School Seminar Program

Positrons and DNA

Dr Josh Machacek

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a technique used to image metabolic activity. These images are used for a wide array of diagnostics in medicine, in particular, the search for cancers. Whilst these diagnostics provide a significant amount of macroscopic information, we do not fully understand the scattering dynamics between positrons and DNA. Here at the ANU we have a positron beamline facility where we study the interactions of positrons with the building blocks of DNA. These studies are informing our understanding of the damage mechanisms in positron scattering with complex molecules. Ultimately, this work aims to improve dosimetry models for PET. In this talk, I will discuss experiments currently underway at ANU and how they are used to improve positron transport models.

Dr Machacek obtained his PhD in 2013 from the Australian National University. In 2013, he moved to the US to undertake a California Institute of Technology Postdoctoral Scholarship at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. During this time Dr. Machacek was part of JPL’s High-Charged Ion facility conducting laboratory experiments to better under the interactions of solar and stellar winds with atoms and molecules. In 2014, Dr Machacek returned to the ANU as a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Positron Physics group. The current topic of his research is low-energy positron scattering with the nucleobases.

Refreshments will be held in the Tea Room after the Seminar (around 5pm)


Date & time

Thu 19 Mar 2015, 4–5pm


Leonard Huxley Lecture Theatre


Staff, students and public welcome