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PhD projects

Development of novel Radiotracers for the Fibrosis Detection - PhD scholarship available with an International Team


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Dr Karen Alt is an immunologist with experience in health sciences research and specialised expertise with antibody engineering and molecular imaging.

Since 2019, Dr Alt has been the NanoTheranostics Laboratory Head at the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases at Monash University. Prior to this she was a Senior Research Officer at Monash University and a Research Officer at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, where she also took on the role of NanoPET/CT Preclinical Imaging Facilty Manager.

Dr Alt has conducted peer review as a member of the NHMRC Ideas Grant panel, as well as for journals such as PLoS One, eJournal of Biotechnology, Bioconjugate Chemistry, Cardiovascular Therapeutics, and Molecular Pharmaceutics and Theranostics

Research interests

A central objective of Dr Karen Alt's research is to develop imaging techniques to better understand the underlying mechanisms of different disease progression and the impact of therapy. Dr Alt's research is based on the combination of novel enzymatic and chemical modification techniques for recombinant antibodies. Using the bacterial transpeptidase sortase and click chemistry for imaging and drug delivery, Dr Alt is progressing novel theranostic agents towards clinical use for the benefit of patients.

Supervision interests

Development of novel Radiotracers for the Fibrosis Detection - PhD scholarship available with an International Team
Fibrosis is a scarring process characterised by the excessive deposition of connective tissue, notably collagen, leading to distorted architecture and function of various vital organs, including the heart, kidney, liver and lung. Progressive fibrotic remodelling often leads to organ malfunction and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Current imaging techniques of fibrosis are indirect and possess substantial limitations, hence the medical need for accurate and sensitive diagnosis is very high. A hallmark of active disease is matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) causing distinct changes in the extracellular matrix (ECM) based on their capacity to cleave structural proteins such as collagens especially collagen IV. Thus, degraded collagens uniquely mark active disease and remodelling of the heart and lung, as they are generated by these potent MMPs that are upregulated during acute pathology.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Biology, PhD, Anti-PSMA Antibody and Fragments for Prostate Cancer Diagnostic and Therapy

Award Date: 6 May 2011

Research area keywords

  • PET/CT imaging
  • Bioconjugation
  • Antibody
  • Theranostic
  • Metal-Organic Framework

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or