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Alan Perkins

Professor of Medical Physics, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences



Prof Perkins has has worked in Medical Physics and Radiological Sciences at the University of Nottingham and Nottingham University Hospitals for over 30 years, specialising in medical imaging and medical radiation physics.

He has extensive experience of nuclear medicine techniques and has used gamma scintigraphy to study drug delivery in patients and healthy normal subjects. His work in gastrointestinal motility and a series of published studies examining the oesophageal transit of oral dose formulations has led to the development of tablets and capsules with reduced problems for swallowing. He was called to serve as an expert witness on a US litigation concerning the swallowing of oral dose forms in 2015.

His long standing use of nuclear probes for intra-operative work has led to involvement in the development of a high resolution hybrid imager for surgical and bedside applications. In collaboration with professor John Lees at the Space Research Centre at The University of Leicester he is working on novel hybrid imaging systems for intra-operative applications. He was a founder of Gamma Technologies Ltd. a joint spin-out company from the Universities of Leicester and Nottingham. This technology is currently licensed out to Serac Imaging Systems who are developing a high resolution hybrid imaging system.

Preveious collaborations between Prof Perkins group in radiological Sciences, Medical Physics & Clinical Engineering and clinical groups in at Nottingham University Hospitals have resulted in the detailed study of the use of targeted radionuclide therapies. A series of experimental and clinical studies have been carried out for the targeted treatment of cancer including a novel method of targeted radiotherapy for bladder cancer that is administered directly into the bladder using a simple urinary catheter. Previous work with monoclonal antibodies led to collaborations with the Group at St George's Hospital in Sydney, Australia where the Nottingham C595 antibody has been developed as a vector for the delivery of more potent alpha emitting radionuclides with high linear energy transfer with the aim of improving the effectiveness of targeted molecular radiotherapy.

In collaboration with the Department of Chemistry at the Open University Prof Perkins carried out some of the first in vivo imaging studies of radiolabelled aptamer complexes with the potential offer reduced immunogenicity and excellent tumour penetration. The use of aptamers as much smaller targeting agents offers several advantages. These molecules penetrate tumour much faster than whole antibodies, reach peak levels in the tumour earlier, and clear from the body faster, thereby reducing toxicity to healthy tissues. In addition, use of aptamers is expected to overcome the frequently encountered human anti-mouse antibody response as they are non-immunogenic, and their rapid uptake and faster clearance makes them extremely promising vehicles for cytotoxic and imaging agents to be delivered to tumour .

Prof Perkins directs the Nottingham university pre-clinical imaging facility SPOT and is currently collaborating in work in the assessment of pulmonary fibrosis, infection and the study of brown adipose tissue.

He is a past Vice President of the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine and past President of the British Nuclear Medicine Society and editor of the British journal, Nuclear Medicine Communications. He currently a Governor and Chair of the Research Strategy Board of Coeliac UK.

Selected Publications

Williams AJ, Jordan F, King G, Lewis AL, Illum L, Masud T, Perkins AC, Pearson RG. In vitro and preclinical assessment of an intranasal spray formulation of parathyroid hormone PTH 1-34 for the treatment of osteoporosis. Int J Pharm. 2018;535:113-119. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2017.10.029

Parker HL, Tucker E, Blackshaw E, Hoad CL, Marciani L, Perkins A, Menne D, Fox M. Clinical assessment of gastric emptying and sensory function utilizing gamma scintigraphy: Establishment of reference intervals for the liquid and solid components of the Nottingham test meal in healthy subjects. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2017;29(11). doi: 10.1111/nmo.13122

Aik Hao Ng, Patricia E. Blackshaw, Mohammed S. Alqahtani, Layal K. Jambi, Sarah L. Bugby, John E. Lees, Alan C. Perkins. A novel compact small field of view hybrid gamma camera: First clinical results. NuclMed Commun 2017 Sep;38(9):729-736. doi: 10.1097/MNM.0000000000000715

Lewis JE, Samms RJ, Cooper S, Luckett JC, Perkins AC, Dunbar JD, Smith DP, Emmerson PJ, Adams AC, Ebling FJP, Tsintzas K. Antibody-Mediated Targeting of the FGFR1c Isoform Increases Glucose Uptake in White and Brown Adipose Tissue in Male Mice. Endocrinology. 2017;158(10):3090-3096. doi: 10.1210/en.2017-00591

Alqahtani MS, Lees JE, Bugby SL, Jambi LK Perkins AC. Quantitative investigation of a novel small field of view hybrid gamma camera (HGC) capability for sentinel lymph node detection. Br J Radiol 2016; 89: 20160435.

Bugby SL, Lees JE, Ng AH, Alqahtani MS, Perkins AC. Investigation of an SFOV hybrid gamma camera for thyroid imaging Phys Med. 2016;32:290-6.

Parker H, Tucker E, Hoad CL , Pal A, Costigan C, Hudders N, Perkins AC, Blackshaw PE, Gowland P, Marciani L, Fox M. Development and validation of a large, modular test meal with liquid and solidcomponents for assessment of gastric motor and sensory function by non -invasive imaging. Neurogastroenterology and Motility. 2016;28:554-68.

Manca G, Vanzi E, Rubello D, Giammarile F, Grassetto G, Wong KK, Perkins AC, Colletti PM, Volterrani D. (18)F-FDG PET/CT quantification in head and neck squamous cell cancer: principles, technical issues and clinical applications. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2016;43:1360-75.

Hashikin NA, Yeong CH, Abdullah BJ, Ng KH, Chung LY, Dahalan R, Perkins AC. Neutron Activated Samarium-153 Microparticles for Transarterial Radioembolization of Liver Tumour with Post-Procedure Imaging Capabilities. PLoS One. 2015 Sep 18;10(9):e0138106.

Turton DR, Betts HM, Dutton D, Perkins AC. Automated Radiosynthesis of GMP Quality [18 F]HX4 for PET Imaging of Hypoxia. Nuclear Medicine and Biology.

Yeong C-H, Ng K-H, Abdullah BJJ, Chung L-Y, Go K-L, Perkins AC. Internal radiation dosimetry of orally administered radiotracers for the assessment of gastrointestinal motility. Appl Radiat Isot. 2014;23:216-220.

Lees JE, Bugby SL, Bhatia BS, Jambi LK, Alqhtani MS, McKnight WR, Ng AH, Perkins AC. A Small Field of View Camera for Hybrid Gamma and Optical Imaging. JInst 2014 9 C12020 doi:10.1088/1748-0221/9/12/C12020

Bhatia BS, Bugby SL, Lees JE, Perkins AC. A scheme for assessing the performance characteristics of small field of view gamma cameras. Eur J Medical Physics. Phys Med. 2015;31:98-103.

Grassetto G, Marzola MC, Musto A, Vinjamury S, Colletti PM, Perkins AC, Rubello D. Non-Alzheimer types of neurodegenerative dementia: clinical and 18F-FDG-PET/CT pictures. Nucl Med Commun 2014;35:1085-1092.

A Survey of the Clinical Use of SeHCAT in the UK. Smith MJ and Perkins AC. Nuclear Medicine Communications. Nuclear Medicine Communications. 2013; 34:306-313.

Perkins AC, Mshelia DS, Symonds ME, Sathekge M. Prevalence and pattern of brown adipose tissue distribution of 18F-FDG in patients undergoing PET-CT in a subtropical climate. Nucl Med Commun. 2013;34:168-74.

Da Pieve C, Blackshaw E, Missailidis S, Perkins AC. PEGylation and biodistribution of an anti-MUC1 aptamer in MCF-7 tumour bearing mice. Bioconjug Chem. 2012 Jul 18;23(7):1377-81

Thermal Imaging to Assess Age-Related Changes of Skin Temperature within the Supraclavicular Region Co-locating with Brown Adipose Tissue in Healthy Children. Symonds EM, Henderson K, Elvidge L, Bosman C, Sharkey D, Perkins AC, and Budge H. J Pediatr 2012; 161, 892-898.

Lees JE, Bassford DJ, Blake OE, Blackshaw PE and Perkins AC. A Hybrid Camera for simultaneous imaging of gamma and optical photons. J Instrumentation. 2012 doi:10.1088/1748-0221/7/06/P06009 IF 1.86

Yeong CH, Abdullah BJ, Ng KH, Chung LY, Goh KL, Sarji SA, Perkins AC. Production and first use of 153SmCl3-ionexchange resin capsule formulation for assessing gastrointestinal motility. Appl Radiat Isot. 2012:70;450-455. IF 1.17

Morris P, Perkins A. Diagnostic Imaging. Lancet. 2012;379(9825):1525-33.

Yeong CH, Abdullah BJ, Ng KH, Chung LY, Goh KL, Sarji SA, Perkins AC. Production and first use of 153SmCl3-ionexchange resin capsule formulation for assessing gastrointestinal motility. Appl Radiat Isot. 2011. Dec 3.

