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Intraoperative parathyroid imaging

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, February 14, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Application details:
Reference number: SB/PH/2020
Start date of studentship: 1 October 2020
Closing date of advert: 14 February 2020

Primary supervisor: Sarah Bugby
Secondary supervisor (external): Saba Balasubramanian
Secondary supervisor (internal): Matteo Zanda

This is an interdisciplinary project in medical physics. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to;
• Work with clinical and academic collaborators across the UK
• Develop skills in simulation, experimental techniques (including working with ionising radiation), and medical imaging
• Contribute to the development of a new medical device to improve surgical outcomes
Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.
Loughborough University has a flexible working and maternity/parental leave policy ( and is a Stonewall Diversity Champion providing a supportive and inclusive environment for the LGBT+ community. The University is also a member of the Race Equality Charter which aims to improve the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students. The School of Science is a recipient of the Athena SWAN bronze award for gender equality.
Find out more:
The Centre for Sensing and Imaging Science is an interdisciplinary research centre of the School of Science, Loughborough University and you will have the opportunity to work with colleagues from a variety of disciplines.
Full Project Detail:
The parathyroids are small glands located in the neck and, in patients where they are working incorrectly, the most comment treatment is surgery. Parathyroids are difficult to distinguish from surrounding tissue by eye but show different uptake ratios when using certain radiopharmaceuticals (99mTc-MIBI and 123I). This project will develop an imaging system to localise the parathyroid during surgery using dual-isotope imaging, with the goal of improving patient outcomes for this procedure.
This project will investigate the use of a compound semiconductor detector gamma camera for parathyroid surgery. This will first require the creation of an accurate computer simulation based on experimental detector performance and example patient data. This simulation will then be used to investigate designs for the imaging system, and once the optimum design has been chosen a prototype device will be built. The prototype will be tested with anatomical models in the lab, and potentially through preclinical or clinical trials.
During the project you will work closely with Dr Saba Balasubramanian – Endocrine Surgeon, Dept. of Oncology and Metabolism, University of Sheffield. You will also be joining a wider collaboration with members at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and Royal Surrey County Hospital.
Find out more:

Entry requirements:
Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Physics or a related subject with an interest in interdisciplinary research. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage:
• Ionising radiation
• Medical physics
• Monte Carlo simulations
• X-ray or gamma-ray detection

Funding information:
This studentship will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have applied to this project and/or any of the advertised projects prioritised for funding by the School of Science.
The 3-year studentship provides a tax-free stipend of £15,009 (2019 rate) per annum for the duration of the studentship, plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. This studentship is only available to those eligible to pay UK/EU fees.
Contact details:
Name: Dr Sarah Bugby
Email address:
Telephone number: +44 (0)1509 222809

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select Physics.

Please quote reference number: SB/PH/2020.

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