Vanessa A. Sanders

What is your job at BNL?

I am an associate scientist in the Isotope Research and Production Department. I focus on developing alternative production routes for medical isotopes—radioactive forms of chemical elements that are used to diagnose and treat diseases.

When did you join BNL, and how did you find your way here?

I came to Brookhaven Lab in 2017. My graduate research focused on technetium (Tc)-99m chemistry. Tc-99m is the most commonly used isotope in medical imaging. Once I understood how integral Brookhaven was to the development of Tc-99m—the molybdenum (Mo)-99/Tc-99m generator—I knew I wanted to be associated with the birthplace of that great application.

What inspires your work here?

I’m inspired by knowing that I get to work within a community of scientists dedicated to further developing applications for diagnosing and treating diseases.

What is your favorite story about your job? 

My favorite story is still ongoing. It’s being a part of the implementation and ramp up of actinium (Ac)-225 production here at Brookhaven. Ac-225 shows great promise as a treatment for metastatic cancers.

What future activity at the lab are you most excited about?

The hopeful expansion of the medical isotope production program!