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People

the success of our CDT is made possible by the strong network of researchers, clinicians and high-achieving students, all steered by a strong management team

Adeyemi Akintonde
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I joined the CDT after completing a 4-year BSc in Physics and an MSc in Physical Sciences in Medicine. During my MSc I was exposed to the exciting “world” of Medical Imaging, which I immediately developed an interest for. The application of technology to medicine has always been a profound interest of mine. My love for research and my interest in Medical Imaging made the CDT an ideal option for me. Also the CDT will enable me the opportunity to work within a multidisciplinary research environment.

I have embarked on a project to investigate the application of functional imaging to planning and verification of cancer patients undergoing proton therapy. Potentially this application could have a significant clinical impact. Proton therapy is an advanced and highly precise form of radiotherapy treatment that enables a more precise targeting of tumour sites within a patient. It is crucial that imaging technology enables the patients to receive the highest quality treatment possible in order to improve clinical outcome.

Abigail Andrews
(MPhil/PhD)

After reading Computer Science at UCL, working in software development and support and teaching ICT in a secondary school, I returned to UCL to take MSc degrees in Medical Image Computing and then in Vision, Imaging and Virtual Environments. My PhD research is focused on development of multimodal imaging biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease, an increasingly prevalent neurodegenerative disease. Over the past year I have developed pipelines for processing and combining MRI and PET images to analyse links between various atrophy measures and amyloid plaques in the brain. As well as working with the methods team at CMIC, I spend some time at the DRC in Queen’s Square, where I enjoy the benefit of collaborating with our clinical colleagues. My work aims to utlilise the team’s developments in registration, segmentation, BSI, cortical thickness and PVC to improve prediction, diagnosis and prognosis and to elucidate disease progression and response to therapy in search of disease-modifying treatments for AD.

Email: a.andrews@ucl.ac.uk

Giacomo Annio
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

Along with my Bachelor’s degree in physics, I obtained my Master’s degree in condensed matter physics at the Department of Physics at Università degli Studi di Bari. I carried out my master thesis research at Université Paris Sud, Institute of Fundamental Electronics in the NanoBioPhotonics group under the supervision of Prof. Niko Hildelbrandt.
I worked on FRET immunoassays (based on terbium and quantum dots bioconjugates) for prostate cancer diagnostics.
After my graduation I did an Internship in Medical Physics and Radioprotection at University Hospital Center Policlinico di Bari and an experience in the Emodynamic Lab of the same Hospital.

Being in contact with the medical environment has made me more and more interested in the imaging world and in the research behind the development of novel imaging techniques to facilitate early diagnosis, treatment plans and provide more sensitive and therapy specific methods to assess treatment response.

In September 2015 I have had the chance to join the CDT in Medical Imaging. My project will be carried on with the Cardiovascular Imaging Group (Dr Vivek Muthurangu, Dr Jennifer Steeden ) at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and its aim will be the development of MRI sequences for 4D flow encoding.

4D flow MRI allows for the evaluation of blood flow patterns and has the potential to be a unique hemodynamic tools which might aid clinicians in the diagnosis and therapeutic management of cardiovascular diseases

Alessia Atzeni
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I graduated in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Cagliari (Italy), where during my final year project I started to build programming skills in the context of decoding peripheral neural signals acquired with electrodes with different levels of selectivity. Being fascinated by the nervous system I acquired an MSc in Neurotechnology at the Imperial College of London where I focused on developing an algorithm to detect high frequency activity surrounding Cortical Spreading Depolarisation events.
I joined the CDT in 2016 with a project created and supervised by Dr Eugenio Iglesias aiming to develop an algorithm to recover the 3D structure of histological brain images. I will focus on the semi-automated, interactive segmentation of the histological images and design a graphical interface in order to allow the UCL Brain Bank to annotate ex-vivo MRI brain scans that we will use to create an ultra-high resolution probabilistic atlas of the whole human brain.

Maura Bellio
(MPhil/PhD)

I joined the CDT in Medical Imaging in September 2016. I started my studies in Cognitive Psychology, at University of Padua, followed by a MSc in Neuroscience, as I was fascinated by brain biology, functioning and rehabilitation. To combine it with my interest for technology and human-computer interaction, I spent an exchange year at Helsinki University, Department of Computer Science, working on Augmented/Mixed Reality and Brain-Computer Interfaces. In my thesis project, I worked on pupillary testing of a symbiotic interface. After the graduation, I moved to the clinical setting: I spent one year of internship at the Heart Surgery department, University Hospital of Padua, following the cognitive evaluation and rehabilitation of heart-transplanted,LVAD and post-coma patients.
I am taking with enthusiasm the opportunity of being part of the CDT program. My project is supported by CMIC and UCLIC departments, and the Belgian company Icometrix. It aims at designing an interface to aid front-end clinical decision making in neurodegenerative diseases.

Oscar Bennett
(MRes/Mphil/PhD)

I am a medical doctor with a strong interest in medical imaging and radiology. I have a combined background in clinical medicine (MB BChir), physics (BA) and medical image computing (MSc). Whilst working as a clinician in the UK I realised how central imaging investigations have become to the diagnosis and treatment of patients in modern medicine. I strongly believe that medical imaging still has a great deal of potential that could be unlocked by focused research, especially in the context of recent advancements in the fields of data science and machine learning.

I have joined the CDT program at UCL to work in the field of neuroimaging. My research involves investigating new ways of combining imaging information from an array of novel MRI modalities and harnessing machine learning techniques to improve computer-aided detection of abnormalities in the human brain. Specifically, I am trying to automate the detection of small and often very subtle areas of abnormal brain tissue which are frequently the underlying cause of seizures in patients with focal epilepsy. Detecting these lesions can help guide curative neurosurgical procedures in epileptic patients who continue to live with frequent seizures despite conventional treatment with anti-epileptic drugs.

Benedetta Biffi
(MRes/MPhil/PhD )

I hold a MSc in Biomechanics and a BSc in Biomedical Engineering from Politecnico di Milano, Italy. As part of my Masters thesis project, I worked on “Sizing and Valvuloplasty procedures: Validation of Computational Models and Reverse Engineering to Infer Arterial Wall Tissue Properties” at the UCL Clinical Cardiovascular Engineering group at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. Here, I had the opportunity to work in a multidisciplinary environment, where the engineering skills meet the most critical clinical needs. Eager to continue working on these topics, I joined the CDT, where I am now working on combining information from 3D Echo and MRI images to create a patient-specific integrated 3-D model of the left heart, mainly focusing on the mitral valve apparatus. Such finite element model will be used to virtually simulate the delivery and implantation of transcatheter mitral valve devices and to test their performances in realistic patient specific anatomies.

