Satish K. Chitneni

Satish K. Chitneni

Associate Professor in Radiology

The major focus of our research has been on the design, development and evaluation of novel radiotracers based on small molecules for imaging specific molecular targets using positron emission tomography (PET). The imaging targets are usually enzymes, cell surface receptors or transporters that are strongly implicated in or markers of diseases. Fluorine-18, which has a half-life of about 110 min, is ideally suited for radiolabeling of small molecules, and permits PET imaging studies for up to 4 h after injection in vivo. Other radioisotopes of interest for PET radiotracer development include carbon-11 and iodine-124, the latter one has a longer half-life (4.2 days) and enables imaging for up to 1 week after injection of the labeled probe. Another major area of interest include the use of PET imaging for evaluation of novel therapeutics in preclinical models of diseases.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Associate Professor in Radiology
  • Faculty Network Member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences
  • Member of the Duke Cancer Institute

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 311 Research Drive, 161-D Bryan Research Building, Durham, NC 27710
  • Office Phone: (919) 681-8081
  • Email Address:


  • Ph.D. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), 2007

Representative Publications

  • Zhou, Z; Zalutsky, MR; Chitneni, SK, Stapled peptides as scaffolds for developing radiotracers for intracellular targets: Preliminary evaluation of a radioiodinated MDM2-binding stapled peptide in the SJSA-1 osteosarcoma model., Bioorg Med Chem Lett, vol 66 (2022) [10.1016/j.bmcl.2022.128725] [abs].
  • Zhou, Z; Zalutsky, MR; Chitneni, SK, Fluorine-18 Labeling of the MDM2 Inhibitor RG7388 for PET Imaging: Chemistry and Preliminary Evaluation., Mol Pharm, vol 18 no. 10 (2021), pp. 3871-3881 [10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.1c00531] [abs].
  • Chitneni, SK; Zhou, Z; Watts, BE; Zalutsky, MR, Feasibility of Developing Radiotracers for MDM2: Synthesis and Preliminary Evaluation of an 18F-Labeled Analogue of the MDM2 Inhibitor SP-141., Pharmaceuticals (Basel, Switzerland), vol 14 no. 4 (2021) [10.3390/ph14040358] [abs].
  • Du, K; Chitneni, SK; Suzuki, A; Wang, Y; Henao, R; Hyun, J; Premont, RT; Naggie, S; Moylan, CA; Bashir, MR; Abdelmalek, MF; Diehl, AM, Increased Glutaminolysis Marks Active Scarring in Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Progression., Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology, vol 10 no. 1 (2020), pp. 1-21 [10.1016/j.jcmgh.2019.12.006] [abs].
  • Chitneni, SK; Koumarianou, E; Vaidyanathan, G; Zalutsky, MR, Observations on the Effects of Residualization and Dehalogenation on the Utility of N-Succinimidyl Ester Acylation Agents for Radioiodination of the Internalizing Antibody Trastuzumab., Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), vol 24 no. 21 (2019) [10.3390/molecules24213907] [abs].