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04 Jun

Identifying automated CT features predicting outcome in cystic fibrosis

Named Projects

A PhD studentship (4 year funding with a tax free stipend of £16,851) sponsored by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust is available in the UCL Centre for Medical Image Computing. The successful candidate will join the UCL CDT in Medical Imaging cohort and benefit from the activities and events organised by the centre.

Cystic fibrosis is a genetically inherited condition that results in a mutation in a protein that regulates the flow of fluids and salt in and out of various cells in the body. Whilst this results in damage to several organs such as the pancreas and bowel, it is damage to the lungs that predominantly impacts a patients quality of life and most influences life expectancy.

Lung disease can be visualized on computed tomography (CT) imaging and provides an estimate of disease severity. However quantifying disease severity is currently only achieved using crude visual scores of airway damage and parenchymal features on a lobar level. Using such visual lobar scores reduces the ability to identify subtle change in a patients CT scan over time. For the purposes of a drug trial endpoint, more precise measures of disease worsening are necessary and computer analysis of CT imaging could provide the answer.

The current study proposal aims to develop quantitative tools to identify and measure the presence and severity of airway damage in patients with cystic fibrosis. As a secondary aim, we also plan to characterize textural features on CT imaging to allow the quantification of lung parenchymal damage. Our study aim is to link imaging phenotypes to patient genotypes, and thereby develop a more personalized approach to disease stratification in cystic fibrosis.

Requirements:
The candidate is expected to have at least an upper second-class degree in physics, engineering or related area and a Masters degree or equivalent in a relevant subject area. A strong mathematics background is essential. Good working knowledge of C++ and/or Python or MATLAB is preferable. The candidate must be committed to deliver excellence in research, and will also be expected to provide regular, biannual reports on research progress and present at international conferences. Outstanding students from outside the EU may apply if they have funding to support international fees.

Further eligibility information can be found here:
Information for non-UK residential students can be found here:
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/beams/phd/funding/ods
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/international

To make an application please send a CV and contact details, including email addresses for two referees, to Dr Joseph Jacob at j.jacob@ucl.ac.uk. Please include a covering letter indicating why you believe you are suitable for the studentship, your long-term research and professional goals, and any particular expertise you have that you feel may be applicable in this work.

Closing date: 19 June 2018, with an anticipated start date of October 20th 2018.