Coventry University Featured PhD Programmes
Norwich Research Park Featured PhD Programmes
Coventry University Featured PhD Programmes

Novel MRI methods for assessment of fluid flows in the brain

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

About the Project

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has evolved from an anatomical imaging modality to the most versatile method for measuring brain physiology and microstructure in-vivo. Being able to non-invasively detect these properties is important for understanding disease processes (when and where they happen), and for developing drug treatments to modify these properties in the presence of disease.

It is the job of MRI physicists to design new sequences that can probe important aspects of brain physiology with high accuracy and precision. Our lab is interested in developing methods to probe fluid movement (convective and diffusive) within and between cellular and vascular compartments. In the healthy brain, fluid movements are tightly regulated, but can become disturbed in a range of disease states such as dementia, stroke, and cancer1-4. In this PhD project, the student will design novel MRI sequences to probe and measure different types of fluid flow (e.g. circulatory, glymphatic) in the brain.

Throughout the PhD the student will gain training in MRI physics, neuroscience, computer programming, and compartmental and kinetic modelling. They will join our highly multidisciplinary team of scientists working on MRI physics and neurodegeneration research, and play an active role in our neuroimaging seminar series and student activities.

Candidates are expected to have or soon obtain a first class in a highly numerate degree (physics, maths, electronic engineering) with relevant research experience in MRI, or other imaging modality.

For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website ( Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor. On the online application form select PhD Biomedical Imaging Sciences

For international students we also offer a unique 4 year PhD programme that gives you the opportunity to undertake an accredited Teaching Certificate whilst carrying out an independent research project across a range of biological, medical and health sciences. For more information please visit

Funding Notes

Applications are invited from self-funded students. This project has a Band 3 fee. Details of our different fee bands can be found on our website (View Website). For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy 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


Dickie BR, Boutin H, Parker GJM, Parkes LM, Non-invasive MRI detects increased blood-brain barrier permeability to water in aging and Alzheimer’s disease, Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, 2020, In review

Scott L, Dickie BR, Rawson SD, Coutts G, Burnett TL, Allan SM, Parker GJM, Parkes LM, Characterisation of microvessel blood velocity and segment length in the brain using multi-diffusion time diffusion-weighted MRI, Journal of Cerebral blood Flow and Metabolism, 2020, In review

Dickie BR, Parker GJ, Parkes LM. Measuring water exchange across the blood-brain barrier using MRI. Progress in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy. 2020 Feb 1;116:19-39.

Dickie BR, Vandesquille M, Ulloa J, Boutin H, Parkes LM, Parker GJ. Water-exchange MRI detects subtle blood-brain barrier breakdown in Alzheimer's disease rats. Neuroimage. 2019 Jan 1;184:349-58

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