Michael R Zalutsky

Michael Rod Zalutsky

Jonathan Spicehandler, M.D. Professor of Neuro Oncology, in the School of Medicine

The overall objective of our laboratory is the development of novel radioactive compounds for improving the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. This work primarily involves radiohalo-genation of biomolecules via site-specific approaches, generally via demetallation reactions. Radionuclides utilized for imaging include I-123, I-124 and F-18, the later two being of particular interest because they can be used for the quantification of biochemical and physiological processes in the living human through positron emission tomography. For therapy, astatine-211 decays by the emission of alpha-particles, a type of radiation considerably more cytotoxic that the beta-particles used in conventional endoradiotherapy. The range of At-211 alpha particles is only a few cell diameters, offering the possibility of extremely focal irradiation of malignant cells while leaving neighboring cells intact. Highlights of recent work include: a)
development of reagents for protein and peptide radioiodination that decrease deiodination in vivo by up to 100-fold, b) demonstration that At-211 labeled monoclonal antibodies are effective in the treatment of a rat model of neoplastic meningitis, c) synthesis of a thymidine analogue labeled with At-211 and the demonstration that this molecule is taken up in cellular DNA with highly cytotoxicity even at levels of only one atom bound per cell and d) development of
radiohalobenzylguanidines which are specifically cytotoxic for human neuroblastoma cells.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Spicehandler, M.D. Professor of Neuro Oncology, in the School of Medicine
  • Professor of Radiology
  • Associate Professor in Pathology
  • Professor of Radiation Oncology
  • Member of the Duke Cancer Institute

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 311 Research Drive, 161H Bryan Res Bldg, Durham, NC 27710
  • Office Phone: (919) 684-7708
  • Email Address: zalut001@mc.duke.edu
  • Websites:


  • Ph.D. Washington University, 1974
  • M.A. Washington University, 1972


Medical Imaging
Polymer and Protein Engineering

Courses Taught

  • PATHOL 293: Research Independent Study
  • PATHOL 793: Research Independent Study

Representative Publications

  • Kiess, AP; Minn, I; Vaidyanathan, G; Hobbs, RF; Josefsson, A; Shen, C; Brummet, M; Chen, Y; Choi, J; Koumarianou, E; Baidoo, K; Brechbiel, MW; Mease, RC; Sgouros, G; Zalutsky, MR; Pomper, MG, (2S)-2-(3-(1-Carboxy-5-(4-211At-Astatobenzamido)Pentyl)Ureido)-Pentanedioic Acid for PSMA-Targeted α-Particle Radiopharmaceutical Therapy., Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine, vol 57 no. 10 (2016), pp. 1569-1575 [10.2967/jnumed.116.174300] [abs].
  • Chitneni, SK; Reitman, ZJ; Gooden, DM; Yan, H; Zalutsky, MR, Radiolabeled inhibitors as probes for imaging mutant IDH1 expression in gliomas: Synthesis and preliminary evaluation of labeled butyl-phenyl sulfonamide analogs., European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, vol 119 (2016), pp. 218-230 [10.1016/j.ejmech.2016.04.066] [abs].
  • Vaidyanathan, G; McDougald, D; Choi, J; Koumarianou, E; Weitzel, D; Osada, T; Lyerly, HK; Zalutsky, MR, Preclinical Evaluation of 18F-Labeled Anti-HER2 Nanobody Conjugates for Imaging HER2 Receptor Expression by Immuno-PET., Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine, vol 57 no. 6 (2016), pp. 967-973 [10.2967/jnumed.115.171306] [abs].
  • Bao, X; Chandramohan, V; Reynolds, RP; Norton, JN; Wetsel, WC; Rodriguiz, RM; Aryal, DK; McLendon, RE; Levin, ED; Petry, NA; Zalutsky, MR; Burnett, BK; Kuan, CT; Pastan, IH; Bigner, DD, Preclinical toxicity evaluation of a novel immunotoxin, D2C7-(scdsFv)-PE38KDEL, administered via intracerebral convection-enhanced delivery in rats., Investigational New Drugs, vol 34 no. 2 (2016), pp. 149-158 [10.1007/s10637-015-0318-3] [abs].
  • Schaal, JL; Li, X; Mastria, E; Bhattacharyya, J; Zalutsky, MR; Chilkoti, A; Liu, W, Injectable polypeptide micelles that form radiation crosslinked hydrogels in situ for intratumoral radiotherapy., Journal of Controlled Release, vol 228 (2016), pp. 58-66 [10.1016/j.jconrel.2016.02.040] [abs].