Yeong CH, Abdullah BJ, Ng KH, Chung LY, Goh KL, Sarji SA, Perkins AC. Neutron activated 153Sm-ion-exchange resin as a tracer for gastrointestinal scintigraphy. Nucl Med Commun. 2011;32:1256-60

Wang L, Chen H, Pourgholami MH, Beretov J, Hao J, Chao H, Perkins AC, Kearsley JH, Li Y. Anti-MUC1 Monoclonal Antibody (C595) and Docetaxel Markedly Reduce Tumor Burden and Ascites, and Prolong Survival in an in vivo Ovarian Cancer Model. PLoS One. 2011;6:e24405.

Yeong CH, Blackshaw PE, Ng KH, Abdullah BJJ, Blaauw M, Dansereau RJ, Perkins AC Reproducibility of neutron activated Sm-153 oral dose formulations intended for human administration. Applied Radiation and Isotopes 2011;69:1181-1184.

Marciani L, Wright J, Foley S, Heoad CL, Totman JJ, Bushi D, Hartley C, Armstrong A, Manby P, Blackshaw PE, Perkins AC, Gowland PA, Spiller RC. Effects of a 5-HT3 antagonist on fasting and postprandial small bowel water content assessed by magnetic resonance imaging. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 2010; 32:655-63.

Perkins AC. Radioinactivity: nuclear medicine and molybdenum supplies. Hospital Imaging and Radiology Europe 2010;5:32-34.

Au-Yong IT, Thorn N, Ganatra R, Perkins AC, Symonds ME. Brown adipose tissue and seasonal variation in humans. Diabetes. 2009;58:2583-7.

Da Pieve C, Perkins AC, Missailidis S. Anti-MUC1 aptamers: Radiolabelling with 99mTc and biodistribution in MCF7 tumour bearing mice. Nucl Med Biol. 2009;36:703-10.

Perkins AC and Vivian G. Molybdenum Supplies and Nuclear Medicine Services. Nucl Med Commun. 2009;30:657-659.

Dansereau RJ, Crail DJ and Perkins AC. In Vitro Disintegration Studies of Weekly Copy Alendronic Acid Tablets (70 mg) Available in the United States. Current Medical Research and Opinion 2009;25:449-452.

Expertise Summary

Prof Perkins has extensive experience in clinical nuclear medicine and the biological use of radioactive tracers for imaging, drug delivery and targeted therapy.

He has extensive experience in both diagnostic and therapeutic nuclear medicine working in radiopharmacy, instrumentation, and pre-cilinical and clinical imaging. He has undertaken detailed studies of drug delivery and investigation of gastrointestinal motility and the gastrointestinal transit of orally administered drug formulations. His work has included studies of the swallowing of tablets and capsules with particular emphasis on drugs used in the treatment of osteoporosis. As a result of his publications he was invited to serve as an expert witness in the US on the swallowing of tablets and capsules.

Over the past 25 years Prof Perkins has worked in the development of radiopharmaceuticals and molecular radionuclide therapeutics for the targeted treatment of cancer using monoclonal antibodies C595, aptamers and recombinant human serum albumin. He is currently working with the Pace Research Centre at the University of Leicester on the first clinical use of a hand held hybrid optical-gamma camera.

Teaching Summary

Medical Physics

Nuclear Medicine and Radiopharmacy

Medical Imaging

Research Summary

The development and use of hybrid optical-gamma imaging for intraoperative and bedside imaging (collaboration with The University of Leicester).

Developing new methods for assessing gastrointestinal transit. (MAGIC study in collaboration with Prof Luca Marciani).

Translation of the large volume Nottingham Liquid Test Meal for the clinical investigation of gastric function.

Selected Publications

Past Research

  • BIVISTA The clinical assessment of a handheld hybrid optical-gamma camera. (STFC 2017-2018)
  • Nasal delivery of peptides for the treatment of osteoporosis. Collaboration with Dr Richard Pearson and Critical Pharmaceuticals. TSB Award: 2012.
  • Probiotic sensing in the GI tract. Collaboration with Dr Ian Fisk, (Food Sciences, UoN) TSB Award 2012
  • PET imaging of hypoxia with F-18-HX4 (project in collaboration with Siemens/PETnet).
  • Preclinical imaging of infection. Collaboration with Professor P Williams and Dr P Hill UoN
  • Thermal imaging of Brown Adipose Tissue
  • Imaging drug delivery
  • Imaging the transit and dissolution of oral pharmaceutical formulations (oesophageal transit and GI release)
  • Radiolabelled monoclonal antibodies for diagnostic imaging and therapy.
  • Radiolabelled aptamer conjugates for diagnostic imaging and therapy.
  • Gastrointestinal motility.
  • Radiopharmaceutical development.

Future Research

Future development of a hybrid hand held camera for imaging gamma and optical photons. in collaboration with the Space Research Centre, University of Leicester.

Refinement of the measure of gastric emptying and gastrointestinal motility.

School of Medicine

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

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