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Mapping human brain development at new spatial resolutions using machine learning and 7T MRI

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  • Full or part time
    Dr D Carmichael
    Prof D Alexander
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Project Description

In this PhD project we aim to bring together cutting edge advances in brain imaging and computer vision (that are also termed machine learning or artificial intelligence).

MRI is the most important imaging modality for studying human brain development owing to its non-invasive nature and its flexibility to quantify different aspects of brain structure and function. Firstly, we want to use the sensitivity of new 7 Tesla MRI scanners to enable brain imaging at higher resolution. This is important because to image cortical development, the layered cortex (1.5-4mm thick) needs sub-millimetre sampling yet typical resolutions currently achieved (~1mm) are insufficient.

Rapid developments in computer vision based on machine learning can enable computers to learn the mapping between high resolution and low resolution data, with pioneering work already performed in this area by the supervisory team. Once this mapping is understood it will allow us to enhance the resolution of existing low resolution MRI scans, and further, use this enhanced data to improve our models of brain development.

Person profile

We are looking for a highly motivated and committed person who is likely to have graduated from computer science, physics, maths or engineering. Graduates of other disciplines, such as neurosciences, are welcome to apply provided they are comfortable with highly computational work.

This PhD will equip the student with a high level of knowledge in the development and application of machine learning / artificial intelligence. You will have the opportunity to work at the cutting edge of MRI imaging in the department of biomedical engineering with access to the London 7T facility onsite. At the same time you will work within the team of Prof Daniel Alexander in the computer science department of UCL to learn and develop AI methods to enhance MRI images and apply this in the context of brain development.

Funding Notes

Fully funded place including home (UK) tuition fees and a tax-free stipend in the region of £17,009. Students from the EU are welcome to submit an application for funding, any offers will be subject to BBSRC approval and criteria. Students must start the PhD by September 2019.

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