Felix Bragman
(MRes/MPhil/PhD )

I obtained my Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering at UCL then pursued a Masters in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Oxford. I was attracted to the strength of the research performed at CMIC; in particular the clinical translation of computational methods within medical imaging. I chose to start the DTP at CMIC in order to develop novel links between theory and practical application using imaging and modelling. In particular, my research will focus on the development of novel methods for the diagnosis of respiratory diseases such as COPD. The presentation of COPD is markedly heterogeneous in terms of the pathology, etiology and clinical symptoms. The main, present goal of my research aims to combine registration, shape analysis of the airways and texture-analysis to improve the current assessment of disease severity and the identification of novel biomarkers.

Email: f.bragman@ucl.ac.uk

Michael Brown
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I graduated with an MSci in Physics from the University of Bristol and was attracted to medical imaging and the DTP for the chance to work in a more applied and multidisciplinary field. I’ve joined DTP as an MRes student and I’m now based within the Biomedical Ultrasound Group in the Medical Physics and Bioengineering department. My research will focus on optically generated ultrasound. This method can produce very flat broad spectra ultrasound pulses compared with piezoelectric transducers. It also allows significant spatial and temporal control of the pulse through modulation of the laser and the absorber shape. The goal of my PhD will be to develop an ultrasound transducer that can both transmit and receive optically. This transducer will combine optically generated ultrasound using a polymer composite and the Fabry-Perot ultrasound sensor developed by the photoacoustics group.

Email: michael.brown.13@ucl.ac.uk

Mikael Brudfors
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I consider myself a computer scientist and I got introduced to the fields of image guided therapy and computer assisted interventions during my work on my master’s thesis, at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. My thesis topic was related to real-time augmentation of 3D ultrasound using a statistical model. After graduating my master’s, I started working a research engineer at the medical imaging laboratory at hospital Gregorio Marañón in Madrid, Spain. There I worked on two separate projects. The first project involved facilitating breast cancer tumor removal (lumpectomy) using electromagnetically tracked ultrasound and surgical instruments. The second, to perform surgical cavity reconstruction using a tracked single-point measuring sensor. After my time in Madrid, the next natural step was to pursue a PhD. Something I consider myself fortunate being able to do at the CDT.

Ludovica Brusaferri
(MPhil/PhD)

I’m a Biomedical Engineer, graduated at Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza in 2016. During the five years at University, I acquired a wide range of skills, such us initiative, persistence and analytical thinking.
I was also fascinated by nuclear physics applications in medical fields , and their potential to improve patients’ health .
Therefore, I decided to join the UCL PhD program Attenuation Estimation in the Lung for PET-MRI, in order to widen and consolidate my knowledge and to give my contribution to research.
The project I will be working on for the next three years, concern the estimate of lung density from PET data. This project will extend current methods, using scatter information and PET data acquired at different energy windows.
It will involve a widespread use of mathematical modelling and new algorithms in signal and image processing.

Thore Bucking
(MRes/MPhil/PhD )

I joined the CDT directly from my 4 year MSci in Physics at Imperial College London. After completing my Master’s project in nuclear physics, I was looking for a field with higher impact to the real world. I chose to come here because of the broad spectrum of opportunities the programme is able to offer – of special interest to me was the aspect of developing new imaging modalities, combining engineering, coding, and analysis. My project is interdepartmental, aiming to combine two blood flow imaging methods: photoacoustic flowmetry and micro particle image velocimetry. This will help to validate and further develop the novel photoacoustic flow technique, which is still in its infancy. The ultimate goal is to commission a device capable of measuring blood flow on a micrometer scale in vivo and noninvasively; this could provide valuable information in fields like ophthalmology and oncology.

Liane Canas
(MPhil/PhD)

I obtained a 3+2 Bachelor plus Master’s in Biomedical Engineering and Biophysics at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon. During the Bachelor, I became fascinated on how we can use computer science to study the human brain functions and brain behaviour when neuropathologies are present. In order to explore this interest, I did a summer internship in the Department of Computer Science, University College of London. This internship came enforce my interest by neuroscience. For that reason, I decided to do my Master’s Project on the field of medical imaging techniques applied to brain study. During my Masters Project, developed in Division of Anaesthesia at University of Cambridge, I performed a quantitative comparison of multi-centre MRI data for mild to severe Traumatic Brain Injury. I decided to apply to TIG because I would like to perform my PhD in a stimulating research environment, where I can improve my knowledge, develop my abilities and grow as a person as well as a researcher in order to be a better professional. I joined to the group in 2015, and I am currently working on context of the extraction of imaging biomarkers for quantification of prion disease progression.

Ross Callaghan
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I joined the CDT after graduating from the University of Sussex with an MPhys in Physics. For my final year project at Sussex I worked with Brighton and Sussex Medical School in a project on quantitative magnetisation transfer MRI of the brain. This project got me interested in using my physics background in the field of medical imaging and the CDT at UCL is one of the best places in the country for interdisciplinary medical imaging research.

My project involves using magnetic resonance spectroscopy to image brain tumours to identify 2-hydroxyglutarate (2HG), a metabolite that can be used as a biomarker for monitoring disease progression and treatment effectiveness. As such this could be a valuable tool in clinical management of patients in a completely noninvasive manner.

Richard Caulfield
(Mres/MPhil/PHD)

I joined the CDT at UCL in 2015 after graduating from Queen’s University Belfast with a 4-year MSci degree in Physics with Medical Applications. For my undergraduate project I investigated the properties of atmospheric pressure non-thermal plasma jets and how they form, as well as how these change when the plasma is used to treat materials and E.coli Biofilms. The project was carried out between the Schools of Physics, Pharmacy and Chemistry so allowed me to experience some multi-disciplinary research. I enjoyed working in a multidisciplinary environment and this was something I wanted to continue at UCL.
I am currently working on a project entitled “3D printed photoacoustic and laser-generated ultrasound probes for high resolution imaging”. This project combines many different aspects in an imaging application and involves work between the Department of Medical Physics and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The clinical application is to create miniaturised ultrasound probes, capable of high resolution imaging during minimally invasive fetal surgeries.

Benjamin Davidson
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I joined the CDT after completing a 5 year MMath degree from the University of Edinburgh. At the outset of my degree I wanted to become a mathematical analyst or algebraist. However as time went on and I started to appreciate the power of mathematics I decided I wanted to do something interesting where I could leverage my technical skills whilst benefiting society in some way.
In this regard the CDT has been a fantastic opportunity for me to solve interesting technical problems whose solution will have a real clinical impact. At the moment I am trying to develop an algorithm that when given a high resolution image of a retina would be able to estimate photoreceptor density. Technically this is a very interesting problem to solve and some preliminary
work has been done using support vector machines to count the number of photoreceptors. But more importantly if we could solve this technical problem then we will have a valuable clinical tool that would allow earlier diagnosis of diseases affecting sight. Automated counting is an interesting problem in its own right but working on it at the CDT makes the work far more exciting as the end goal is to implement your ideas clinically.

