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Progression in Neurodegenerative Tauopathies: Neuroimaging Biomarkers and Disease Models

Project Description

One of the challenges in understanding neurodegenerative disorders is to relate the effect of genetic and molecular changes associated with disease to the level of the whole brain. Increasing evidence points towards the vulnerability of macro-scale brain networks in the progression of neurodegeneration. In order to investigate disease progression in brain networks, this project in the Cambridge Centre for Parkinson Plus will examine changes in structural networks in tau associated neurodegenerative diseases. These scans are drawn from a cohort study of people with the primary tauopathies of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Corticobasal Degeneration and Frontotemporal Dementia. Imaging data will be enriched with information available from post-mortem tissue to anchor the models in neuropathological changes, and with clinical cognitive data to gauge the influence of structural changes on clinical syndromes. There may be opportunities to extend this work with multimodal imaging techniques such as functional MRI. The successful candidate will use structural imaging techniques such as Diffusion Tensor Imaging and cortical thickness analysis (freesurfer) to understand the progression of tau associated neurodegenerative pathology through the brain. The candidate will build computational models that can be used to test hypotheses of tau spread and regional susceptibility. A familiarity with coding languages is essential and some experience of neuroimaging analysis is highly desirable.

The project will be co-supervised by Dr Timothy Rittman, a clinician scientist with extensive experience in neuroimaging applied to neurodegenerative diseases and genetics. This project supports the wider work of the Cambridge Centre for Parkinson’s Plus (

Funding Notes

Funding deadline is 3rd December 2019 for start in October 2020. When applying indicate on the application the funding options (GATES USA *deadline 9/10/19*, Gates Cambridge or other Cambridge Funders). Home/EU and International applications are all considered for funding.


Applicants can only be considered if they apply via the applicant portal which can be found at this link; please do not send in an enquiry and CV as this will not be considered an application.

Related Subjects

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FTE Category A staff submitted: 192.05

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