DTP Students

2013

Lu An ( MRes/MPhil/PhD )
Lu_An_Photo.jpg I joined the DTP after finishing my MSci Physics degree at Imperial College London in 2013. I am working in the Photoacoustic group under the supervision of Dr Ben Cox and Prof Paul Beard. My research is focused on quantitative spectroscopic photoacoustic imaging, which involves acquiring images at multiple wavelengths and using spectroscopic decomposition techniques to quantify the concentrations of specific tissue chromophores by exploiting their spectral characteristics. Thus the known differences in the absorption spectra of oxy- and deoxyhaemoglobin can be used to obtain a measure of blood oxygen saturation – an important physiological parameter related to a variety of pathophysiological processes such as tumour growth. As part of the MRes course I will be taking modules in programming, optics in medicine and cancer biology, which I think will be great preparation for my research.
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Michael Brown ( MRes/MPhil/PhD )
michael_brown_photo.jpg I graduated with an MSci in Physics from the University of Bristol and was attracted to medical imaging and the DTP for the chance to work in a more applied and multidisciplinary field. I’ve joined DTP as an MRes student and I’m now based within the Biomedical Ultrasound Group in the Medical Physics and Bioengineering department. My research will focus on optically generated ultrasound. This method can produce very flat broad spectra ultrasound pulses compared with piezoelectric transducers. It also allows significant spatial and temporal control of the pulse through modulation of the laser and the absorber shape. The goal of my PhD will be to develop an ultrasound transducer that can both transmit and receive optically. This transducer will combine optically generated ultrasound using a polymer composite and the Fabry-Perot ultrasound sensor developed by the photoacoustics group.
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Benjamin Champion ( MRes/EngD )
benjamin_champion_photo.jpg My academic background is in mathematics (BA+MMath Cantab). In industry, I've done internships at Ubisense (real-time location systems and industrial automation) and J.P. Morgan (mathematical finance). During my engineering doctorate at CMIC, I aim to look into "Improving the Visualisation and Delivery of a Radiotherapy Treatment for Lung Cancer" by modelling respiratory motion and compensating for it. I am particularly interested in translating research into the clinic in partnership with the project's industrial sponsor, Elekta. Outside of work, I enjoy learning languages. In addition to my native English, I speak German and a bit of Dutch. I lived in Germany for two summers while working for Ubisense. From time to time I have also dabbled in French, Arabic, Ancient Greek and Hebrew.
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Xiaofei Du ( MPhil/PhD )
xiaofei_du_photo.jpg I was born and raised in the beautiful country China. I obtained my Bachelors in Telecommunications at Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications and my Masters in Biomedical Engineering from Tsinghua University, China. In 2013, I came to London and started my PhD at the Centre for Medical Image Computing (CMIC) of UCL, focusing on the image-guided interventions. The goal of my research aims to compensate the brain deformation during open neurosurgery so that the clinical accuracy of navigation could be improved. The DTP program is attractive to me because it means not only can I work with brilliant researchers but also gifted surgeons who have valuable clinical experiences. This kind of close collaboration would definitely improve my research and communication skills.
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Mark Graham ( MRes/MPhil/PhD )
mark_graham_photo.jpg I was drawn to the field of medical imaging by the idea that my Physics degree could be usefully applied in the real world. For this reason I found the Centre for Medical Image Computing at UCL particularly exciting; it offers opportunities to undertake research with a direct view towards clinical translation. My project will focus on the use of interventional MRI, in collaboration with the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in Queen Square. In particular I will be looking at the use of MRI data acquired during neurosurgical procedures to accurately localise brain structure and tumours. Hopefully this work will enable tumours to be removed with greater accuracy and fewer complications.
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Michael Hutel ( MRes/MPhil/PhD )
Michael_Hutel_photo.jpg My research focuses on the functional organisation of the human brain by looking at its characteristics from an engineering perspective. I obtained my passion for this interdisciplinary research at the Max Planck Institute for Human and Cognitive Brain Sciences in 2011/2012. There, I had the opportunity to study functional networks of the human brain, which I derived from resting-state functional MR images. After graduating from the University of Leipzig in 2013 with a Diploma in Medical Computer Science, I wanted to build on my previous work. Therefore, the Wolfson DTP was the ideal programme, combining expertise in medical imaging (CMIC) and neurology (DRC), and enabling me to study the disrupted functional organization of the human brain when challenged by neurodegenerative diseases. My focus is hereby the development of new biomarkers based on Bayesian modelling and their translation into the clinical landscape.
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Christian Klemt ( MPhil/PhD )
christian_klemt_photo.JPG I obtained my bachelor`s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University of Berlin then pursued a Masters in Biomedical Engineering at Queen Mary University. I was attracted by the strength of the research performed at the Centre for Medical Image Computing (CMIC), thus highly delighted to join the Medical and Biomedical Imaging Doctoral Training Programme. My research concentrates on the analysis of pathological conditions such as inflammation around the hip joint following a hip replacement surgery. For that purpose, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is utilised as it provides high-resolution anatomical information with good tissue contrasts. The goal of my research is to develop novel biomarkers which enable clinicians to make decisions about implant removal prior infections cause extensive damage to tissues, muscles and nerves.
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Chris Payne ( MRes/MPhil/PhD )
Chris_payne_photo.jpg After completing a BSc in Physics at Queens University Belfast, I undertook an MSc in Advanced Neuroimaging at UCL as it combined the two areas of science I find most fascinating. I was particularly interested in functional imaging so for my MSc project I looked at figure-ground segregation in the auditory cortex using MEG. I joined the DTP in 2013 as an MRes student to focus more on the developmental side of biomedical imaging. My MRes project will look at magnetic activation of specific cells in the brain using iron oxide nanoparticles. At present, the dominant technology for controlling cells in the brain is optogenetics, where the cells are made sensitive to light genetically and stimulated by implanting optical fibres into the brain. The benefit of this new technique is it removes the invasive aspect and allows remote control of the brain, without compromising spatial or temporal specificity. So far astrocytes have been successfully activated in vitro, so I will be working on developing this new technique in vivo.
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Sara Reis ( MPhil/PhD )
sara_reis_photo.jpg I obtained a 3+2 Bachelors plus Masters in Biomedical Engineering and Biophysics at the University of Lisbon in my home country Portugal. I was initially attracted to a career in research at the end of my Bachelors when I completed a three months research internship at the University of Virginia (USA). For this reason, in my second year of Masters I decided to do my research project at the Ultrasonics Lab in the UCL Department of Mechanical Engineering where I studied the acoustic properties of human liver tissue for ultrasound therapy purposes. This experience was very rewarding in a professional and personal level, and it convinced me to pursue a PhD to increase my research skills and hopefully make me a better professional. I joined CMIC in 2013 and I will develop my work within the Breast Cancer Imaging Group.
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Carole Sudre ( MPhil/PhD )
carole_sudre_photo.png As a specialization of my education at Ecole Polytechnique engineering school in France with a major in applied mathematics I obtained a Master in Biomedical Engineering from ETH Zurich in March 2013. Strongly attracted by the translational motivation of CMIC and fascinated by the power of medical imaging, I spent the last 6 months of the programme at CMIC on a project that I will pursue during my PhD in collaboration with the DRC (Dementia Research Center). My research focuses on the study of the lesions of the white matter in the brain that can be observed in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Delineating, characterizing, quantifying and modeling these lesions in different images acquired with magnetic resonance imaging might indeed provide a deeper understanding of the processes of these diseases, link it to other assessments of dementia and avoid bias in other brain measurements.
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Anna Zamir ( MPhil/PhD )
Anna_Zamir_photo.jpg I graduated with a BSc in Physics with Medical Physics from UCL. Having spent 3 years undertaking courses which focussed on applying physical theories to the medical world, I knew this wasn’t enough for me and decided to pursue a PhD in the field. I’m currently based in the Medical Physics and Bioengineering department and my supervisor is Prof. Sandro Olivo. The research team lead by Prof. Olivo is working on a novel way of using X-rays for imaging. The method is called “Coded Aperture X-ray Phase Contrast Imaging” . This method produces images based on the refraction of X-rays as they go through a sample, as opposed to the conventional method which is based on their absorption. So far it has been shown to have significantly higher resolution and contrast compared to conventional X-ray imaging. My project aims to optimize the imaging method in 3D and to create a prototype phase contrast CT scanner, while investigating different applications (such as regenerative medicine, tumour invasion, composite materials).
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Jiaying Zhang ( MPhil/PhD )
JiayingZhang.jpg I joined DTP as a MPhil student after completing my master degree of computer science at national key laboratory cognitive neuroscience and learning of Beijing Normal University in 2013. It is during my master degree that I found my potential life goals and the strong wishes deep from my heart to help patients who suffer a lot. And the most important thing of all is that I find myself enjoy the research even though sometimes it turns out to be very painful. Therefore, I came to mig at cmic to continue my research life. Till now, my research interest focuses on reconstructing brain structural connectivity by new tractography algorithms based on Neurite Orientation Dispersion and Density Imaging technique (NODDI) and further demonstration of the new tractography algorithm.
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2012

