Get free PhD updates, every week | SIGN UP NOW Get free PhD updates, every week | SIGN UP NOW

Detecting Cardiac Fibrosis using T1 rho Magnetic Resonance Imaging

   School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
  Dr James Ross, Prof Dana Dawson  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Cardiac fibrosis occurs in many heart conditions and means that healthy heart tissue is replaced with scar. These scars are stiffer than normal heart tissue and reduce the heart pumping ability as well as being a substrate for dangerous heart electrical rhythm disturbances. As a result, cardiac fibrosis is one of the major causes of end-stage heart failure, a leading cause of death worldwide. Fibrosis can occur through a variety of processes such as heart attack, hypertensive heart disease and many others.

Currently the gold standard imaging method for fibrosis detection is cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging. There are several CMR techniques which are excellent at detecting fibrosis but typically these require the use of contrast agents which is contraindicated for patients with poor renal function.

In this project we aim to explore the use of an MR technique known as T1ρ (T1-rho) imaging for detecting and characterising cardiac fibrosis. T1ρ imaging makes use of a special type of radiofrequency pulse, known as a spin-lock pulse, which allows us to probe relaxation mechanisms which are completely different from those occurring in conventional T1 and T2 imaging. T1ρ imaging has been shown in other applications like cartilage imaging to be highly sensitive to the motion of larger structures like collagen which makes it a potential candidate for a new cardiac fibrosis imaging technique which does not rely on exogeneous contrast agents.

The successful PhD holder will advance cardiac T1ρ research on our state-of-the-art 3T MRI scanner by developing and optimising the T1ρ imaging protocol and developing an image analysis workflow. They will also work with clinical researchers in our team to identify the most promising applications in cardiovascular health for this unique contrast mechanism.

Informal enquiries would be welcomed for a discussion, Please contact the lead supervisor, Dr James Ross ([Email Address Removed]) for more information.

Essential background of student:

1st class or 2.1 Honours degree in physics or related subject.


Masters level qualification

Previous experience in medical image processing

Strong background in programming


This project will be based within the Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS), part of the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition, at the University of Aberdeen. The IMS is located on the Foresterhill Health Campus, one of the largest clinical complexes in Europe, which also includes the Institute of Applied Health Sciences, a large teaching hospital and the Rowett Institute



  • Formal applications can be completed online:
  • You should apply for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Sciences to ensure your application is passed to the correct team
  • Please clearly note the name of the supervisor and exact project title on the application form. If you do not mention the project title and the supervisor on your application it will not be considered for the studentship.
  • Candidates should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum of a 2:1 Honours degree at undergraduate level.
  • General application enquiries can be made to [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

This Four year project is due to start in October 2022 and is funded by the Northwood Charitable Trust and the University of Aberdeen.
Funding covers Tuition Fees, bench fees, and a stipend at the UKRI rate.
PhD saved successfully
View saved PhDs