Matthew Allen

Matthew Allen



Matthew Allen

Laboratory Web Site

Research Interests

  • Hypoxia
  • Contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging
  • Lanthanide chemistry
  • Molecular imaging


Research Description

The Allen laboratory explores the chemistry of the lanthanides relevant to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and catalysis. We are at the frontier of inorganic chemistry intersecting with organic synthesis, analytical chemistry, oncology, and biology. Three major aims in the group are to overcome critical barriers to the advanced use of lanthanide-based contrast agents for MRI; to elucidate mechanistic details of lanthanide-catalyzed organic reactions to help generate improved catalysts; and to find sustainable sources of the lanthanides. These projects will illuminate fundamental properties of lanthanides. Additionally, they are an inroad toward greatly enhancing the molecular imaging and diagnostic capabilities of MRI and increasing the quality and number of more environmentally benign catalysts for the synthesis of organic molecules.

Recent Publications

Subasinghe, S. A. A. S.; Ortiz, C. J.; Romero, J.; Ward, C. L.; Sertage, A. G.; Kurenbekova, L.; Yustein, J. T.; Pautler, R. G.; Allen, M. J. Toward quantification of hypoxia using fluorinated Eu(II/III)-containing ratiometric probes. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2023;120:e2220891120. 

Lutter, J. C.; Batchev, A. L.; Ortiz, C. J.; Sertage, A. G.; Romero, J.; Subasinghe, S. A. A. S.; Pedersen, S. E.; Samee, M. A. H.; Pautler, R. G.; Allen, M. J. Outersphere approach to increasing the persistance of oxygen-sensitive europium(II)-containing contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging with perfluorocarbon nanoemulsions toward imaging of hypoxia. Adv. Healthc. Mater. 2023;12:e2203209. 

Batchev, A. L.; Rashid, M. M.; Allen, M. J. Divalent europium-based contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging in Handook on the Physics and Chemistry of Rare Earths, Volume 63, Elsevier, 2023;55–98. 

Rashid, M. M.; Corbin, B. A.; Jella, P.; Ortiz, C. J.; Samee, M. A. H.; Pautler, R. G.; Allen, M. J. Systemic delivery of divalent europium from ligand screening with implications to direct imaging of hypoxia. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2022;144:23053-60. 

Bailey, M. D.; Jin, G.-X.; Carniato, F.; Botta, M.; Allen, M. J. Rational Design of High Relaxivity Eu(II)-Based Contrast Agents for Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Low-Oxygen Environments. Chem. Eur. J. 2021;27:3114-8. 

Pierre, V. C., Allen, M. J., Eds.; Contrast Agents for MRI: Experimental Methods; Royal Society of Chemistry: Cambridge, U.K. 2018.


B.S. in Chemistry, 1998, Purdue University
Ph.D. in Chemistry, 2004, California Institute of Technology

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