Advanced Instrumentation and Computational Methods for in vivo Molecular Imaging

Summary

There are opportunities for physics and engineering graduates to undertake research leading to a PhD with the medical imaging physics group at the University of Sydney node of the National Imaging Facility. The group develops technologies for imaging the distribution and kinetics of radio-pharmaceuticals in human subjects and animal models of disease.

Supervisor(s)

Professor Steven Meikle

Research Location

Brain and Mind Centre - Imaging Physics

Program Type

Masters/PHD

Synopsis

The Sydney node of the National Imaging Facility, located at the Brain and Mind Research Institute in the Camperdown health research precinct, is concerned with the development of novel biomarkers (drugs and imaging probes) and non-invasive imaging technologies that are used to improve our understanding of disease. The medical imaging physics group is well funded by national and international funding bodies to develop the next generation of advanced instrumentation and computational methods for imaging the distribution and kinetics of radio-pharmaceuticals in the body. These techniques are used by researchers at the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Research Institute for the laboratory testing of new drugs and imaging probes in various brain disorders, including neuro-degenerative diseases, mood disorders and cancer. Students in our lab use a wide variety of research tools, from Monte Carlo simulation to molecular imaging experiments with phantoms, animals and human subjects. They also have the opportunity to become involved in neuroscience projects that make use of our imaging facilities to investigate novel therapeutics (e.g. CNS gene therapy) and links between brain disease, gene regulation and changes in the brain’s biochemistry during development and drug intervention. There are opportunities for physics and engineering graduates to undertake exciting and challenging PhD projects in: (1) Motion tracking and correction techniques for imaging conscious, freely moving animals, (2) Novel image reconstruction methods to improve the accuracy and sensitivity of small animal PET and SPECT; (3) Tracer kinetic modelling and quantification of microglial markers and other novel neuroimaging ligands.

Additional Information

Techniques:      Positron emission tomography (PET), Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), optical motion tracking, Monte Carlo computer simulation Eligibility criteria:           Applicants must have a 1st class honours degree or equivalent in physics, engineering or related discipline and be eligible for an Australian (http://www.usyd.edu.au/fstudent/postgrad/research/costs/scholarships.shtml) or International postgraduate scholarship (http://www.usyd.edu.au/fstudent/international/postgrad/costs/scholarships.shtml). It would be desirable to have some knowledge or experience in medical imaging.

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Keywords

Medical physics; Non-invasive imaging; Molecular imaging; Image reconstruction; Tracer kinetic modelling; Positron emission tomography (PET); Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT); Neurodegenerative disease; Depression; Mood disorders; Schizo

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 165

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