Bianca De Blasi
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I joined the CDT after my 4-year MEng in Bioengineering at Imperial College London. During my undergraduate programme, I became interested in medical imaging and its potential for disease detection, monitoring and treatment. At the same time, I carried out my final year project on cognitive neuroscience, from which I became fascinated by the complexity of the brain and its mechanisms.
After my undergraduate, I was looking for a place where cutting edge research, related to neuroimaging, could be directly translated to the clinic for the patients’ benefit. I found this possibility in the CDT where multidisciplinary teams work together to develop or improve medical imaging techniques with the final aim of clinical translation.
My PhD project involves multi-parametric imaging for pre-surgical planning of epilepsy. I will be analysing imaging modalities such as structural MRI, rs-fMRI, ASL, DTI and PET. The final aim of my research project would be to combine these different imaging modalities to provide a better picture of the epileptic brain through image concordance, in order to enhance pre-surgical planning.

Xiaofei Du
(MPhil/PhD)

I was born and raised in the beautiful country China. I obtained my Bachelors in Telecommunications at Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications and my Masters in Biomedical Engineering from Tsinghua University, China. In 2013, I came to London and started my PhD at the Centre for Medical Image Computing (CMIC) of UCL, focusing on the image-guided interventions. The goal of my research aims to compensate the brain deformation during open neurosurgery so that the clinical accuracy of navigation could be improved. The DTP program is attractive to me because it means not only can I work with brilliant researchers but also gifted surgeons who have valuable clinical experiences. This kind of close collaboration would definitely improve my research and communication skills.

Email: xiaofei.du.13@ucl.ac.uk

George Dwyer
(MRes/MPhil/PhD )

I am currently on the doctoral training programme in medical imaging at the Centre for Medical Image Computing (CMIC) in UCL. I am part of the EPSRC/Welcome Trust Fetal Surgery project and supervised by Dr. Dan Stoyanov. My current research is in the design of a robotically actuated fetoscope for use in the treatment of Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS). I come from North Norfolk in the UK, my Bachelors degree is from Swansea University in Medical Engineering. I have just come from the Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery, Imperial College London where I studied for a MRes in Medical Robotics and Image Guided Intervention. My research was in the design of a robotic instrument for intraoperative fusion of ultrasound and endomicroscopy for use in Transanal Endoscopic Microscopy (TEM).

Email: george.dwyer.14@ucl.ac.uk

Website

Zach Eaton-Rosen
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

Zach Eaton-Rosen was born and raised in London. He studied physics for a masters, doing an M.Sci project on MRI registration in stroke patients. In 2010-2012 he taught secondary science and physics in Edmonton. In this time the national curriculum convinced him (although few of his students) of the exciting, productive and important nature of research. Therefore, he applied and was accepted to the DTP programme. Since coming back to university, he has relished being given a chance to really use his mind and work with gifted colleagues (not to mention wearing comfortable clothing!). He will be working on scans of premature babies, trying to link imaging biomarkers with future outcomes, hopefully leading to effective intervention for the children who need it most.

Email: z.eaton-rosen.12@ucl.ac.uk

Michael Ebner
(MPhil/PhD )

After finishing my Master’s degree of applied mathematics at the Vienna University of Technology I joined the CDT in January 2015. Within the GIFT-Surg project my research will deal with the reconstruction of volumetric fetal MRI from 2D slices. These 3D images will provide surgeons with valuable information on the specific anatomy and pathology of the fetus in order to minimize the risks during complex operations.

I have previously taken part in several research projects where I acquired knowledge in different fields of applied mathematics. My bachelor’s thesis was tied to the FWF research project P21732 “Adaptive Boundary Element Method” and my master’s thesis dealt with the modelling of the circulatory system being undertaken as a joint-work with the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology in Vienna, Austria. I also contributed to the development of an adjustable throttle system for implantable infusion pumps by means of flow simulations of fluids in porous ceramics in the course of an internship at the University of Applied Sciences in Luebeck, Germany. I was also an exchange student at Universidad de Alicante, Spain.

I highly appreciate the opportunity to work in a diverse team structure with different backgrounds and sound expertise here at UCL to conduct my research in medical image computing and image reconstruction under the supervision of Prof. Sebastien Ourselin and Dr. Tom Vercauteren.

Email: michael.ebner.14@ucl.ac.uk

Sebastiano Ferraris
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I joined the Translational Imaging Group led by Professor Sebastien Ourselin as MRes student at UCL in the summer of 2014. Image registration and segmentation algorithms for fetal surgery applications are main subjects of my studies, supervised by Dr Tom Vercauteren. My main aim is to learn, develop and improve tools for images analysis to diagnose and treat birth defects in unborn babies.
Interests: explore and develop mathematical techniques, tools and algorithms oriented to solve imaging problems. Investigate the underpinning mathematics of diffeomorphic image registration and segmentation.
Prior to UCL: I worked as a developer of material flow simulation models and problem solvers in automotive industry (simtec-group.eu), as well as programmer in private companies. Passion for mathematical applications leads me to a Master of Science in Mathematics at University of Turin. Master dissertation was about the investigation of new ways to use Winograd transform in Error Correcting Codes Theory under the supervision of Professor Umberto Cerruti.

Email: s.ferraris@ucl.ac.uk

Website

Eoin Finnerty
(MPhil/PhD)

I obtained my B.Sc in Physics & Instrumentation from the Galway/Mayo Institute of Technology in 2008. After this I spent some time working in the energy sector in Norway and Wales, before moving to Canada in 2009. After returning home, I decided that I would like to further my career in physics, and so completed a HDip in Experimental Physics in the National University of Ireland Maynooth, before going on to complete a Masters in Medical Physics in NUI Galway. I began my PhD in UCL in October 2012, specialising in MRI. I was initially attracted to a career in research during my time in Maynooth, where I undertook a spectroscopy project that involved EM resonance. During my Masters I found MRI to be a natural continuation of this. My research involves using the phase data obtained during an MRI scan to map the magnetic susceptibility of tissues.

