I)-mediated click chemistry. Amino Acids. 2013, 44, 1167-1180.

T. N. Grant, O. M. Soueidana, V. R. Bouvet, J. Mercer, C. I. Cheeseman, F. Wuest, F. G. West. Automated Synthesis of 6-Deoxy-6-[18F]fluoro-D-fructose. Appl. Radiat. Isot. Submitted.

A. Bhardwaj, J. Kaur, S. Sharma, Z. Huang, F. Wuest, E. E. Knaus. Hybrid Fluorescent Conjugates of COX-2 Inhibitors: Search for a COX-2 Isoenzyme Imaging Cancer Biomarker. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2013, 23, 163-168.

M. Wuest, F. Wuest. PET radiotracers for hypoxia imaging. J. Label Compds. Radiopharm. 2013, 56, 244-250.

J. Way, V. Bouvet, F. Wuest. Application of palladium-mediated cross-coupling reactions for the synthesis of 18F-labeled compounds. Curr. Org. Chem. 2013, 17, 2138-2152.

S. Richter, V. Bouvet, M. Wuest, R. Bergmann, J. Steinbach, J. Pietzsch, I. Neundorf, F. Wuest. 18F-Labeled phosphopeptide-cell-penetrating peptide dimers with enhanced cell uptake properties in human cancer cells. Nucl. Med. Biol. 2012, 39, 1202-1212.

J. C. Knight, F. Wuest. Nuclear (PET/SPECT) and optical imaging probes targeting the CXCR4 chemokine receptor. Med. Chem. Commun. 2012, 3, 1039-1053.

F. Wuest, V. Bouvet, BaoChan Mai, P. LaPointe. Fluorine- and rhenium-containing geldanamycin derivatives as leads for the development of molecular probes for imaging Hsp90. Org. Biomol. Chem. 2012, 10, 6724-6731.

T. Kniess, M. Laube, R. Bergmann, F. Graf, J. Steinbach, F. Wuest, J. Pietzsch. Radiosynthesis of a 18F-labeled 2,3-diarylsubstituted indole via McMurry coupling for functional characterization of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in vitro and in vivo. Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2012, 20, 3410-3421.

S. Sharma, B. Jawabrah Al-Hourani, M. Wuest, J. Y. Mane, J. Tuszynski, V. Baracos, M. Suresh, F. Wuest. Synthesis and evaluation of fluorobenzoylated di- and tripeptides as inhibitors of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2012, 20, 2221-2226.

B. J. Al-Hourani, S. Sharma, M. Suresh, F. Wuest. Novel 5-Substituted 1H-tetrazoles as cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2012, 22, 2235-2238.

V. Bouvet, M. Wuest, P.-H. Tam, M. Wang, F. Wuest. Microfluidic technology: An economical and versatile approach for the synthesis of O-(2-[18F]fluoroethyl)-L-tyrosine. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2012, 22, 2291-2295.

A. DeSilva, M. Wuest, M. Wang, J. Hummel, K. Mossman, F. Wuest, M. M. Hitt. Comparative functional evaluation of immunocompetent mouse breast cancer models established from PyMT-tumors using small animal PET with [18F]FDG and [18F]FLT. Am. J. Nucl. Med. Mol. Imaging. 2012, 2, 88-98.

F. Svensson, T. Kniess, R. Bergmann, J. Pietzsch, F. Wuest. Synthesis of a 18F-labeled cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK-2) inhibitor for positron emission tomography (PET). J. Label Compds. Radiopharm. 2011, 54, 769–774.

F. Graf, F. WuestAllan GM, J. Pietzsch. Cyclin-Dependent Kinases (Cdk) as Targets for Cancer Therapy and Imaging. Advances in Cancer Therapy, Hala Gali-Muhtasib (Ed). 2011, 265-288.

V. Bouvet, M. Wuest, F. Wuest. Copper-free click chemistry with the short-lived positron emitter fluorine-18. Org. Biomol. Chem. 2011, 9, 7393-7399.

