Current Activities

Melvin Calvin Award

Presented to Professor John Jones at the 8th International Symposium in Boston.
What follows is the introduction to Professor Jones, given by Crist Filer and co-written with Bill Lockely.
When I was first asked to present this award I thought I might mention the fact that Prof John Jones is a very keen sports fan and a particular supporter of Welsh rugby … but I won’t. In the interests of common humanity. That’s the same reason I’m not going to tell one of his Welsh jokes.

It is the nature of the Melvin Calvin Award that the recipient should be a person of recognised stature and influence in the area and one that has contributed significantly to the advancement of our subject. It is not a requirement that they should be a great guy or that they should be from Gods Own Country (by the way for those of you who are confused and local, that’s Wales).However, Professor John Jones fulfils all these criteria admirably as I now have the pleasure of demonstrating.

As far as stature is concerned John’s academic and professional credentials are undoubted. Initially educated at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth 1955-61 he was appointed to a Lectureship at Battersea College of Advanced Technology in London, an institution which in 1967 became the University of Surrey. In the course of time John became Professor or Radiochemistry there and for close on 9 years he served as Head of Department. During his long career he has supervised over 50 PhD students and 20 postdoctoral fellows, funded by grants and collaborations with research councils, the European Union, NATO and many industrial concerns. He is much respected by his students as a caring supervisor with a heart of gold. He also has a Dylan-Thomas-like use of language which has converted more than one “No Good Boyo” into a productive PhD student.

The extent of his influence in terms of training and collaboration can be judged by a simple count of the persons scientifically involved with John at these symposia, where his collaborators, ex-students and post-docs fill many of the slots as conference organisers, session organisers, speakers and so on. In Session 2 of this Symposium for instance four of the personnel are either collaborators, ex-students or post-doctoral fellows.

Moreover, John has been involved in the activities of our Society since its inception. He has twice been President of the society and was a co-organiser with Tom Baillie of the very successful Innsbruck meeting in 1988. For over a decade now he has also served as Editor of the society’s Journal, the journal of Labelled Compounds and Radiopharmaceuticals.

By these measures alone John is clearly a person of stature and of great influence in our area. So what about contributions to the advancement of our subject?

John’s early research focused on various aspects of The Ionisation of Carbon Acids, the title of his first book which was published in 1972 and in which he popularised the use of tritium for studies of this type.


Then in 1967 he was instrumental in forging a link via Dr Tony Evans with the then Radiochemical Centre, now Amersham plc, and with Prof John Elvidge also of Surrey University. This productive collaboration led to the development of Tritium NMR spectroscopy, codified in the publication of the Handbook of Tritium NMR Spectroscopy in 1985.I think that it goes without saying that the development of this technique marked a seminal point in the uses and applications of the tritium isotope. Many perhaps most of the audience here tonight will have been affected in some way by the availability of the technique. Most directly of course, those radiochemists involved in the synthesis of tritium-labelled compounds who can now specify the quality of their labelled products with great confidence and who can employ the technique to discover new labelling procedures and so on, but also by users of the isotope. These are the metabolists, pharmacologists, biochemists, analysts etc whose data is underpinned by the quality of the radioligands, photoaffinity probes, tracers and labels which they employ. Lastly, there are the large numbers of general customers of the isotope supplies companies worldwide, who benefit from the routine use of tritium NMR in their commercial research, development and quality control procedures.

John’s interest in the tritium NMR area continues, and a poster at this Symposium shows how the technique has developed under his direction. The early work at Surrey required fairly large amounts of radioactivity, typically many tens of millicuries but now, as one of his posters at the conference makes clear, developments in NMR techniques and instrumentation together with the application of cryoprobe technology means that 10-20 microcuries are sufficient for detection with good signal to noise, opening up new opportunities for exploitation of this versatile isotope.

Recently, and this time in collaboration with another Surrey colleague, Professor John Hay has also been instrumental in developing sol-gel based scintillators which have considerable potential in this period of greener chemistry.

However, the work that has given him the most pleasure over the last few years has been the development of a whole range of microwave-enhanced deuteriation and tritiation procedures. These techniques are cutting-edge and hence are still under-exploited, however microwave applications in the area of PET chemistry and deuterium labelling are becoming routine and it only a matter of time before they become established with other common isotopes such as tritium and carbon-14. It is a case now of watch this space. Clearly therefore John has contributed much to the advancement of our scientific area.

There we have it then, stature, influence, professionalism and a substantial contribution to the advance of isotopic chemistry and an excellent fund of Welsh Jokes told with enthusiasm and a thoroughly genuine accent.

So, thanks to everyone for your attention. I hope that I have now made it abundantly clear why Professor John Jones is the worthy recipient of the society’s prestigious Melvin Calvin award and have great pleasure in presenting it to him.

Prof John Jones.


