Dr David Lewis - Molecular Imaging


Lewis David 0054

Cancer cells are metabolically reprogrammed to provide the energy and biomass required to proliferate. The resulting metabolic phenotype is driven by genetic mutations and a nutrient-deprived microenvironment. Differing mutations and substrate availability create a dynamic and metabolically heterogeneous tumour. This heterogeneity drives tumour recurrence, metastasis and drug resistance leading to a poor clinical outcome for cancer patients.

Molecular imaging can non-invasively measure the spatial and temporal dynamics of cancer metabolism. Research in our group uses state-of-the art PET/MR imaging, metabolomics and genomics to understand the drivers and consequences of metabolic heterogeneity in living tumours. The goal of this research is to develop methods to non-invasively classify tumours and to direct cancer treatment.

Radionuclide imaging of lung tumour development (place cursor over image to play video):

d lewis image

Young Investigator of the Year Award Finalist (World Molecular Imaging Congress, New York), 2016

See the following interviews about Dr Lewis' work:

Other funding:

               BCC                                                    Grand Challeng

RadNet Glasgow RGB CRUK Glasgow Centre

Lab Report

icon Lewis Lab Report

Key Publications

Witney, T. H. and D. Y. Lewis (2019). Imaging Cancer Metabolism with Positron Emission Tomography (PET). Methods Mol Biol 1928: 29-44.

Lewis, D. Y., R. Mair, A. Wright, K. Allinson, S. K. Lyons, T. Booth, J. Jones, R. Bielik, D. Soloviev and K. M. Brindle (2018). [18F]fluoroethyltyrosine-induced Cerenkov Luminescence Improves Image-Guided Surgical Resection of Glioma. Theranostics 8(14): 3991-4002.

Brindle, K. M., J. L. Izquierdo-Garcia, D. Y. Lewis, R. J. Mair and A. J. Wright (2017). Brain Tumor Imaging. J Clin Oncol 35(21): 2432-2438.

Neves, A. A., B. Xie, S. Fawcett, I. S. Alam, T. H. Witney, M. M. de Backer, J. Summers, W. Hughes, S. McGuire, D. Soloviev, J. Miller, W. J. Howat, D. E. Hu, T. B. Rodrigues, D. Y. Lewis and K. M. Brindle (2017). Rapid Imaging of Tumor Cell Death In Vivo Using the C2A Domain of Synaptotagmin-I. J Nucl Med 58(6): 881-887.

Lewis DY, Boren J, Shaw GL, Bielik R, Ramos-Montoya A, Larkin TJ, Martins CP, Neal DE, Soloviev D, Brindle KM. Late Imaging with [1-11C]Acetate Improves Detection of Tumor Fatty Acid Synthesis with PET. Journal of Nuclear Medicine. 2014; 55: 1144-1149.


Education and qualifications

2008: PhD Neuropsychopharmacology, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
2003: BSc Pharmacology (First Class Honours), University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK


2017-present: Group Leader, Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, Glasgow, UK
2012-2016: Senior Postdoctoral Fellow, Radionuclide Imaging Facility, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge, UK
2011-2016: Research Associate, Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge, UK
2009-2016: Honorary Visiting Researcher, Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, UK
2015: 'CRUK Awarded' Visiting Scholar, Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford, Stanford University School of Medicine, USA
2009-2012: Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Cambridge Research Institute, Cancer Research UK
2008-2009: Research Fellow in Neuroscience, Translational Medicine Research Collaboration, University of Glasgow, UK
2007-2008: Study Director, CNS and Rodent Safety Pharmacology, Aptuit Limited, Riccarton, UK
2003-2008: Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Pharmacology, University of Strathclyde, UK

Current committee membership

Steering Board, CRUK RadNet

Honours and awards

EJNMMI Research: Best Paper Award - EANM Springer Prize, 2017
Young Investigator of the Year Award Finalist (World Molecular Imaging Congress, New York), 2016
Industry Sponsored Award Winner (World Molecular Imaging Congress, New York), 2016
Research Travel Award (CRUK), 2015
John J. Lewis Award (University of Glasgow) for outstanding examination performance, 2003

Recent Publications


Villar VH, Allega MF, Deshmukh R, Ackermann T, Nakasone MA, Vande Voorde J, Drake TM, Oetjen J, Bloom A, Nixon C, Müller M, May S, Tan EH, Vereecke L, Jans M, Blancke G, Murphy DJ, Huang DT, Lewis DY, Bird TG, Sansom OJ, Blyth K, Sumpton D, Tardito S. Hepatic glutamine synthetase controls N5-methylglutamine in homeostasis and cancer. Nature Chemical Biology. 2022;10.1038/s41589-022-01154-9.