B. J. Al-Hourani, S. Sharma, M. Suresh, F. Wuest. COX-2 inhibitors: A literature and patent review (2009-2010). Expert Opin. Ther. Patents. 2011, 9, 1339-1432.

S. Richter, I. Neundorf, K. Loebner, M. Graeber, T. Berg, R. Bergmann, J. Steinbach, J. Pietzsch, F. Wuest. Phosphopeptides with improved cellular uptake properties as ligands for the polo-box domain of polo-like kinase 1. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2011, 21, 4686-4689.

J. Kapty, T. Kniess, F. Wuest, J. Mercer. Radiolabelling of phosphatidylserine-binding peptides with prosthetic groups N-[6-(4-[18F]fluorobenzylidene)aminooxyhexyl]maleimide ([18F]FBAM) and N-succinimidyl-4-[18F]fluorobenzoate ([18F]SFB). Appl. Radiat. Isotop. 2011, 69, 1218-1225.

P. Grosse-Gehling, F. Wuest, C. Mamat. 1-(3-[18F]Fluoropropyl)-4-(4-nitrophenyl)piperazine as a model compound for the radiofluorination of pyrido[2,3-d]pyrimidines. Radiochim. Acta. 2011, 99, 365-373.

K. Gagnon, S. McQuarrie, D. Abrams, A. J. McEwan, F. Wuest. Radiotracers based on technetium-94m. Current Radiopharm. 2011, 4, 90-101.

M. Wuest, B. J. Trayner, T. N. Grant, H.-S. Jans, J. Mercer, D. Murray, F. G. West, A. J. McEwan, F. Wuest, C. I. Cheeseman. Radiopharmacological evaluation of 6-deoxy-6-[18F]fluoro-D-fructose as a radiotracer for PET imaging of GLUT5 in breast cancer. Nucl. Med. Biol. 2011, 38, 461-475.

B. J. Al-Hourani, S. Sharma, J. Y. Mane, J. Tuszynski, V. Baracos, T. Kniess, M. Suresh, J. Pietzsch, F. Wuest. Synthesis and evaluation of 1,5-diaryl-substituted tetrazoles as novel selective cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2011, 21, 1823-1826.

V. R. Bouvet, M. Wuest, L. I. Wiebe, F. Wuest. Synthesis of hypoxia imaging agent 1-(5-deoxy-5-fluoro-a-D-arabinofuranosyl)-2-nitroimidazole [18F]FAZA using microfluidic technology. Nucl. Med. Biol. 2011, 38, 335-345.

M. Pretze, F. Wuest, T. Peppel, M. Köckerling, C Mamat. The Traceless Staudinger Ligation with Fluorine-18: A Novel and Versatile Labeling Technique for the Synthesis of Radiotracers for Positron Emission Tomography (PET). Tetrahedron Lett. 2010, 51, 6410-6414.

I. Koslowsky, J. Mercer, F. Wuest. Synthesis and application of 4-[18F]fluorobenzylamine: A versatile building block for the preparation of PET radiotracers. Org. Biomol. Chem. 2010, 8, 4730–4735.

F. Graf, B. Mosch, L. Koehler, R. Bergmann, F. Wuest, J. Pietzsch. Cdk4/6 inhibitors: perspectives in cancer therapy and imaging. Mini Rev. Med. Chem. 2010, 10, 527-539.

S. Richter, T. Ramenda, R. Bergmann, T. Kniess, J. Steinbach, J. Pietzsch, F. Wuest. Synthesis and evaluation of phosphopeptide-neurotensin(8-13) dimers via click chemistry. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2010, 20, 3306-3309.

L. Koehler, K. Gagnon, S. McQuarrie, F. Wuest. Iodine-124: A promising iodine radioisotope for positron emission tomography (PET). Molecules. 2010, 15, 2686-2718.