Email: eoin.finnerty.12@ucl.ac.uk

Cara Foley
(MRes/MPhil/PhD )

I was born and raised in south Wales. I graduated from St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford with a BA in Natural Sciences- Biological Sciences in 2013. More recently, I completed an MSc in Reproductive Medicine: Science and Ethics at the University of Kent. Initially, I was drawn to the CDT as I am interested in using scientific knowledge, techniques and ideas in the ‘real’ world. Further, the course facilitates collaboration between researchers, clinicians and those working in industry which I feel is extremely valuable. My research will primarily be based at the Institute of Child Health. The project aims to measure changes in brain connectivity that may occur in children with cerebral palsy following treatment with a pioneering surgical technique known as selective dorsal rhizotomy.

Email: cara.foley.14@ucl.ac.uk

Konstantinos Georgiadis
(MRes/MPhil/PhD )

I finished my 5 year Diploma degree on September 2014 from the University of Patras, Greece in the department of Computer Engineering and Informatics, with a focus mainly on Computer Vision and Signal and Image Processing. I also did a research internship at INRIA with the Perception team, working with the problem of Shape Correspondence. I just started my 4 year MRes + MPhil + PhD course at UCL in the Translational Imaging Group and I will be working on Dr. Jason Warren’s Nexopathy project. Based on the hypothesis that every dementia disease displays a different temporal expansion pattern throughout the brain’s neural network, the project will attempt to prove whether this is true and if so, try to find the underlying cause behind this phenomenon. During the first stage of this research, we will attempt to come up with a computational model of the neural network with some of it’s properties which are deemed suitable and sufficient and then simulate each dementia disease and check whether their pattern of temporal expansion in the computer simulation agrees with the data from various imaging techniques. If successful, the results of this research can potentially help with the early and specific diagnosis of each dementia disease and with the further understanding of them.

Email: konstantinos.georgiadis.14@ucl.ac.uk

Website

Nooshin Ghavami
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I have joined the CDT after graduating from King’s College London with a BEng in Biomedical Engineering. My undergraduate project investigated the effect of image resolution on the accuracy of respiratory motion correction of coronary MRA with 2D image navigators. My research interests lie mainly in image processing and magnetic resonance imaging and I hope that my training in the CDT will help me to further pursue these interests and allow me to obtain the knowledge and skills needed for carrying out research in the field of medical imaging.
My project is entitled “Magnetic Resonance Image Registration for Prostate Cancer Management” and involves developing accurate and easy to use computational methods and software tools for registering longitudinal prostate MR images. Computerised image registration potentially allows accurate monitoring of the growth of tumours over time in patients under active surveillance, which is an increasingly popular clinical management strategy for low risk cancer.

Luca Giannoni
Luca Giannoni
(MPhil/PhD)

I obtained my B.Sc. in Nuclear and Safety Engineering (2013) and my M.Sc. in Nuclear Engineering (2016) at Università di Pisa, Italy, focusing my research on medical applications of nuclear technologies, for therapy and diagnostic. During my entire last year of M.Sc. (2015-2016), I studied as graduate exchange student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, within the department of Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering. There, I also worked as research assistant in the Radiation Detection and Imaging Group with Prof. Ling-Jian Meng, where I prepared my thesis on the design, development and investigations of a novel X-ray Fluorescence and X-ray Luminescence Computed Tomography system for theranostic applications.

I joined the CDT in Sept. 2016, starting my PhD in Medical Imaging and also being employed as Marie Curie Trainee at the Biomedical Optics Research Laboratory (BORL), in the UCL Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering. My research project, under the supervision of Dr. Ilias Tachtsidis and Dr. Frédéric Lange, regards the development and testing of a multispectral imaging system for Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) of the exposed cortex, as to investigate the hemodynamic and metabolic responses of the brain, especially following brain traumatic injuries.

I am proud and really thankful to be part of such advanced and excellent program here at UCL, working on a discipline that is both highly challenging and extremely amusing.

Ruaridh Gollifer
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I am part of the CDT programme for Medical Imaging at UCL, following on from my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Glasgow. During this time, I completed a masters project looking at developing a virtual reality game to be used in rehabilitation from stroke injury. I was attracted to the CDT due to the fact that there is a mixture of clinical and non-clinical supervisors to as well as a wide range of different backgrounds to work with in the lab. This allows different perspectives on a problem and means that the working environment allows collaborative and multiple disciplinary projects to be carried out. My project will be on the role of dynamic MRI for quantitative investigation of gastrointestinal physiology which will involve looking at motility in the small bowel using moving, cine MRI images with the potential to link this movement to certain diseases.

Mark Graham
(MRes/MPhil/PhD )

I was drawn to the field of medical imaging by the idea that my Physics degree could be usefully applied in the real world. For this reason I found the Centre for Medical Image Computing at UCL particularly exciting; it offers opportunities to undertake research with a direct view towards clinical translation. My project will focus on the use of interventional MRI, in collaboration with the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in Queen Square. In particular I will be looking at the use of MRI data acquired during neurosurgical procedures to accurately localise brain structure and tumours. Hopefully this work will enable tumours to be removed with greater accuracy and fewer complications.

Email: mark.graham.13@ucl.ac.uk

Irina Grigorescu
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I joined the UCL Microstructure Imaging Group after graduating from both my BSc (in Computer Science and Information Technology) and my MSc (in Parallel and Distributed Computing) at University Politehnica of Bucharest. During that time, I held a one year intern position at Intel where I worked on improving the quality of open source projects, I collaborated with the Laboratory of Digital Holography from my University’s Physics Department where I focused on extracting relevant features from phase images of cells and I was part of CERN’s Openlab summer student programme where I developed dashboards for monitoring the LHC’s batch service. At UCL, I am working under Dr Gary Zhang’s supervision on developing novel MRI techniques to measure progression in Parkinson’s Disease.

Luis Herrera
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I am currently a first-year PhD student at the University College London (UCL) EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Medical and Biomedical Imaging. I am part of the Translational Imaging Group (TIG) led by Sebastien Ourselin and also member of the Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering department. My PhD work is tied to the fetal surgery project supported by the Image-Guided Interuterine Minimally Invasive Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy grant funded by Wellcome Trust and EPSRC. This research project is being carried out in collaboration with KU Leuven. Within the fetal surgery project my work is supervised by Dr Tom Vercauteren and it is focused on 3D Image Reconstruction of Photoacoustic and Optical US images for Image-guided Fetal Surgery. In the past I have worked on ‘Optical Tracking for Smart Hand-Held Microsurgical Devices’. This research was part of my Master of Research in Medical Robotics and Image-Guided Intervention (2014) at the Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery, Imperial College London. Previously I received my BSc in Computer Science from University of La Laguna in the Canary Islands. During my MSc I was also an exchange student at University of Hertfordshire (2012).
My current research interests are: Image-guided fetal surgery, Biomedical Image Computing and Image Registration. However, I am also interested in Medical Robotics and Robotics in general as well as in any computing related field.