Najumudeen AK, Ceteci F, Fey SK, Hamm G, Steven RT, Hall H, Nikula CJ, Dexter A, Murta T, Race AM, Sumpton D, Vlahov N, Gay DM, Knight JRP, Jackstadt R, Leach JDG, Ridgway RA, Johnson ER, Nixon C, Hedley A, Gilroy K, Clark W, Malla SB, Dunne PD, Rodriguez-Blanco G, Critchlow SE, Mrowinska A, Malviya G, Solovyev D, Brown G, Lewis DY, Mackay GM, Strathdee D, Tardito S, Gottlieb E, Takats Z, Barry ST, Goodwin RJA, Bunch J, Bushell M, Campbell AD, Sansom OJ. The amino acid transporter SLC7A5 is required for efficient growth of KRAS-mutant colorectal cancer. Nat Genet. 2021;53(1):16-26.

Woitek R, McLean MA, Ursprung S, Rueda OM, Manzano Garcia R, Locke MJ, Beer L, Baxter G, Rundo L, Provenzano E, Kaggie JD, Patterson A, Frary A, Field-Rayner J, Papalouka V, Kane J, Benjamin AJV, Gill AB, Priest AN, Lewis DY, Russell R, Grimmer A, White B, Latimer EC, Patterson I, Schiller A, Carmo B, Slough R, Lanz T, Wason J, Schulte RF, Chin SF, Graves MJ, Gilbert FJ, Abraham J, Caldas C, Brindle KM, Sala E, Gallagher FA. Hyperpolarized carbon-13 MRI for early response assessment of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer patients. Cancer Res. 2021;81: 6004–6017


Malviya G, Patel R, Salji M, Martinez RS, Repiscak P, Mui E, Champion S, Mrowinska A, Johnson E, AlRasheedi M, Pimlott S, Lewis D, Leung HY. 18F-Fluciclovine PET metabolic imaging reveals prostate cancer tumour heterogeneity associated with disease resistance to androgen deprivation therapy. EJNMMI Research. 2020;10(1):143.


Hesketh RL, Wang J, Wright AJ, Lewis DY, Denton AE, Grenfell R, Miller JL, Bielik R, Gehrung M, Fala M, Ros S, Xie B, Hu DE, Brindle KM. Magnetic Resonance Imaging Is More Sensitive Than PET for Detecting Treatment-Induced Cell Death-Dependent Changes in Glycolysis. Cancer research. 2019; 79: 3557-3569.

Witney TH, Lewis DY. Imaging Cancer Metabolism with Positron Emission Tomography (PET). Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, NJ) 2019; 1928: 29-44.


Serrao EM, Kettunen MI, Rodrigues TB, Lewis DY, Gallagher FA, Hu DE, Brindle KM. Analysis of (13) C and (14) C labeling in pyruvate and lactate in tumor and blood of lymphoma-bearing mice injected with (13) C- and (14) C-labeled pyruvate. NMR Biomed 2018; 31: e3901.

Zmuda F, Blair A, Liuzzi MC, Malviya G, Chalmers AJ, Lewis D, Sutherland A, Pimlott SL. An (18)F-Labeled Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerase Positron Emission Tomography Imaging Agent. J Med Chem 2018; 61: 4103-14.


Neves AA, Xie B, Fawcett S, Alam IS, Witney TH, de Backer MM, Summers J, Hughes W, McGuire S, Soloviev D, Miller J, Howat WJ, Hu DE, Rodrigues TB, Lewis DY, Brindle KM. Rapid Imaging of Tumor Cell Death in vivo using the C2A domain of Synaptotagmin-I. J Nucl Med 2017; 58: 881-7

Brindle KM, Izquierdo-Garcia JL, Lewis DY, Mair RJ, Wright AJ. Brain Tumor Imaging. J Clin Oncol 2017; 35: 2432-38


Heinzmann K, Honess DJ, Lewis DY, Smith DM, Cawthorne C, Keen H, Heskamp S, Schelhaas S, Witney TH, Soloviev D, Williams KJ, Jacobs AH, Aboagye EO, Griffiths JR, Brindle KM. The relationship between endogenous thymidine concentrations and [18F]FLT uptake in a range of preclinical tumour models. EJNMMI Research. 2016; 6: 63

Serrao EM, Kettunen MI, Rodrigues TB, Dzien P, Wright AJ, Gopinathan A, Gallagher FA, Lewis DY, Frese KK, Almeida J, Howat WJ, Tuveson DA, Brindle KM. MRI with hyperpolarised [1 13C]pyruvate detects advanced pancreatic preneoplasia prior to invasive disease in a mouse model. Gut. 2016: 65, 465-475

Lab Members

Lewis lab 2020 135

Postdoctoral Scientists

Robert Bielik
Algernon Bloom
Piotr Dzien
Lisa Duff
Fraser Edgar

PhD Students

Irene Caldera Quevedo
Emer Curley



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