Felix Bragman ( MRes/MPhil/PhD )
felix_bragman_photo.jpg I obtained my Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering at UCL then pursued a Masters in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Oxford. I was attracted to the strength of the research performed at CMIC; in particular the clinical translation of computational methods within medical imaging. I chose to start the DTP at CMIC in order to develop novel links between theory and practical application using imaging and modelling. In particular, my research will focus on the development of novel methods for the diagnosis of respiratory diseases such as COPD. The presentation of COPD is markedly heterogeneous in terms of the pathology, etiology and clinical symptoms. The main, present goal of my research aims to combine registration, shape analysis of the airways and texture-analysis to improve the current assessment of disease severity and the identification of novel biomarkers.
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Ninon Burgos ( MPhil/PhD )
ninon_burgos_photo.jpg I obtained an Electronic Engineering degree from a French graduate school in electrical engineering, computer science and telecommunications and an MSc in Biomedical Engineering from Imperial College London, in 2012. I am now a PhD student at the Centre for Medical Image Computing (CMIC). My research concentrates on the improvement of estimation of radio-pharmaceutical uptake in MR-PET imaging. While Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) provides high-resolution anatomical information, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) provides functional information. The combined images have applications in oncology, neurology, or cardiology. Several factors limit the PET resolution such as photon count statistics and motion of the patient. My work during my PhD will be to improve an existing reconstruction algorithm, adding a new method of MR-based attenuation correction and a motion compensation algorithm.
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Angela M. d'Esposito ( MPhil/PhD )
angela_d_esposito_photo.png I have completed both my BSc in Clinical Engineering and MSc in Biomedical Engineering in my home town at Sapienza, University of Rome. During my academic career I have had the chance to study at TU/e, Technical University of Eindhoven (NL), and later on to work on my final Master project at Berkeley, University of California. Learning much from these experiences from both a personal and an academic point of view, I have decided to continue walking in that direction by starting a PhD research at UCL, CABI (Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging). Here I am working on the development of an Optical Projection Tomography (OPT) imaging system to study fundamental biological processes in the heart and brain using light emitted from inside the organ, via optical fluorescence. OPT is a novel technology and represents the next generation of optical microscopy. Developments in this research will fill a technological gap, allowing 3-D imaging of cellular process in unprecedented detail.
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Zach Eaton-Rosen ( MRes/MPhil/PhD )
zach_eaton_rosen_photo.png Zach Eaton-Rosen was born and raised in London. He studied physics for a masters, doing an M.Sci project on MRI registration in stroke patients. In 2010-2012 he taught secondary science and physics in Edmonton. In this time the national curriculum convinced him (although few of his students) of the exciting, productive and important nature of research. Therefore, he applied and was accepted to the DTP programme. Since coming back to university, he has relished being given a chance to really use his mind and work with gifted colleagues (not to mention wearing comfortable clothing!). He will be working on scans of premature babies, trying to link imaging biomarkers with future outcomes, hopefully leading to effective intervention for the children who need it most.
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Matthias Joachim Ehrhardt ( MPhil/PhD )
matthias_ehrhardt_photo.jpg My background is in applied mathematics in which I completed my Diploma at the University of Bremen, Germany, in 2011. Alongside my major subject mathematics the studies included industrial engineering and computer science as minor subjects. In my Diploma thesis I applied sparsity to decomposition tasks in geosciences. Since 2012 I am a PhD student at CMIC under the supervision of Professor Simon Arridge. My research interests comprise inverse problems, convex optimization, sparsity, and signal and image processing – in particular application of these techniques to medical imaging. In my research I work on simultaneous reconstruction of positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). As PET scans show cancer but lack good spatial resolution modern scanners obtain anatomical information from a built in MRI system which can be used to enhance the spatial resolution.
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Eoin Finnerty ( MPhil/PhD )
eoin_finnerty_photo.png I obtained my B.Sc in Physics & Instrumentation from the Galway/Mayo Institute of Technology in 2008. After this I spent some time working in the energy sector in Norway and Wales, before moving to Canada in 2009. After returning home, I decided that I would like to further my career in physics, and so completed a HDip in Experimental Physics in the National University of Ireland Maynooth, before going on to complete a Masters in Medical Physics in NUI Galway. I began my PhD in UCL in October 2012, specialising in MRI. I was initially attracted to a career in research during my time in Maynooth, where I undertook a spectroscopy project that involved EM resonance. During my Masters I found MRI to be a natural continuation of this. My research involves using the phase data obtained during an MRI scan to map the magnetic susceptibility of tissues.
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Laurence Jackson ( MRes/MPhil/PhD )
laurence_jackson_photo.jpg After graduating from Cardiff University with a BSc in Physics with Medical Physics in 2012 I joined the DTP and I am now based at the Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging (CABI). Broadly my main research interest is in cardiac MRI, while at the moment my focus is on myocardial tagging. This is where spatially selective RF pulses are applied in a grid pattern to pre-saturate the myocardium; this saturated tissue appears darker than its surroundings appearing as a grid of dark lines. The grid is applied at end-diastole and once applied becomes a physical property of the tissue which deforms with the heart as it beats providing markers for quantifiable motion tracking. Cardiac MRI mainly focuses on global function; the goal of this project is to be able to measure the onset of cardiac diseases regionally by analysing the contraction of the heart.
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Louise Kiru ( MPhil/PhD )
louise_kiru_photo.jpg I obtained my BSc in Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed an MRes degree in Biomedical Research at Imperial College London. I am enrolled on a joint studentship based at the UCL Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging and the Cancer Institute. This is ideal for me as I was keen to do a PhD in a cross-disciplinary and collaborative environment. The main objective of my research project is to non-invasively track cells by imaging gene expression in vivo using PET/SPECT. Despite an increase in the use of adoptive cell based immunotherapy in clinical practice, there are still unanswered questions regarding the biological fate of the cells once they are administered. This technique is versatile and can potentially be used to monitor different cells including tumour cells, stem cells or therapeutic T-cells.