Email: luis.herrera.14@ucl.ac.uk

Website

Jack Highton
Jack Highton
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

Previously I completed an integrated Master’s degree in Physics at the University of York, with my research thesis in medical applications of low temperature plasma physics – expressing the long held interest in medical physics and interdisciplinary science which lead me to join the CDT. My MRes research project involves optimising a non-invasive blood perfusion mapping MRI technique Arterial Spin Labelling to diagnose neurological conditions.

Emma Hill
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I specialised in Physics as part of a 4-year MSci degree in Cambridge. During this period, I developed an interest in interdisciplinary research; I undertook a placement in the cytoskeleton group at the LRI, using optical tweezers to investigate the behaviour of novel motor proteins, and my Master’s project was based on modelling blood vessels using microfluidics and computational methods. I was attracted to the CDT for Medical Imaging because there is an emphasis on clinical translation – collaborating with both research scientists and clinicians means that there is a direct link between research and application. I will be based in the Photoacoustic group, in collaboration with CMIC and the Royal Free Hospital, developing a guidance system for minimally invasive surgery using photoacoustic imaging to distinguish between tissue types.

email : emma.hill.14@ucl.ac.uk

Ben Hipwell
(MRes/MPhil/PhD )

I joined the CDT after graduating from an undergraduate master’s (MPhys) degree in Physics at the University of Leicester. Throughout my time there I completed projects on Embolus Discrimination with Doppler Ultrasound and Monte Carlo Modelling of Light Transport in Human Skin. I enjoyed my time at University so much that I thought to myself “I should do another 4 years of this!”, so I am. During the latter stages of my degree my passion for Physics and particularly the applications within Medicine developed rapidly, and the CDT in Medical Imaging is the best place for me to further pursue that passion. During my MRes year here I will be working with Dr. Simon Walker-Samuel and Dr. Douglas Pendse at the Centre of Advanced Biomedical Imaging on developing novel non-invasive measures of tumour physiology. I hope to then continue this research on to my PhD.

Email: benjamin.hill.14@ucl.ac.uk

Roman Hochuli
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

Throughout my undergraduate studies, it was my desire to undertake research at a top-level institution. After completing a BSc in Physics with Medical Physics at UCL, I joined the Julius Wolff Institut – Charité in Berlin for a 3-month internship as part of the DAAD RISE programme. During this time I worked on the characterisation of rat bone using confocal ultrasound microscopy. I began the DTP in 2011 as an MRes student. Courses in optics, programming and computational modelling serve as the ideal preparation for my project in quantitative photoacoustic imaging. In this project, I aim to develop methods of recovering chromophore concentrations from photoacoustic images, via computational means, and to test them experimentally. I have enjoyed the challenges faced so far and look forward to making progress in my research.

Email: r.hochuli@ucl.ac.uk

Natalie Holroyd
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I came to the CDT in Medical Imaging, having graduated from the University of Cambridge with a BA in Natural Sciences. My undergraduate degree consisted of biology, chemistry and mathematics, but I mainly specialised biochemistry. Whilst studying I also gained experience in a variety of labs – the Auckland Bioengineering Institute in New Zealand, Nanyang Technical University in Singapore, and UCL’s own Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging – where I had my first taste of medical imaging. I initially planned on going in to structural biology research, and so completed my final year project at Cambridge in protein NMR. I then undertook a year of lab experience at King’s College London, using Hydrogen-Deuterium Exchange Mass Spectrometry to look at the dynamic properties of proteins. However I soon realised I wanted to do something more translational, so applied to the CDT.

Michael Hutel
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

My research focuses on the functional organisation of the human brain by looking at its characteristics from an engineering perspective. I obtained my passion for this interdisciplinary research at the Max Planck Institute for Human and Cognitive Brain Sciences in 2011/2012. There, I had the opportunity to study functional networks of the human brain, which I derived from resting-state functional MR images. After graduating from the University of Leipzig in 2013 with a Diploma in Medical Computer Science, I wanted to build on my previous work. Therefore, the Wolfson DTP was the ideal programme, combining expertise in medical imaging (CMIC) and neurology (DRC), and enabling me to study the disrupted functional organization of the human brain when challenged by neurodegenerative diseases. My focus is hereby the development of new biomarkers based on Bayesian modelling and their translation into the clinical landscape.

Email: michael.hutel.13@ucl.ac.uk

Andrada Ianus
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I finished my undergrad studies in Physics at Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany and I did my bachelor thesis in collaboration with Fraunhofer MeVis on a project related to MRI imaging using Arterial Spin Labelling (ASL). I joined the DTP programme at UCL in 2011 and I am part of the Mircrostructure Imaging Group. My current project is to study an analytical approximation of the diffusion MRI signal in restricted geometries for an oscillating diffusion gradient, which allows a better estimation of small pore sizes. Next, I will apply what I learned so far about diffusion pulse sequences to prostate cancer imaging. The goal of the project is to accurately stage the cancer based on the diffusion images which reflect to some extent the morphological changes of the tissue.

Email: a.ianus.11@ucl.ac.uk

Laurence Jackson
(MRes/MPhil/PhD )

After graduating from Cardiff University with a BSc in Physics with Medical Physics in 2012 I joined the DTP and I am now based at the Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging (CABI). Broadly my main research interest is in cardiac MRI, while at the moment my focus is on myocardial tagging. This is where spatially selective RF pulses are applied in a grid pattern to pre-saturate the myocardium; this saturated tissue appears darker than its surroundings appearing as a grid of dark lines. The grid is applied at end-diastole and once applied becomes a physical property of the tissue which deforms with the heart as it beats providing markers for quantifiable motion tracking. Cardiac MRI mainly focuses on global function; the goal of this project is to be able to measure the onset of cardiac diseases regionally by analysing the contraction of the heart.

Email: laurence.jackson.12@ucl.ac.uk

Anita Karsa
(MRes/MPhil/PhD )

I started my career as a solid state physicist and three years later continued as a medical physicist at Budapest University of Technology and Economics. I was accepted to the UCL CDT in 2014. My main research interest has been MRI since I was first introduced to an NMR device during my MSc years. NMR spectroscopy of NaCl solutions quickly became the topic of my Master’s Thesis. In 2013, I spent two months as an intern at Imperial College, Robert Steiner Unit working on a project focuing on SWI (susceptibility weighted imaging). My research project in the CDT involves susceptibility mapping in order to measure oxygenation level in tumours. This property can indicate how sensitive the tissue will be to radiotherapy.

