[Imageworld] PhD Studentship - Imaging of Awake Animals
James.K.Power at manchester.ac.uk
Tue Feb 16 09:47:09 CET 2010
BBSRC Industrial CASE PhD Studentship
School of Translational Medicine
University of Manchester
Imaging of awake animals
The objective of this 4-year BBSRC Industrial CASE funded project is to establish a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) protocol to image awake animals without tight restraint. The project will attract an annual tax-free stipend (anticipated to be £15, 990) as well as providing full coverage of tuition fees. Due to commence October 2010, the project is open to UK/EU* nationals only due to the nature of the funding.
Biomedical imaging has transformed our understanding of fundamental disease mechanisms, drug metabolisms and biomarker development for human application. The basis for such studies has often been experimental procedures involving the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) on animals. The vast majority of MRI studies in rodents have employed anaesthesia for restraint to avoid the image degradation expected in studies of awake animals. However, there remain significant concerns in the use of anaesthesia for restraint. Anaesthetics are xenobiotics whose metabolism can cause immunosuppression and potentially interfere with the metabolism of substances under study, such as potential drugs or toxins - thus confounding results.
This PhD project will seek to establish an MRI imaging protocol supporting the design of experiments involving awake animals. The protocol will investigate the design of animal holder devices, develop suitable MRI techniques to counteract physiological motion and create reconstruction algorithms that compensate for bulk motion. Underpinning all this will be a commitment to improve acclimatisation procedures to minimise animal stress during imaging capture. The protocol will be validated in-vivo and then applied to monitor disease progression in a variety of models. A specific area of focus will be an exploration of rat models of airway responsiveness following chronic exposure to allergens. Other imaging modalities (CT, PET) will also be applied.
The study will be conducted within the School of Translational Medicine and involve a placement with AstraZeneca. The successful candidate will be provided with extensive training in MRI techniques and be immersed in a multi-disciplinary research environment incorporating MRI physics, bioinformatics, in-vivo and fungal allergen expertise.
Upon completion, the candidate would be ideally placed to progress into postdoctoral bioimaging research within academia or industry.
Applicants should hold, or expect to obtain, a minimum upper-second honours degree (or equivalent) in either physics or the biological sciences. A Masters qualification in a similar area and previous MRI experience would be an advantage but not essential.
Please direct applications in the following format to the project lead, Dr Peter Warn (peter.warn at manchester.ac.uk):
* A CV, including full details of all University course grades to date.
* Contact details for two academic or professional referees.
* A personal statement (750 words maximum) outlining your suitability for the study, what you hope to achieve from the PhD and your research experience to date.
Any enquiries relating to the project and/or suitability should be directed to Dr Peter Warn at the address above. Applications are invited up to and including Friday 19 March 2010.
* Applicants must be UK/EU nationals as well as permanent residents of the UK since 1 September 2007.
Postgraduate Recruitment Officer
Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences
Room 3.44B, Simon Building
University of Manchester
Tel: 0161 275 1436
Fax: 0161 275 1432
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