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Martin Kochan ( MRes/MPhil/PhD )
martin_kochan_photo.jpg I have joined CMIC in 2012 after working for over four years as a software engineer in software technology and biotechnology software companies. I have a BA Cybernetics and Measurement from Czech Technical University, Prague and MRes Bioinformatics from Newcastle University. I was attracted to the DTP as I want to move into a research and development type of role and to work on developing and enabling algorithms that solve important problems. I became attracted to the field of medical imaging and in particular of image-guided surgery, which enables minimally invasive interventions as well as previously infeasible surgeries by combining multi-channel imaging with precise navigation of surgical instruments. My research will be specifically in brain shift estimation in neurosurgery. I am also interested in machine vision, MRI, image registration techniques and generally in optimization algorithms.
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Richard Manber ( MPhil/PhD )
no_photo.png I graduated with a masters in Engineering Mathematics from the University of Bristol before working as a research assistant at CMIC, focussing on vessel-based image registration techniques. I then worked for a private company dealing with imaging for clinical trials. I am now studying for a PhD in motion correction in simultaneous Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Magnetic Resonance imaging (MRI). The project is split between The centre for Medical Image Computing (CMIC) and the institute of nuclear Medicine (INM) at University College Hospital (UCH). MRI provides high resolution anatomical information while PET provides functional information, but the images are of lower resolution. My work will focus on exploiting the fact that both imaging modalities can be acquired simultaneously on the new Siemens mMR scanner, and motion information found in one can be used to correct the other.
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Arun Niranjan ( MRes/MPhil/PhD )
arun_niranjan_photo.jpg Before coming to the UCL Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging, I completed four years of the Natural Sciences Tripos (BA & MSci.) at Cambridge University, where I specialised in experimental and theoretical physics. It was during my final year that I developed an interest in biological and medical physics. During my DTP I will be investigating resting-state fMRI as an early biomarker for Alzheimer's Disease, and testing this with a transgenic mouse model. There will be many physics and neuroscience experiments, combined with a number of data analysis techniques to map correlations between brain areas and establish functional networks. It may be that subtle differences within these networks can provide an insight into how Alzheimer's Disease develops, and potentially lead to a diagnostic tool in humans.
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Eliza Orasanu ( MRes/MPhil/PhD )
eliza_orasanu_photo.jpg I completed my Bachelor degree in Physics and Earth and Space Sciences at Jacobs University Bremen in Germany and wrote my Physics Bachelor thesis in cooperation with Fraunhofer MEVIS on a project dealing with compartment modelling of the liver and deconvolution techniques based on perfusion and hepatic extraction. I joined the DTP programme at UCL in 2012 as an MRes student. Currently I am working in the field of Neonatal Imaging, on a project dealing with MRI brain data of 18 to 28 weeks foetuses. The aim of the project is to perform segmentation and registration of the images in order to investigate the development of the early human brain. This information is crucial for the early prediction of brain abnormalities.
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Hasan Sari ( MPhil/PhD )
hasan_sari_photo.jpg Originally coming from Cyprus, I moved to UK to study Bachelors in Electronic Systems Engineering at University of Manchester and then obtained a Masters in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Oxford. After completing my master's degree, I stayed at Oxford to work for Siemens Molecular Imaging as a software test engineer. I have now started my PhD at Institute of Nuclear Medicine and I am working on joint kinetic analysis of dynamic PET and contrast-enhanced MRI data. Combining the information from PET and MRI will enable us to tackle the limitations of each modality and would be an asset to clinicians and scientists in the design of new diagnostic tools and to provide better monitoring of treatment responses.
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Lebina Shrestha ( MRes/MPhil/PhD )
lebina_shrestha_photo.jpg I graduated from the University of Surrey in 2010 with a BSc in Physics with Medical Physics. With my growing interest in medical physics, I started an MSc in Physics and Engineering in Medicine at UCL. My MSc project was based on programming an ultrasound scanner to monitor the effects of high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). In 2012, I joined the DTP programme as an MRes student. My MRes project is currently focused on implementing and programming an oscillating gradient diffusion MRI sequence onto a 3T Phillips MRI scanner at UCLH. Optimising this sequence will allow determination of axon sizes in the brain. This will form the basis of my work for the next four years, where I hope to achieve the goal of obtaining brain data of human subjects using this MRI sequence to distinguish between patient groups and control groups.
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Alexandra Young ( MPhil/PhD )
alexandra_young_photo.jpg I joined the DTP in 2012 after completing a BSc in Mathematics and an MSc in Computer Graphics, Vision and Imaging at UCL. During my MSc I took some courses related to medical image computing and for my project I worked on disease progression modelling within CMIC. My research is focussed on modelling the progression of neurological diseases within the brain, in particular Alzheimer's disease. Current techniques for disease staging are based on cognitive test scores which are subjective, have limited temporal resolution and cannot characterise the earlier disease stages. My work will use computational modelling and machine learning techniques which make it possible to analyse progression patterns from a variety of measurements and without reliance on the clinical staging of patients. More detailed models of disease progression will allow earlier and more reliable patient diagnosis which is essential for drug trials.
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Yanan Zhu ( MRes/MPhil/PhD )
yanan_zhu_photo.png Following my graduation from UCL in BSc Biomedical Sciences in 2011, I was not sure if I really wanted to do a PhD. I worked as a private tutor, whilst looking for a full-time job. However I was surprised how much I missed studying science, the constant mental workout and the rewarding feeling after understanding a difficult concept or solving a complex problem. In the end, I was determined to do a PhD and to develop scientific research skills and expertise in a specific subject area of my interest. I joined the Doctoral Training Programme in September 2012. My project is on assessing the effects of an anti-cancer therapy known as proteasome inhibitor on pre-clinical model of gliama, a type of brain tumour using Amide Proton Transfer Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The complexity in the physics of magnetic resonance imaging and its vast clinical applications make the subject intellectually stimulating.
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2011