Email: anita.karsa.14@ucl.ac.uk

Louise Kiru
(MPhil/PhD)

I obtained my BSc in Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed an MRes degree in Biomedical Research at Imperial College London. I am enrolled on a joint studentship based at the UCL Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging and the Cancer Institute. This is ideal for me as I was keen to do a PhD in a cross-disciplinary and collaborative environment. The main objective of my research project is to non-invasively track cells by imaging gene expression in vivo using PET/SPECT. Despite an increase in the use of adoptive cell based immunotherapy in clinical practice, there are still unanswered questions regarding the biological fate of the cells once they are administered. This technique is versatile and can potentially be used to monitor different cells including tumour cells, stem cells or therapeutic T-cells.

Email: l.kiru.12@ucl.ac.uk

Kerstin Klaser
Kerstin Klaser
(MPhil/PhD)

I have completed my BSc and MSc in Medical Engineering Sciences at the University of Luebeck, Germany. Within the scope of my Master’s I had the chance to join the Imaging Physics Laboratory at the Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney, for one year. In my final project I worked on the development of a PET/MR rat brain template for automated time-activity curve extraction and became fascinated with PET/MR. Being part of an international research team was a great experience and I decided to start a PhD and continue my way towards an academic career.
I will join the Centre for Doctoral Training in Medical Imaging in December 2016. My research will be on developing new and improving current methods for attenuation estimation in PET/MR so that PET/MR can be used to study the diseased lung with a range of available tracers. Therefore I will link MR, PET and CT image characteristics to predict the density of the lung.

Martin Kochan
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I have joined CMIC in 2012 after working for over four years as a software engineer in software technology and biotechnology software companies. I have a BA Cybernetics and Measurement from Czech Technical University, Prague and MRes Bioinformatics from Newcastle University. I was attracted to the DTP as I want to move into a research and development type of role and to work on developing and enabling algorithms that solve important problems. I became attracted to the field of medical imaging and in particular of image-guided surgery, which enables minimally invasive interventions as well as previously infeasible surgeries by combining multi-channel imaging with precise navigation of surgical instruments. My research will be specifically in brain shift estimation in neurosurgery. I am also interested in machine vision, MRI, image registration techniques and generally in optimization algorithms.

Email: m.kochan.12@ucl.ac.uk

Zuzana Kovacsova
Zuzana Kovacsova
(MPhil/PhD)

I joined UCL after completing an undergraduate degree in Dosimetry and the Application of Ionising Radiation at the Czech Technical University in Prague, where I started being interested in medical physics. I decided to continue my education at UCL as the MSc Physics and Engineering in Medicine offered a broad range of modules covering fields from radiotherapy to MRI and ultrasound. My previous education was of great use during working on my Master project; my task was to trace radioisotopes using a radiation detector and to determine the emitted particle energy. Working on this project has also inspired me to aspire for a PhD, I was lucky to get a position in the Biomedical Optics Research Laboratory at UCL. My current project is focused on monitoring neonatal infants suffering from brain injury using near infrared spectroscopy, which will hopefully soon be a standard procedure in neonatal intensive care units.

Aaron Kujawa
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I am currently studying for a Ph.D. under the supervision of Prof Xavier Golay. The project aims at the establishment of a standard pipeline for Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer (CEST) Imaging, a recent MRI technique. Therefore, a rapid Bayesian-based image-processing tool will be developed, which will eventually help with the application of CEST Imaging in clinical routine. The project is in cooperation with and funded by Olea Medical.

Prior to the start of the programme, I graduated from Heidelberg University and obtained a master’s degree in physics. I wrote my master’s thesis in the field of Medical Physics at the German Cancer Research Center working on different measurement techniques to determine the inhomogeneity of the main magnetic field in ultra-high field MRI.

Joeseph Lillington
Joeseph Lillington
(MPhil/PhD)

I am currently in the first year of a PhD within positron emission tomography-magnetic resonance imaging (PET-MRI), specifically aiming to improve attenuation correction in the lung. To achieve this, I will mainly be developing existing MRI techniques in order to produce better quality lung images. The project is closely linked to two others, all funded by both Siemens and a UCL Engineering Impact Scheme.

My background is in both physics and engineering, having obtained a BSc in physics from Edinburgh, and two engineering based Masters degrees from Cambridge and Imperial. I decided to undertake this PhD primarily following my Imperial masters dissertation in cardiac MRI.

Ernest Lo
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I first started out pursuing an MSci degree in Theoretical Physics at Imperial College London. During my time at university, I had worked at various research-based institutions such as the Institute of Shock Physics, Met Office and the National Physical Laboratory, all of which rely heavily on translating physics into real world applications. This has given me a taste of interdisciplinary research and an interest in applied science.

My project is in cardiac flow modelling, by analysing patient PET/CT heart scans, perfusion of blood in the myocardium (heart muscle) can be predicted. This will ultimately provide a non-invasive method of measuring the fractional flow reserve across a coronary artery stenosis. The FFR number is an important measure, clinicians often determine whether a stent should be applied using this value.

Anestis Mamplekos-Alexiou
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

Anestis Mamplekos-Alexiou works in the area of robotics since 2013. He received his Diploma in Mechanical Engineering (ME) from National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) in 2016. During his Diploma Thesis, he focused on Upper-Limb Prostheses under the supervision of Prof. Evangelos Papadopoulos and Dr. Georgios Bertos. More specifically, he designed a teleoperation topology for controlling prosthetic limbs, with the use of micro-implants, aiming to the maintenance of amputee’s proprioceptive sense. Part of his work was presented in the IROS ’15 and EMBC ’15 conferences. Since September 2016 he is a PhD student at the University College London (UCL) as a member of Translational Imaging Group (TIG), under the supervision of Dr. Christos Bergeles and Prof. Lyndon da Cruz (Moorfields Eye Hospital). His current research elaborates on the design and control of a surgical robot for micro-precision ophthalmic interventions.

Efthymios Maneas
(MRes/MPhil/PhD )

I joined the Translational Imaging Group led by Prof Sebastien Ourselin in September 2014 as a MRes/PhD student at the University College London (UCL) Center for Doctoral Training in Medical Imaging. I participate in the Fetal Surgery project (GIFT-Surg) funded by EPSRC and Wellcome Trust and my research project is involved in imaging of the placenta and information extraction from the perspective of different imaging modalities. Prior to UCL, I received my M.Sc in Medical Informatics from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. My master thesis project conducted in the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens. I completed my B.Sc in Biomedical Engineering from the T.E.I. of Athens which included an internship at GE Healthcare (Athens, GR) as a Field Service Engineer trainee.

