Kun-Eek Kil

Assistant Research Professor, Radiochemistry and Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry


BS, Kyungpook National University Daegu, S. Korea, 1994
MS, Korea University Seoul, S. Korea, 1996
PhD, Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY, 2008

Professional Experience:

Research Associate, Washington University in St Louis   St Louis, MO, 2008-2010
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center  Houston, TX, 2010-2011
Research Fellow, Massachusetts General Hospital  Charlestown, MA, 2011-2015
Postdoctoral Fellow, Avid Radiopharmaceuticals  Philadelphia, PA, 2015-2016
Radiochemist, Avid Radiopharmaceuticals  Philadelphia, PA, 2016
Assistant Research Professor, University of Missouri  Columbia, MO, 2016-Present


The Kil group develops novel small-molecule PET radiotracers used for cancer, brain, cardiovascular, and plant imaging research from preclinical stages to clinical stages and commercialization.

Select Publications:

  • Housh AB, Matthes MS, Gerheart A, Wilder SL, Kil K-E, Schueller MJ, Guthrie JM, McSteen P, Ferrieri R. Assessment of a 18F-phenylboronic acid radiotracer for imaging boron in maize. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020; 21: 976-91.
  • Jenkins BG, Zhu A, Poutiainen P, Choi J-K, Kil K-E, Zhang Z, Kuruppu D, Aytan N, Dedeoglu A, Brownell A-L. Functional modulation of G-protein coupled receptors during Parkinson disease-like neurodegeneration.  Neuropharmacol. 2016; 108: 462-73.
  • Kil K-E, Poutiainen P, Zhang Z, Zhu A, Kuruppu D, Prabhakar S, Tannous BA, Brownell A-L.  Synthesis and evaluation of N-(methylthiophenyl)picolinamide derivatives as PET radioligands for metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 4.  Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2016; 26: 133-9.
  • Brownell A-L, Kuruppu D, Kil K-E, Jokivarsi K, Poutiainen P, Zhu A, Maxwell M.  PET imaging studies show enhanced expression of mGluR5 and inflammatory response during progressive degeneration in ALS mouse model expressing SOD1-G93A gene. J. Neuroinflammation 2015; 12: 217
  • Arsenault D, Coulombe K, Zhu A, Gong C, Kil K-E, Choi J-K, Poutiainen P, Brownell A-L.  Loss of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 function on peripheral benzodiazepine receptor in mice prenatally exposed to LPS.  PLOS One 2015; 10: e0142093.
  • Choi J-K, Zhu A, Jenkins BG, Hattori S, Kil K-E, Takagi T, Ishii S, Miyakawa T, Brownell A-L.  Combined behavoral studies and in vivo imaging of neuroinflammatory response and expression of mGlu5 receptors in schurri-2 knockout mice.  Neurosci Lett. 2015; 609: 159-64.
  • Zhang Z, Kil K-E, Poutiainen P, Choi J-K, Kang H-J, Huang X-P, Roth BL, Brownell A-L.  Re-exploring the N-phenylpicolinamide derivatives to develop mGlu4 ligands with improved affinity and metabolic stability.  Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2015; 25: 3956-60.
  • Poutiainen P, Kil K-E, Zhang Z, Kuruppu D, Tannous B, Brownell A-L.  Cooperative binding assay for the characterization of mGlu4 allosteric modulators. Neuropharmacology 2015; 97: 142-8.
  • Kil K-E, Poutiainen P, Zhu A, Zhang Z, Jokivarsi K, Choi, J-K, Brownell A-L.  Radiosynthesis and evaluation of an 18F-labeled positron emission tomography (PET) radioligand for metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 4 (mGlu4).  J Med Chem.  2014; 57: 9130-8.
  • Kil K-E, Zhu A, Zhang Z, Choi J-K, Kura S, Gong C, Brownell A-L.  Development of [123I]IPEB and [123I]IMPEB as SPECT Radioligands for Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Subtype 5.   ACS Med Chem Lett. 2014; 5: 652-6.
  • Arsenault D, Zhu A, Gong C, Kil K-E, Kura S, Choi J-K, Brownell A-L.  Hypo-anxious phenotype of adolescent offspring prenatally exposed to LPS is associated with reduced mGluR5 expression in hippocampus.  Open J Med Psychol. 2014; 3: 202-11.
  • Kil, K-E, Zhang Z, Jokivarsi K, Gong C, Choi J-K, Kura S, Brownell A-L.  Radiosynthesis and evaluation of N-(4-chloro-3-[11C]methoxyphenyl)-2-picolinamide ([11C]ML128) as a PET radiotracer for metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 4 (mGluR4).  Bioorg Med Chem. 2013; 21: 5955-62
  • Solingapuram Sai KK, Kil K-E, Tu Z, Chu W, Finck BN, Rothfuss JM, Shoghi KI, Welch MJ, Groper RJ, Mach RH.  Synthesis, radiolabeling and initial in vivo evaluation of [11C]KSM-01 for imaging PPAR-a Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2012; 22: 6233-6
  • Kil K-E, Biegon A, Ding Y-S, Ehrlich C, Fisher A, Pareto D, Fowler JS.  Synthesis and PET studies of [11C] letrozole, an aromatase inhibitor drug.  Nucl Med Biol 2009; 36: 215-23
  • Kil K-E, Ding Y-S, Lin K-S, Alexoff D, Kim SW, Shea C, Xu Y, Muench L, Fowler JS. Synthesis and positron emission tomography studies of carbon-11-labeled imatinib (Gleevec®).  Nucl Med Biol 2007; 34: 153-63
  • Ding Y-S, Kil K-E, Lin K-S, Ma W, Yokota Y, Carroll IF. A novel nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist radioligand for PET studies. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2006; 16: 1049-53
  • Lin K-S, Ding Y-S, Kim SW, Kil K-E. Synthesis, enantiomeric resolution, F-18 labeling and biodistribution of reboxetine analogs: promising radioligands for imaging the norepinephrine transporter with positron emission tomography. Nucl Med Biol 2005; 32: 415-22
  • Kim KH, Kil K-E, Ko DH, Chung BY, Ha D-C.  Diastereoselective azidations of (S)-4-carboethoxymethyl-oxazolidin-2-one for 4-oxy-2,3-diaminobutanoates.  Bull Korea Chem Soc 2002; 23: 655-6
  • Ha D-C, Kil K-E, Choi K-S, Park H-S.  Studies on the diastereoselective alkylation of enolate dianion of (S)-4-carboethoxymethyl-2-oxazolidinone.  Tetrahedron  Lett  1996; 37: 5723-6