Max Allan (MRes/MPhil/PhD)
max_allan_photo.jpg I joined CMIC in 2011 after completing a BSc in physics at King's College London and an MSc in computer science at Imperial College. During my DTP I will be looking at applying techniques of computer vision to the field of robot-assisted surgery. Research in this field aims to overcome the challenges surgeons face in terms of tool localisation and scene visualisation within the patient's body. This can be achieved through the visual tracking of both the camera and the instruments as well as performing reconstruction of the surrounding surfaces. One of the research goals I hope to achieve is to use this data to build a system that is capable of assessing the skills of trainee surgeons. This will allow their ability and progress to be measured in quantifiable way.
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Roman Hochuli (MRes/MPhil/PhD)
roman_hochuli_photo.jpg Throughout my undergraduate studies, it was my desire to undertake research at a top-level institution. After completing a BSc in Physics with Medical Physics at UCL, I joined the Julius Wolff Institut – Charité
in Berlin for a 3-month internship as part of the DAAD RISE programme. During this time I worked on the characterisation of rat bone using confocal ultrasound microscopy. I began the DTP in 2011 as an MRes student. Courses in optics, programming and computational modelling serve as the ideal preparation for my project in quantitative photoacoustic imaging. In this project, I aim to develop methods of recovering
chromophore concentrations from photoacoustic images, via computational means, and to test them experimentally. I have enjoyed the challenges faced so far and look forward to making progress in my research.
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Holly Holmes
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)
no_photo.png After I finished my degree in Chemistry at the University of Liverpool, I wanted to broaden my horizons and pursue my Masters in a more varied, multidisciplinary area. I went on to Imperial College to study Bioimaging Sciences, where I fell in love with MRI. My decision to study at UCL was largely shaped by the facilities and projects available at the Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging (CABI), where I am now based.  The initial MRes year will expose me to different areas of research as CABI works with collaborators across a range of disciplines. I will also be working towards optimising in vivo imaging of neurodegenerative mouse models with respect to the 3Rs; this will form the foundations of my work for the next 4 years.
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Andrada Ianus (MRes/MPhil/PhD)
andrada_ianus_photo.jpg I finished my undergrad studies in Physics at Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany and I did my bachelor thesis in collaboration with Fraunhofer MeVis on a project related to MRI imaging using Arterial Spin Labelling (ASL). I joined the DTP programme at UCL in 2011 and I am part of the Mircrostructure Imaging Group. My current project is to study an analytical approximation of the diffusion MRI signal in restricted geometries for an oscillating diffusion gradient, which allows a better estimation of small pore sizes. Next, I will apply what I learned so far about diffusion pulse sequences to prostate cancer imaging. The goal of the project is to accurately stage the cancer based on the diffusion images which reflect to some extent the morphological changes of the tissue.
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Stian Flage Johnsen (MPhil/PhD)
stian_johnsen.jpg My academic background is in computational science, computer graphics, and medical imaging. I received a first MSc degree in computer science from ETH Zurich in 2008, and a second one in medical image computing from UCL in 2010. Since November 2010, I have been employed by CMIC as a research associate, at first on a temporary basis, and since February 2011 on a permanent contract. I also enrolled as a part-time PhD student with UCL in February 2011, carrying out research in the area of simulating biomechanics for aiding surgical image guidance at CMIC. This entails dealing with biomechanical simulation by means of FEM, contact detection and modelling, and registration problems. This research has given me the very unique opportunity to combine what I learned in both my MScs, and apply it to a range of challenging and interesting problems.
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Da Ma (MPhil/PhD)
Da_Ma_photo.jpg I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Electronic and Communication Engineering, and Master’s degree in Ophthalmology, both in the University of Hong Kong. During that time, I started to be fascinated by the prospective future of using medical imaging methods to investigate and tackle neuroscience problems. I then joined the DTP in 2011, and my research project involves joint collaboration between two centres in UCL: Centre of Medical Image Computing and Centre of Advanced Biomedical Imaging.  My research project is to develop automatic segmentation method on mouse brain images and to identify fine structural differences or changes. The project is also part of the mouse phenotyping group project, which is to use high-resolution microscopic MRI to investigate microstructural changes in the mouse brain with the corresponding genomic variations or defects.
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Alexander Mendelson (MRes/MPhil/PhD)
alexander_mendelson_photo.png I came to the DTP in 2011 from a background in physics. I am looking for ways to improve the early diagnosis of dementia through the combination of data from different imaging modalities. This year I shall be working between CMIC the INM at UCLH. My research here aims to improve and create computer aided diagnosis tools using techniques from computer vision. Right now, I am using exploring a novel way to combine PET and MRI data to recognise changes associated with disease progression in Alzheimer's. Using pre-existent data and random forest classifiers, a machine learning technique, I produce similarity measures between the data points associated with different cases of disease or health. These measures can be used to map diagnosed and undiagnosed data points to a new space where machine learning techniques may be used more effectively.
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James O'Callaghan (MRes/MPhil/PhD)
james_ocallaghan_photo.png I graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2002 with an MEng Electronic Engineering and went on to work as a Radio Frequency Engineer in Wireless Telecommunications. I worked in locations throughout Europe and the USA before returning to the UK to embark on an MSc Medical Image Computing at UCL in 2010. My interests in Medical Imaging grew throughout this course, particularly in the area of Magnetic Resonance Physics. Currently I am working at the Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging conducting research in magnetic field gradient linearity in small bore MRI.
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Christopher Parker (MRes/MPhil/PhD)
Christopher_Parker_photo.jpg My joint interest in neurobiology and biomedical imaging has led me to pursue a research role in neuroimaging. I particularly like studying diffusion MRI and what this tells us about the nerve pathways of the human brain. For the first year of my PhD I am doing the MRes in Medical and Biomedical Imaging, working partly on gaining new skills in computing and neuroanatomy, and partly on my PhD project, which is a joint collaboration between CMIC, the Institute of Child Health and the Dementia Research Centre. My project will initially involve testing various methods for obtaining measures of structural connectivity using diffusion-weighted images and for analysing the network using graph theoretical analysis. The method of choice will be developed as a novel clinical tool for studying language development in children and for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease.
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Thomas Stahl (MRes/MPhil/PhD)
no_photo.png During my BSc in Chemical Engineering studies in Germany I started to develop a big interest in the detection and treatment of cancer. In 2011, I completed a MRes in Chemical Research, aiming to contribute to the development of gas sensors, which in future could be applied as breath-sensors for the cancer detection. During this research period I became more and more fascinated by the possibilities modern imaging modalities make available in the field of cancer detection, so I applied to the Department of Medical Physics at UCL, where I recently started a Doctoral Training Program. My project here involves the development of targeted contrast agents for photoacoustic modalities. The future prospect of the development of such contrast agents is to reveal processes that occur at a molecular level and allows observing the effects of a treatment.
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Maira Tariq (MRes/MPhil/PhD)
no_photo.png I joined the Doctoral Training Program in 2011. I graduated from Imperial College, London in 2009 with a Masters degree in Biomedical Engineering. The course in Biomedical Engineering attracted me due to its application to the field of medicine. After working as a Clinical Engineer for two years, I decided to join the DTP at UCL since it combined the areas of medical technology, computing and mathematics, all of which I am deeply interested in. I have joined the Microstructure Imaging Group (MIG) in CMIC, which focusses on obtaining the neural structural details non-invasively, using Diffusion MRI techniques. I am working under the supervision of Dr. Gary Zhang and will be working on the clinical implementation and testing of the microstructure imaging techniques generated within MIG.
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2010

Abigail Andrews (MPhil/PhD)
abigail_andrews_photo.jpg After reading Computer Science at UCL, working in software development and support and teaching ICT in a secondary school, I returned to UCL to take MSc degrees in Medical Image Computing and then in Vision, Imaging and Virtual Environments. My PhD research is focused on development of multimodal imaging biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease, an increasingly prevalent neurodegenerative disease. Over the past year I have developed pipelines for processing and combining MRI and PET images to analyse links between various atrophy measures and amyloid plaques in the brain. As well as working with the methods team at CMIC, I spend some time at the DRC in Queen’s Square, where I enjoy the benefit of collaborating with our clinical colleagues. My work aims to utlilise the team’s developments in registration, segmentation, BSI, cortical thickness and PVC to improve prediction, diagnosis and prognosis and to elucidate disease progression and response to therapy in search of disease-modifying treatments for AD.
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Isabel Christie (MRes/MPhil/PhD)
isabel_christie_photo.png I am a neuroscientist because I am fascinated by the brain how little we know about how it works! I began studying for a BSc in neuroscience at Bristol University. Then I moved to UCL for a MSc in neuroscience. I was attracted to UCL as it is internationally acclaimed in neuroscience and has an outstanding community of scientists. I joined CABI (Centre for Advance Biomedical Imaging) with Mark Lythgoe to begin an MRI and optogenetics collaborative PhD project. Supervised by Alex Gourine I have developed in vivo physiology skills which enable me to transfect animals with light sensitive actuator proteins. When these proteins are stimulated with light, physiological effects can be monitored with functional MRI.
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Bjoern Eiben (MRes/MPhil/PhD)
Bjoern_Eiben_photo.png After finishing my Dipl.-Ing. (FH) and Master’s degree in image engineering at the University of Cologne, I worked at the Research Centre Juelich and became highly interested in medical image registration. That’s way I joined UCL and the DTP programme at CMIC in 2010. In breast cancer treatment the number of breast conserving surgeries are increasing. Dynamic Magnetic Resonance Imaging is used to localise and stage lesions, as well as to provide important information for the surgeon with respect to planning and excision margins.  However the patient position is completely different during imaging and surgery. We are aiming to recover the deformation which the breast undergoes due to the position change of the patient from image acquisition (prone) to surgery (supine). To solve this large scale deformation problem we build and integrate bio-mechanical models and image registration and finally will make the registration approach physically more realistic.
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Uran Ferizi (MRes/MPhil/PhD)
uran_ferizi_photo.jpg I came to UCL after reading Maths and work in Investment Banking. The aim of my project is to assess the damage to brain nerves from diseases. In the first year, the “MRes”, I compared models that describe better the permeability of the nerves, working with synthetic data to fine-tune the models, and with real Diffusion-MRI data to test their utility. This year I am working on ranking the models of Diffusion MRI. It exploits the natural diffusion of fluids inside the biological tissue to deduce the restrictions encountered by these fluids. There is a multitude of models, from parameters of which we can make inferences about the underlying microstructure. These inferences vary in accuracy and precision, largely based on the model which is used. So far, ex-vivo data has been used to build a hierarchy of the models. I will follow a similar route, but with in-vivo  data.
email website
 
Miguel Rodrigues Gonçalves
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)
miguel_gonc_alves_photo.jpg I joined the DTP in 2010 after finishing an MSc in Biomedical Engineering in Portugal. Over the last year of my Master’s I became very interested in the medical imaging field and so I applied to the UCL Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging, where I am based at currently. My project aims at characterising the microenvironment of tumour xenograft models and evaluating characteristics associated with acute hypoxia. Acute hypoxia is a characteristic of solid tumours and is associated with resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, as well as contributing to tumour progression and development of metastatic disease. Oxygen fluctuations can be measured non-invasively with MRI using gradient-echo sequences sensitive to the changes in oxygen and blood flow. These findings will be used to construct mathematical models of tumour growth and progression, with a view to applying corresponding techniques in clinical trials of radiotherapy efficacy.
email
 
Albert K. Hoang Duc (MPhil/PhD)
Albert_Hoang_Duc_photo.jpg I join the PhD program at UCL in 2010 after working in various universities in the UK, Canada and the USA. I completed a Master's degree in Computer Science in France and a Master's degree in Neuroscience in the UK. Radiation therapy of cancer requires the segmentation of organs at risk on various imaging modalities in order to maximize the dose received by the target tumor while controlling the dose received by the surroundings organs at risk. Manual contouring can provide these delineations but is dramatically time consuming and prone to inter-expert variability. My research focuses on applying machine learning techniques for the development of novel atlas-based algorithms to obtain automatic segmentation of organs at risk in the liver and head/neck regions that produce fast, accurate and consistent results. The acquisition of large quantities of imaging studies prior to, during and after treatment may be a significant challenge for hospital logistics but offers a great opportunity for large scale analysis and data mining.
email
 
Ruth Oliver (MRes/MPhil/PhD)
ruth_oliver.png My undergraduate degree is in Physics and my interest in medical imaging led me to study for an MSc in Imaging in Biomedical science. I decided to follow this up with a PhD and was attracted to the DTP program at UCL due to the variety of projects on offer and range of taught modules during the first year. It is also possible to switch projects at the end of the first year. Last year, I worked on a project to register histology with ex vivo MR images of brain samples. This year I am based at the Institute of Neurology, where I am developing techniques to correct partial volume effect on arterial spin labelled (ASL) images. ASL is an MR technique that measures perfusion non-invasively.
email
 
Niral Patel
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)
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After completing my undergraduate master’s degree in Medicinal Chemistry at UCL, I wanted to research in a more pre-clinical environment. I joined the Doctoral Training Program in 2010, collaborating between the Radiochemistry department and the Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging. My research focuses on the development of radiotracers for targeting Voltage Gated Sodium Channels (VGSC). Results from numerous studies have implicated VGSC expression in the pathophysiology of various diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis and Epilepsy. Development of VGSC radiotracers may allow the use of nuclear imaging to quantify changes in the Na+ channel expression using SPECT/CT imaging.  In doing so, this may enable diagnosis of disease, monitor response to treatment and study the pathological processes of a wide range of diseases.

email
 
Rajiv Ramasawmy
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)
Rajiv_Ramasawmy_photo.png I joined the Doctoral Training Programme in 2010 after completing an undergraduate Masters in Physics at Sussex University. I wanted to do research in a more applied field and medical physics seemed a worthy challenge. I am currently based at the Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging where my project is focussed on developing a non-invasive MRI sequence to measure perfusion within the liver. Current practice involves the injection of a contrast agent, whose side effects limit the frequency of these measurements. Development of a non-invasive method such as a MR technique known as Arterial Spin Labelling (ASL) can provide information on the viability of a liver as well as early and follow-up response to novel vascular targeting therapies for liver metastases.
email
 
Frank Riemer
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)
frank_riemer_photo.jpg Hi I'm Frank, I studied Physics (Solid State, Quantum & Medical) at King's (MSci) before coming to UCL. I'm from Germany originally and like beer-houses :) I very much recommend making use of the great choice of courses available at UCL and can recommend Anatomy and Scientific Computing, as well as Advanced Imaging P3 if you are going to do MRI - as they teach elementary image processing skills. My DTP project is on pushing 23Na-MRI in the brain to derive quantitative measures of sodium in healthy and diseased (Multiple Sclerosis) human brains. I like my project as it encompasses developing sequences, acquiring, processing and analysing data as well as fitting and designing models.
email website
 
Benjamin Trémoulhéac
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)
benjamin_tremoulheac_photo.png My background is in Physics for undergraduate's degree and Computer Science/Electrical Engineering for master's degree which I obtained both in France. Before joining UCL, I did a research internship in signal processing at CNRS in Nice, France, where I worked on denoising of astrophysical hyperspectral data. My research at UCL involves the use of novel signal and image processing methods known as compressed sensing and sparsity in the field of dynamic medical images. This is closely related to topics such as inverse problems, optimisation and in particular image reconstruction from undersampled data. General aim is to help in the acquisition, reconstruction and/or interpretation of medical images with potential benefits for clinicians and/or patients. For example, compressed sensing has been applied in MRI to speed up scan time and in CT to reduce radiation dose.
email
 

2009

Joanna Brunker
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)
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Even at the end of my Natural Sciences degree, I still wasn’t sure about doing a PhD; but the Biomedical DTP has proved to suit me perfectly. The initial training year helped me find my feet, and I took various courses including computer programming, cancer biology and animal handling. These prepared me well for my current multidisciplinary research, which encompasses optics, acoustics and cancer biology and entails activities such as computational modelling, laboratory experiments and small animal studies. The subject of my project is pre-clinical characterisation of tumours using photoacoustic imaging, and so far I have been making Doppler velocity measurements on blood-simulating phantoms. Sometimes it feels as if nothing works, but the sudden breakthroughs keep me going! I was able to present some of my results at two international conferences in San Francisco.

email
 
Pankaj Daga
(MPhil/PhD)
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I enrolled in the DTP program in 2009 after spending a decade working in the computer industry. My project involves the use of MRI images acquired <i>during</i> a neurosurgical procedure to accurately localise brain structures and disease lesions during surgery. The main
focus of my work has been enhancement of fast non-rigid registration techniques developed at UCL to allow for multi-modal image registration using both structural and diffusion MRI images. We have
successfully applied this technique on temporal lobe epilepsy cases. In addition, I am working on novel EPI distortion correction schemes that can be used on interventionally acquired Diffusion Weighted MRI
images. My other research interests include discrete optimisation techniques, estimation of uncertainty in optimisation processes and visualisation of higher dimensional data.

email
 
Katherine Ordidge
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)
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I started the DTP programme in September 2009 to pursue my interest in Medical Imaging. My project researches cell based therapies for cancer (for example, using the bodies white blood cells to fight tumours) and how to label and track cells in the body over long periods of time. We are particularly interested in lung cancer because it is the commonest cause of cancer death in the UK, accounting for 22% of all cancer deaths. I graduated from UCL Medical School in 2007 and during my medical studies I took a year out to gain an Intercalated BSc in Medical Physics and Bioengineering, doing a research project in X-ray diffraction. After graduating, I worked as a junior doctor at King's College Hospital and then at the Medway Maritime Hospital, where I did rotations in Accident and Emergency, Haematology and Obstetrics and Gynaecology, completing my foundation training in August 2009.

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Stefano Pedemonte (MPhil/PhD)
Stefano_Pedemonte_photo.png I started my DTP at UCL in 2009 after graduating in Information Engineering at Politecnico di Milano. My project, which springs from the collaboration between the Centre for Medical Image Computing and the Institute of Nuclear Medicine at UCH, researches the integration of multi-modal imaging techniques to observe the state and progression of brain disease.  In the last two years I have investigated unified computational models of the uptake of radio-labelled pharmaceuticals in the brain tissue and of PET and MR image acquisition. I am currently investigating the use of such unified models for compensation of motion of the patient during the acquisition of PET and SPECT scans and to improve the quantification of pharmaceutical uptake in the upcoming MR/PET imaging systems.
email
 
Simon Richardson (MRes/MPhil/PhD)
simon_richardson_photo.jpg Originally a biologist by degree I have moved into diffusion MRI and microstructure measurement. My focus can be categorised as basic science and has required constant development of unique and novel techniques and methods for working with UCL's high field MRI systems. I design and build custom parts and equipment for both my work and my collaborators around UCL. I also work on 'Science & Art' projects with artists who have spent time working in UCL's Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging.
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Matt Rowe (MRes/MPhil/PhD)
matt_rowe_photo.jpg I joined the DTP in 2009 after completing an MPhys degree at the University of Manchester. My project is based on 'global tractography', which involves the construction of whole-brain white matter connectivity maps from a large-scale optimisation in which the entire connectivity model is solved simultaneously. This utilises diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging, which gives directional information about tissue structure in highly coherent configurations like the bundles of axons in white matter. Currently established methods solve connectivity one connection at a time, tracking locally from one voxel to the next. Due to the complexity of white matter structure at scales much smaller than the typical image resolution, these locally based techniques can be easily confounded at bifurcations and divergences. Global tractography has the potential to improve on the accuracy of MRI-derived brain-connectivity maps which can be of great importance to inform our understanding of brain function and pathology.
email
 
Jonathan Young (MRes/MPhil/PhD)
jon_young_photo.jpg I began the DTP program in 2009, having spent a couple of years working in industry since completing my Master's degree in Computer Science at UCL. My project involves using predicting the onset of dementia in elderly people both with Mild Cognitive Impairment, a transitional state between healthy ageing and Alzheimer's disease, and eventually in subjects showing no symptoms. This is done using image processing tools developed by my colleagues at CMIC to extract features that are predictive of dementia from structural MRI scans and other sources of data, such as patterns of atrophy in cortical grey matter or the shape of the hippocampus. Each subject brain is represented as a point in a very high dimensional space of these predictive features. State of the art techniques borrowed from machine learning are then used to separate groups of training subjects and classify unseen ones in this space.
email website
 

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