Email: efthymios.maneas.14@ucl.ac.uk

Website

Razvan Marinescu
(MRes/MPhil/PhD )

After graduating my 4-year MEng Computing degree from Imperial College London, I joined the Medical Imaging CDT and started to work on disease progression modelling applied to Posterior Cortical Atrophy (PCA). PCA is a rare variant of Alzheimer’s disease that affects the posterior part of the cerebral cortex. Research about PCA is still in its infancy for we still don’t know what its causes are and how to treat this neurodegenerative disorder. My approach is to model its progression as a series of key events and develop algorithms that learn the event orderings in different phenotypes from a diverse range of clinical, neuropsychological, neuroimaging and genetic metrics. Learning about the ordering of these key events will hopefully shed a light on understanding the progression of the disease.

Email: razvan.marinescu.14@ucl.ac.uk

Stefano Moriconi
(MPhil/PhD)

I joined the Translational Imaging Group at the CDT in Medical Imaging in the fall 2015. After obtaining the B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering at the Polytechnic of Milan (Italy), I took part in different research projects at the Italian National Research Council (CNR) by collaborating as a research fellow with the Institute of Electronics, Computer and Telecommunication Engineering (IEIIT) in 2013 and with the Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology (IBFM) in 2014 respectively.

My scientific interests cover digital signal processing, numerical computing and quantitative image analysis for clinical applications. I am currently working on the Cerebrovascular Image Analysis project, which aims at combining features from multi-modal medical imaging (MRI, CT) to determine and quantitatively characterise subject-specific brain vascular models in healthy and disease with applications to neuroradiology.

Morrell
Stephen Morrell
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

Solving and augmenting intelligence are fascinating endeavours. New knowledge and tech could improve humankind in many ways and I’d like to contribute if possible. One of the more promising areas is machine vision which has delivered strongly in the last few years. To pursue this I left a career in investment banking, having been a director of derivatives structuring at Credit Suisse. The financial mathematics used there has much in common with machine learning and this helped the transition. The business ecosystem gave deep insight into the commercial world.
I’ve lived in London for 20y and love it. There’s no better place for meeting like-minded people and making friends. I have a son and my partner is a doctor.

Russell Murdoch
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I joined the CDT in Medical Imaging at UCL in 2016, having completed an MSc in Magnetic Resonance Technologies at the University of Queensland. I spend the research component of my studies exploring Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer Imaging, and its application in measuring glutamate levels in the brain. I was first introduced to medical imaging while studying a B.Sc. in Physics at the University of St Andrews. I conducted my final year research project at Ninewells Hospital in connection with the Cardiovascular Imaging Group investigating 31P MR Spectroscopy. This project sparked my interest in medical imaging and its potential applications, and motivated me to conduct further research within the field. I have particular interests in developing novel imaging techniques, with a focus on quantitative MRI, and believe that the multi-disciplinary environment at UCL provides the ideal opportunity to work at the forefront of the medical imaging field.

Payam Nahavandi
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

As a biomedical engineer specialised in the study of electronics and design of biomedical and healthcare equipment, I am fascinated by both the theoretical and practical aspects of designing technologies with the objective of improving human lives. I believe there is a huge gap in terms of quality of treatments and great potential and demand in the field of bioengineering. After spending four years on the MEng Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College London, I have now joined the Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging at UCL. My aim is to develop a novel imaging technique that can detect Alzheimer’s disease in its early stages. I believe I’ve joined an outstanding department in terms of quality of research in this area, hence it’s a great pleasure to be part of this exceptional organization for my PhD studies.

Sotiris Nousias
(MPhil/PhD)

After completing my undergraduate studies (5-year Diploma) in Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Patras, I obtained my Master’s Degree (M.Sc.) from National Technical University of Athens, specialazing in Robotic Systems and Control. My master thesis was supervised by Prof. Evangelos Papadopoulos and was related to state estimation of quadruped robots under dynamic gaits. Since January 2015, I am PhD student in TIG under the supervision of Dr. Christos Bergeles and Dr. Pearse Keane (Moorfields Eye Hospital). My research interests include light-field imaging techniques applied to image-guided robotic interventions.

Ioana Oprea
(MRES/MPHIL/PHD)

I joined the Microstructure Imaging Group as an MRes/PhD student in September 2015 after obtaining a master’s degree in Computer Science from University of Birmingham. My work at CDT is in the field of neuroimaging and focuses on assessing the level of neurodegeneration in Multiple Sclerosis. This is done by developing advanced non-invasive imaging methods to estimate microstructure parameters through combining computational modelling and machine learning techniques. The ultimate goal is to improve the understanding of the disease and potentially develop new treatment methods.

Felix Outlaw
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I joined UCL from Imperial, where I did a 4-year MSci in physics. I chose the CDT in Medical Imaging because I was keen to apply my physics to an end with tangible real-world benefits. I am particularly excited by the prospect of working with scientists, engineers and clinicians in a multi-disciplinary research environment.

I am working on a project with Dr Terence Leung and Dr Judith Meek to develop novel contactless optical imaging techniques to monitor newborn babies. Many newborns require intensive care in their first days during which time several of their physiological parameters need to be closely monitored. This research aims use contactless optical imaging to improve accuracy and expand the range of information available to neonatal nurses. It is hoped that this will provide a variety of benefits including providing early warning of conditions such as sepsis and allowing the monitoring equipment to be less intrusive.

David Owen
(MRes/MPhil/PhD )

Work: Helping to develop ASL (arterial spin labelling) biomarkers for neurodegenerative disease – in particular, dementia. Hopefully, helping the group study how ASL models can be better linked to understanding tissue/pathology. Investigating coupled statistical models for analysis of multi-modal imaging data.
About: My first degree was in engineering (University of Oxford, 2010-2014), specialising in mathematical modelling and software for biomedical applications. The bulk of my professional experience has been in software, although in 2013 I was fortunate enough to receive funding for a three-month research project examining motor degradation. At TIG, I’m trying to take that to the next level. I’m excited to be part of such a dynamic group, using theory and software to directly improve patient outcomes.
Hobbies include reading, tennis and robotics. Grab me if you want to talk books, play tennis or make a robot!

Email: david.owen.14@ucl.ac.uk

website

Ruth Oliver
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

My undergraduate degree is in Physics and my interest in medical imaging led me to study for an MSc in Imaging in Biomedical science. I decided to follow this up with a PhD and was attracted to the DTP program at UCL due to the variety of projects on offer and range of taught modules during the first year. It is also possible to switch projects at the end of the first year. Last year, I worked on a project to register histology with ex vivo MR images of brain samples. This year I am based at the Institute of Neurology, where I am developing techniques to correct partial volume effect on arterial spin labelled (ASL) images. ASL is an MR technique that measures perfusion non-invasively.