L. Koehler, F. Graf, R. Bergmann, J. Steinbach, J. Pietzsch, F. Wuest. Synthesis and radiopharmacological evaluation of 124I-labeled CDK4 inhibitors. Eur. J. Med. Chem. 2010, 45, 727-737.

F. Graf, L. Koehler, T. Kniess, F. Wuest, B. Mosch, J. Pietzsch. Cell cycle regulating kinase Cdk4 as a potential target for tumor cell treatment and tumor imaging. J. Oncol. 2009, 106378, 1-12.

T. Ramenda, T. Kniess, R. Bergmann, J. Steinbach, F. Wuest. Radiolabelling of proteins with fluorine-18 via click chemistry. Chem. Comm. 2009, 48, 7521-7523.

S. Richter, R. Bergmann, J. Pietzsch, T. Ramenda, J. Steinbach, F. Wuest. Fluorine-18 labeling of phosphopeptides: A potential approach for the evaluation of phosphopeptide metabolism in vivo. Biopolymers. 2009, 92, 479-488.

T. Kniess, R. Bergmann, M. Kuchar, F. Wuest. Synthesis of a potential tyrosine kinase inhibitor by Knoevenagel condensation of oxindole with 4-[18F]fluorobenzaldehyde. Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2009, 17, 7732-7742.

C. Mamat, A. Flemming, M. Köckerling, J. Steinbach, F. Wuest. Pd-catalyzed cross coupling of selected iodophenyl esters with HPPh2 for the synthesis of benzoate-functionalized phosphanes as novel building blocks for the traceless Staudinger Ligation. Synthesis. 2009, 19, 3311-3321.

F. Wuest, C. Hultsch, M. Berndt, R. Bergmann. Direct labelling of peptides with 2-[18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose ([18F]FDG). Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2009, 19, 5426-5428.

E. von Guggenberg, J. Sader, J. Wilson, S. Shahhosseini, I. Koslowsky, F. Wuest, J. Mercer. Automated synthesis of an 18F-labelled pyridine-based alkylating agent for high yield oligonucleotide conjugation. Appl. Radiat. Isotop. 2009, 67, 1670-1675.

J. Pietzsch, F. Wuest. Fluorine-18 radiolabelling of native and oxidized proteins: An important tool in the pathophysiologists’ toolbox. Chemistry Today. 2009, 27, 12-14.

C. Mamat, T. Ramenda, F. Wuest. Application of click chemistry for the synthesis of radiotracers for molecular imaging. Mini Rev. Org. Chem. 2009, 6, 21-34.

F. Wuest, L. Vogler, M. Berndt, J. Pietzsch. Systematic Comparison of Two Novel Thiol-Reactive Prosthetic Groups for 18F Labeling of Peptides and Proteins with the Acylation Agent Succinimidyl-4-[18F]fluorobenzoate [18F]SFB. Amino Acids. 2009, 36, 283-295.

F. Wuest, L. Tang, T. Kniess, J. Pietzsch, M. Suresh. Synthesis and cyclooxygenase inhibition of various (aryl-1,2,3-triazole-1-yl)methanesulfonyl derivatives. Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2009, 17, 1146-1151.

F. Wuest, T. Kniess, B. Henry, B. W. Reeters, P. H. Wiegerinck, J. Pietzsch, R. Bergmann. Radiosynthesis and radiopharmacological evaluation of [N-methyl-11C]ORG 34850 as a glucocorticoid receptor ligand. Appl. Radiat. Isotop. 2009, 67, 308-312.


Oncologic Imaging, Department of Oncology, University of Alberta

Cross Cancer Institute
11560 University Avenue
Edmonton, AB T6G 1Z2
Tel: 780.989.8150780.989.8150

Team Members

Alison Marshall
Amanda Perraul
Christian Foerster, PhD
Cody Bergman
James Knight, PhD
Jenilee Way
Melinda Wuest, PhD
Monica Wang
Ole Tiletz
Sai Kiran Sharma
Susan Richer, PhD
Vincent Bouvet, PhD