IIS Award

Presented to Dr. Rolf Voges at the 8th International Symposium in Boston.
What follows is the introduction to Dr. Voges, given and written by Dr. Thomas Moenius.


This yearґs IIS-award for “outstanding service to the International Isotope Society” goes toDr. Rolf Voges.

As one of his former associates it is a sincere pleasure for me to have been asked to give his “laudatio” at this occasion.

Acknowledging his engagement for the Society means primarily to acknowledge his scientific successes – since they are the basis thereof. Dr. Voges received his Ph.D. from Freiburg University in 1971 – and to some extent this first step would be characteristic of his future scientific career – the thesis dealt with isotopes and perhaps more importantly it received the Goedecke-Preis of 1971.

In 1972 he joined the Isotope Lab of the former company SANDOZ, of which he would become head five years later. At this time SANDOZ-Research was interested in aminoergolines and cylosporines – and therefore it was his responsibility to synthesize the corresponding isotopomers. Namely in the case of the extremely low-dosed aminoergolines, identifying a metabolically stable position was not straight-forward task. The result of this effort was a multiply sequenced “tritium-declination” of the molecule. Synthesis is one aspect of isotope labelling, analysis – release analysis is another. Important for the characterization of these highly tritiated compounds became tritium NMR spectroscopy, which he not only introduced to SANDOZ, but also became its first industrial applier.

When I joined SANDOZ – it was the time of chiral synthesis – numerous organic building blocks had been made available, but only a few of them were used for radiolabelling. At this time Dr. Voges started his programme on the Oppolzer-synthons. The result of these efforts are single and multiply labelled building blocks like BABS, PABS, DPMGBS, ITCABS etc……which proofed their synthetic potential not only in various functionalized acids, alcohols and aldehydes but also in the C-14 labelling of highly complex molecules like cyclosporines, rapamycin and taxane.


I admit that in some cases I thought that there would have been an easier and more straight forward way to label but in the end these efforts provided a broad range of synthetic tools to our group and to the isotope community in general.However, there is also another point from today’s perspective, which I believe is of much more underlying importance:…. fun and satisfaction……and that is exactly what he received in general from chemistry and more specifically from radiochemistry – and this kind of enthusiasm could be sensed by his associates and by his colleagues, even in the face of ever-increasing paperwork and buerocracy…..and this was also the source of his long-lasting service to the Society. Let me just give you three examples:


  • – He organised and co-organised two international congresses. The first in Strassbourg (1994), the second in Dresden together with Ulrich Pleiss in 2000. Both are highly memorable examples of extremely good organisation.
  • – He served the Society in different responsibilites namely as its president.
  • – He initiated, organized and co-organized the Central European Meeting in Bad Soden, which at least for the European colleagues has developed into one of the most valuable platform for information-exchangeTherefore it gives us all great pleasure to honour him with the IIS-award today.


E. A. Tony Evans

Date: Sat, 20 Sep 2003 14:53:06 +0100
From: John Jones
Subject: RE:Tony Evans

Dear Michael,
I am sorry to have to inform you that Dr E.A. (Tony) Evans died late last night.He had been in hospital for the last few weeks for a hernia operation which turned out to be more complicated than expected and his condition deteriorated quite quickly these last few days.

All for now,




Results of the I.I.S. Elections of 2003

May 25, 2003

Dear Fellow IIS Members

The results are in and we are pleased to announce the results of this year’s election for the term 2004 – 2006. Please take a moment to examine the table of our next leaders and think of a way you can work with them to help nurture our Society.


President Vice President Chief Financial Officer Executive Secretary
2004 Ken Lawrie Dennis Dean Scott Landvatter David Hesk
2005 Crist N. Filer
2006 Dick Heys
Elected Members of the Board of Representatives
Alex Susan Nigel Stevenson Brad Maxwell
Gunther Jaeger Barry Kent


Please refer to the results to see the tabulated results.



December 31, 2002

Dear Members,

This evening, in the last minutes of the outgoing year 2002, the ballot on the new Constitution is closed. I would like to thank all colleagues who participated. Here are the results:


  • YES: >99 %

  • NO: zero<

  • Blank return: 1

This means overwhelming support for the efforts of the Board of Trustees since 1999. The new management structure of the International Isotope Society will therefore be effective beginning 2004. Until the end of 2003, which is also the end of their term, the acting officers will continue their job with Dave Melillo of Merck & Co as IIS President 2003.

The elections for the new management board will be held during the 1st quarter, already on the basis of the new Constitution. Your active participation will be needed again, both as candidates and voters. More information will soon be published on the IIS webpage.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees I wish you and your families the very best for 2003!

Dietrich Gantz (IIS President 2002)

Letter from Dietrich Gantz, President, IIS 2002 (PDF File)
Draft / Revisions (PDF File)
Other activities include:
Board of Trustees Meeting
Update from the BoT from October 2001