Heather M. Hennkens

Heather Hennkens
Research Assistant Professor
TOB4 230K-5, MURR
Research Emphasis: 

The primary focus areas of the Hennkens research program are 1) the production and purification of medical radionuclides and 2) their use in the development of theranostic (combination therapeutic and diagnostic) metals-based radiopharmaceuticals.  Radionuclide production projects involve targetry, separations and target material recycling, while radiopharmaceutical projects involve ligand development, metal/radiometal chelation, and the radiochemical synthesis and in vitro/vivo evaluation of new radiopharmaceuticals.  The multidisciplinary nature of these projects results in a collaborative environment that offers a wide range of research experiences to student and postdoctoral trainees.


B.S., Chemistry, Lindenwood University, 1996

B.A., Spanish, Lindenwood University, 1996

M.A., Chemistry, Washington University in St. Louis, 1998

Ph.D., Inorganic Chemistry, Washington University in St. Louis, 2004

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Missouri, 2009

Professional Experience: 

Staff Scientist, Division of Radiological Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, 2000-2001

Adjunct Instructor, Department of Chemistry, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, 2004

Life Sciences (2004-2006) and NIH/NCI (2006-2009) Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, University of Missouri, 2004-2009

Staff Scientist – Study Director/Principal Investigator (2009-2011), Chemist – Team Leader and Study Director/Principal Investigator (2011), Bioanalytical Services, ABC Laboratories, Inc., Columbia, MO, 2009-2011

Assistant Research Professor, Research Reactor Center (2011-present) and Department of Chemistry (2018-present), University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, 2011-present

Select Publications: 

Full publication list available at this link.

Radford, L. L.; Papagiannopoulou, D.; Gallazzi, F.; Berendzen, A.; Watkinson, L.; Carmack, T.; Lewis, M. R.; Jurisson, S. S.; Hennkens, H. M.  Synthesis and Evaluation of Re/99mTc(I) Complexes Bearing a Somatostatin Receptor-targeting Antagonist and Labeled via a Novel [N,S,O] Clickable Bifunctional Chelating Agent. Bioorg. Med. Chem., 2018, Epub ahead of print. doi.org/10.1016/j.bmc.2018.12.028

Makris, G.; Radford, L. L.; Kuchuk, M.; Gallazzi, F.; Jurisson, S. S.; Smith, C. J.; Hennkens, H. M.  NOTA and NODAGA 99mTc/186Re-Tricarbonyl Complexes: Radiochemistry and First Example of a 99mTc-NODAGA Somatostatin Receptor-targeting Bioconjugate. Bioconjugate Chem. 29(12), 4040-4049, 2018. doi:10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.8b00670

Black, K. C. L.; Zhou, M.; Sarder, P.; Kuchuk, M.; Al-Yasiri, A. Y; Gunsten, S. P.; Liang, K.; Hennkens, H. M.; Akers, W. J.; Laforest, R.; Brody, S. L.; Cutler, C. S.; Achilefu, S.  Dual-radiolabeled Nanoparticle Probes for Depth-independent In Vivo Imaging of Enzyme Activation. Proc. SPIE 10508, 1050805 1-5, 2018. doi: 10.1117/12.2301033

Feng, Y.; Phelps, T. E.; Carroll, V.; Gallazzi, F.; Sieckman, G.; Hoffman, T. J.; Barnes, C. L.; Ketring, A. R.; Hennkens, H. M.; Jurisson, S. S.  Chemistry and Radiochemistry of Arsenic, Rhenium and Rhodium Isotopes Relevant to Radiopharmaceutical Applications: Development of High Specific Activity Radionuclides for Imaging and Treatment. Dalton Trans. 46, 14677-14690, 2017. doi:10.1039/c7dt02407j

Mastren, T.; Radchenko, V.; Bach, H. T.; Balkin, E. R.; Birnbaum, E. R.; Brugh, M.; Engle, J. W.; Gott, M. D.; Guthrie, J.; Hennkens, H. M.; John, K. D.; Ketring, A. R.; Kuchuk, M.; Maassen, J. R.; Naranjo, C. M.; Nortier, F. M.; Phelps, T. E.; Jurisson, S. S.; Wilbur, D. S.; Fassbender, M. E.  Bulk Production and Evaluation of High Specific Activity 186gRe for Cancer Therapy Using Enriched 186WO3 Targets in a Proton Beam. Nucl. Med. Biol. 49, 24-29, 2017. doi.org/10.1016/j.nucmedbio.2017.02.006

Radford, L.; Gallazzi, F.; Watkinson, L.; Carmack, T.; Berendzen, A.; Lewis, M. R.; Jurisson, S. S.; Papagiannopoulou, D.; Hennkens, H. M.  Synthesis and Evaluation of a 99mTc Tricarbonyl-labeled Somatostatin Receptor-targeting Antagonist Peptide for Imaging of Neuroendocrine Tumors. Nucl. Med. Biol. 47, 4-9, 2017. doi.org/10.1016/j.nucmedbio.2016.12.002

Li, Y.; Ma, L.; Gaddam, V.; Gallazzi, F.; Hennkens, H. M.; Harmata, M.; Lewis, M. R.; Deakyne, C. A.; Jurisson, S. S.  Synthesis, Characterization, and In Vitro Evaluation of New 99mTc/Re(V)-cyclized Octreotide Analogues: An Experimental and Computational Approach. Inorg. Chem. 55, 1124-1133, 2016. doi.org/10.1021/acs.inorgchem.5b02306

Makris, G.; Radford, L.; Gallazzi, F.; Jurisson, S. S.; Hennkens, H. M.; Papagiannopoulou, D.  Synthesis and Evaluation of fac-[99mTc/Re(CO)3]+ Complexes with a New (N,S,N) Bifunctional Chelating Agent: The First Example of a fac-[Re(CO)3(N,S,N-sst2-ANT)] Complex Bearing a Somatostatin Receptor Antagonist Peptide. J. Organomet. Chem. 805, 100-107, 2016. doi:10.1016/j.jorganchem.2016.01.005

Research Division: