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(BHF Acc) Multi-parametric MR imaging of myocardial fibrosis, perfusion and oxygenation

Project Description

The BHF Manchester Centre for Heart and Lung Magnetic Resonance Research (MCMR) is a new £3.1M investment in cardiovascular MR (CMR) aimed at translating multidisciplinary research excellence in Manchester into cardiovascular patient benefit. This new centre will open in September 2020 and will house a state of the art 3T clinical MRI scanner alongside clinical and image processing facilities. Research in the centre will build on our strong foundation of methodological and clinical CMR biomarker development. We have previously developed and validated quantitative CMR techniques including measurement of regional blood flow to the heart (myocardial perfusion), and the volume of the extracellular space (ECV) as an indicator of the presence fibrosis. Manchester is widely recognised as a world leading centre in CMR fibrosis research and our ECV technique is now being employed both in clinical risk stratification and as a biomarker of therapeutic response.

Many CMR biomarkers rely on injecting an MR contrast agent that is safe for most people but is not suitable for some patient groups, including those with severe kidney disease, or for use during pregnancy. Cardiovascular complications are a significant cause of mortality in end stage renal disease and in hypertensive pregnancy disorders such as pre-eclampsia and so alternative non-contrast methods are needed. This project will develop quantitative CMR measures of fibrosis, perfusion and tissue oxygenation that do not rely on the use of contrast agents and will assess these both in healthy volunteers and in patients.

A major barrier to routine translation of quantitative CMR to clinical application is the necessity for time-consuming segmentation of structures from parametric images in order to derive summary statistics. An additional aim of the project is to develop machine learning based automated methods of segmentation and multi-parametric image registration that can incorporated into streamlined analysis pipelines.

Entry Requirements:
Applications are invited from UK/EU nationals only. Applicants are expected to hold, or about to obtain, a minimum upper second class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a physical science or related subject. A Masters degree in a relevant subject and/or experience in medical imaging, image analysis or machine learning is desirable.

Applications are welcome for entry points in April 2020 or September 2020. Please select the appropriate entry point when applying.

Funding Notes

This project is to be funded under the BHF Accelerator Award. If you are interested in this project, please make direct contact with the Principal Supervisor to arrange to discuss the project further as soon as possible. You MUST also submit an online application form - full details on how to apply can be found on the BHF Accelerator Award website View Website

As an equal opportunities institution we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.


Considerations for Clinical Trials Targeting the Myocardial Interstitium.
Lewis GA, Dodd S, Naish JH, Selvanayagam JB, Dweck MR, Miller CA.
JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2019 Aug 8. pii: S1936-878X(19)30621-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmg.2019.03.034. [Epub ahead of print]

Multiparametric cardiovascular magnetic resonance surveillance of acute cardiac allograft rejection and characterisation of transplantation-associated myocardial injury: a pilot study.
Miller CA, Naish JH, Shaw SM, Yonan N, Williams SG, Clark D, Bishop PW, Ainslie MP, Borg A, Coutts G, Parker GJ, Ray SG, Schmitt M.
J Cardiovasc Magn Reson. 2014 Jul 20;16:52.

Multiparametric cardiovascular magnetic resonance assessment of cardiac allograft vasculopathy.
Miller CA, Sarma J, Naish JH, Yonan N, Williams SG, Shaw SM, Clark D, Pearce K, Stout M, Potluri R, Borg A, Coutts G, Chowdhary S, McCann GP, Parker GJ, Ray SG, Schmitt M.
J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014 Mar 4;63(8):799-808.

Comprehensive validation of cardiovascular magnetic resonance techniques for the assessment of myocardial extracellular volume.
Miller CA, Naish JH, Bishop P, Coutts G, Clark D, Zhao S, Ray SG, Yonan N, Williams SG, Flett AS, Moon JC, Greiser A, Parker GJ, Schmitt M.
Circ Cardiovasc Imaging. 2013 May 1;6(3):373-83

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