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Nigel Lengkeek

Senior radiochemist

ANSTO

Ever been to the hospital for a nuclear medicine scan or therapy? Many of the materials we need to do these critical tests are made right here in Australia

Nigel Lengkeek was always interested in “how things work”, and chose a double degree in engineering and science at the University of Western Australia (UWA) after high school, followed by a PhD in chemistry.

Nigel spent some time as a researcher still at UWA, before moving to Sydney and kicking off his career at ANSTO, where he has worked for over a decade. His current role is as a senior radiochemist in the biosciences team.

“I lead a team of radiochemists making radioactive molecules to detect and treat human disease, primarily cancer, but also cardiovascular disease and neurological disease,” he explains.

Nigel and his team are currently working on two therapeutic radiopharmaceutical products – one to treat prostate cancer, and one to treat another rare type of cancer called neuroendocrine tumours. 

Nigel says nuclear medicine is an exciting space to be in, with lots of opportunity. “Over the last five years we have seen explosive growth in the nuclear medicine field,” he says.

“This growth requires people as much as it does facilities, equipment and funding, so there are growing gaps in the workforce,” he adds.

Nigel’s study and career pathway

  • Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) / Bachelor of Engineering (Materials Engineering), University of Western Australia
  • PhD (Chemistry), University of Western Australia
  • Organic Chemist, ANSTO
  • Senior Radiochemist, ANSTO

Catch Nigel speak at our free Careers with STEM: Science & Space Webinar.

This article was created in partnership with ANSTO and originally appears in Careers with STEM: Science 2022.

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