UCL Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging
My fellowship aims to combine and develop innovative life science approaches with physical science techniques to produce next-generation cell labelling methods for the in vivo assessment of stem cell trafficking. I intend to correlate quantitative delivery with cell localization and assessment of cell viability to investigate the efficacy of stem cell therapies and predict their potential therapeutic outcomes. This builds on work that I have undertaken throughout my career; since 2002 (PhD) I have utilized nanoparticles and low molecular weight agents to produce contrast on both magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and nuclear imaging scanners. Further to this I have developed multi-modality nanoparticles and molecular genetic engineering strategies where cells express genes that incorporate contrast into the cell when alive. Combining these techniques will allow cells to be imaged across scale (whole body to micrometre range). Cell therapies are advantageous in many diseases. This therefore allows me the flexibility to collaborate with projects such as the UK Regenerative Medicine Platform to access exactly how these cells truly integrate with host and disease tissue. I was eager to apply for an EPSRC fellowship that fit with my research vision as the next step in my professional development with the aim of becoming an independent researcher. This fellowship will not only enable me advance my own research but it will provide further training to broaden my curriculum of skills including grant writing, media relations and management that will allow me to become a group leader within my selected institution.