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Non-invasive imaging of the tumour microenvironment during radiotherapy response.

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, November 15, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Project details:

Optoacoustic imaging is an emerging clinical technology that combines the high contrast of optical imaging with the spatial resolution of ultrasound imaging. Recent work in the VISIONLab has shown that this technology can be used to identify tumour vascular phenotypes and oxygenation status at unprecedented resolution and depth in vivo. A crucial application for such imaging methods is radiotherapy, where imaging of blood oxygenation and tumour tissue hypoxia find applications in monitoring response and determining radioresistance.

This PhD project will focus on developing methodology that enables accurate identification of oxygenation changes in the tissue before, during and after radiotherapy. Initial validation will be performed in vivo, using small animal models of cancer. These studies will run in parallel with imaging in patient trials in the clinic, which the student will have an opportunity to support, seeing their efforts transition from bench to bedside. The student will have the opportunity to work across multiple research environments and departments, with potential for research visits to other centres within the CRUK Radiation Research Network and beyond. It will also involve external industrial collaboration.

Desirable qualifications and skills

The ideal candidate must have (or expect to obtain) a 1st or 2:1 honours degree in biological or biomedical sciences. Candidates with a strong interest in the project but coming from a different scientific background will also be considered if they can demonstrate sufficient coursework in the appropriate discipline. We strongly value a candidate with the desire to learn, create and innovate.

The project will combine a majority of experimental imaging with a minority computational element for image analysis and statistics. Background knowledge of programming languages used for quantitative data analysis (e.g. Matlab, Python), or an interest in computational methods, is thus desirable. The successful candidate should also have a strong interest in experimental research, including and acquiring in vivo imaging data. Additional relevant skills include: demonstrably excellent oral and written communication skills; strong team working skills; an ability to take initiative to solve problems; strong motivation in driving projects forward; and a significant critical thinking capability. Examples of any past experience that demonstrates these characteristics should be highlighted in the cover letter that accompanies any application. We expect the candidate will develop into an independent experimental researcher and will present their work in academic journals, as well as at conferences.

Candidates with previous experience of in vivo imaging or biomedical optics, for example during a Masters or Diploma degree, are particularly encouraged to apply.

Please click on ’Visit Website’ for details on how to apply. You must submit an application on-line to be considered for this studentship.

Funding Notes

This project is funded by a Cancer Research UK studentship that includes full funding for University and College fees and a stipend of £19,000 per annum. The study start date will be October 2020 (Michaelmas term 2020).

No nationality restrictions apply to Cancer Research UK funded studentships. Applications are invited from recent graduates or final year undergraduates who hold or expect to gain a first/upper second class degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject from any recognised university worldwide.

How good is research at University of Cambridge in Clinical Medicine?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 192.05

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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