Email: ruth.oliver.10@ucl.ac.uk

Filip Paszkiewicz
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

My adventure with academia began at University of Reading, England, where I obtained my BSc in Robotics (2013). My BSc thesis focused on developing a genetic model of interactions between amino acids. In search of adventure I moved to Netherlands, where I completed my MSc in Systems & Control at the Technical University in Delft (2016).
During my postgraduate studies, I undergone a yearlong internship at American aerospace company. The research during my internship was focused on Predictive Control for mechatronic applications. In MSc thesis I researched high level control methods (Model Predictive Control, Hybrid Control) for electromechanical actuators in robotic applications.
Not being able to see myself in industry I pursued a career in academia. At University College London I am working with Dr. Christos Bergeles on bio-inspired, high level control for microsurgical robots using OCT-based visual servoing. The aim of the project is to navigate a medical robot using methods from the fields of machine learning and vision, during operation on the human retina.

Chris Payne
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

After completing a BSc in Physics at Queens University Belfast, I undertook an MSc in Advanced Neuroimaging at UCL as it combined the two areas of science I find most fascinating. I was particularly interested in functional imaging so for my MSc project I looked at figure-ground segregation in the auditory cortex using MEG. I joined the DTP in 2013 as an MRes student to focus more on the developmental side of biomedical imaging. My MRes project will look at magnetic activation of specific cells in the brain using iron oxide nanoparticles. At present, the dominant technology for controlling cells in the brain is optogenetics, where the cells are made sensitive to light genetically and stimulated by implanting optical fibres into the brain. The benefit of this new technique is it removes the invasive aspect and allows remote control of the brain, without compromising spatial or temporal specificity. So far astrocytes have been successfully activated in vitro, so I will be working on developing this new technique in vivo.

Email: christopher.payne.11@ucl.ac.uk

Pablo Pérez Tirador
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

After studying Telecommunication Engineering at San Pablo-CEU University (2009-14) in Madrid, Spain, I became interested on the applications of engineering in the medical world. Being interested on the assessment of brain function, I furthered my studies by taking an MSc on Biomedical Engineering at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (2014-15). There, I studied the effects of physical exercise on brain’s functional connectivity. Now I have joined University College London’s CDT in Medical Imaging and got involved on a project to develop more efficient devices to monitor hypoxia and ischaemia in newborn infants’ brains. My particular interests are on efficient implementation of algorithms, hardware and software integration for medical applications and brain imaging.

Khoa Pham
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I came to the CDT after an MSci in Physical Natural Sciences, during which I developed an interest in interdisciplinary research that at the same time would be useful to the real world. I first tried medical physics during my Masters project, where I designed and built an optical set-up to measure the birefringence of tissue mimicking samples. I enjoyed working in biomedical optics and came to the CDT to continue to do so.

Jonas Pichat
(MPHIL/PHD)

I obtained an MEng in Telecommunications from a French graduate school in electrical engineering, computer science and telecommunications, and completed my training at Postech, South Korea, with the Image Information Processing lab., in 2012. I was then with the Image Mining Group at Institut Pasteur Korea, Seoul, during a year and a half. As an intern first, working on microarray image analysis. Then as a researcher, to characterise the effects of various compounds (at multiple concentration points) on cells from various cell lines. This analysis aimed at clustering compounds inducing similar phenotypic effects.
My current research concentrates on MR-histology analysis for multiple sclerosis (MS). I focus on developing a registration pipeline bringing MRI and digital histology into spatial correspondences, and on multi-modal image segmentation of MS lesions. The goal of the project is to explore how recent findings about MS in histology correlate to the information provided by standard clinical imaging routines as to improve MS disease understanding.

Elizabeth Powell
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I studied physics as an undergraduate at the University of Warwick, where in my final year I chose a project in medical physics developing an automated technique for segmenting the cerebral vasculature from CT scans. After graduating I pursued my interest in medical imaging through the NHS Scientist Training Programme, which combines working as a medical physicist in a hospital with an MSc in Medical Physics. I specialised in MRI and ultrasound, and for my MSc thesis investigated methods for improving the characterisation of multiple sclerosis using MR images of the brain and spinal cord.

I joined the CDT in Medical Imaging in September 2015. My research here involves investigating structural and functional connectivity as a whole brain system and modelling the effects of different disease mechanisms on the overall function of the brain.

Kin Quan
(MRes/MPhil/PhD )

I joined the Centre for Doctoral Training in 2014, my project is entitled ‘Imaging and Computational Modelling in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease’ under the supervision of Prof Dave Hawkes and Dr John Hurst. Chronic Obstrtuctive Pulmonary Disease or COPD affects a large population in the UK and around the world yet the progression of the disease is still poorly understood. Through the use of mathematical modelling, machine learning and clinical data I hope to look at the airway geometry down to a scale that is visible to CT scans so I can understand the normal respiratory function and the progression of the disease. My goal is to generate patient specific models for the progression of the disease so the patient can receive the most appropriate treatment.

Email: kin.quan.10@ucl.ac.uk

Joao Ramalhinho
(MPhil/PhD)

I have obtained BSc and MSc degrees in Biomedical Engineering from the Technical University of Lisbon. My masters project was focused on the implementation of a 3D ultrasound acquisition system to aid in a robotically assisted prostate biopsy. During this degree I also had the opportunity of working within the Flextension Project in the University of Twente, Netherlands. Here, I analysed the performance of different human-interface controls in a predefined visual based tracking task.

I have joined the CDT in 2015 to work in the project “Image guidance in Abdominal Surgery”. My research aims the implementation of new solutions to fuse live intra-operative laparoscopic ultrasound data of the liver with its respective pre-operative CT.

Danny Ramasawmy
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I initially studied an integrated Masters in Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Southampton. As the engineering department was large I had scope to study a wide range of modules including ones from other disciplines. For my third year thesis I chose to do a bioengineering project in building a mathematical model of glucose transport across the placenta. This sparked my interest in Medical Physics and Bioengineering, as I realised the skills I had learnt in Aeronatuical Engineering were transferable and applicable in a wide range of interdisciplinary subjects. I am part of the Biomedical Ultrasound Group researching into numerical models for the Fabry-Perot fibre optic hydrophone.

Rajiv Ramasawmy
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I joined the Doctoral Training Programme in 2010 after completing an undergraduate Masters in Physics at Sussex University. I wanted to do research in a more applied field and medical physics seemed a worthy challenge. I am currently based at the Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging where my project is focussed on developing a non-invasive MRI sequence to measure perfusion within the liver. Current practice involves the injection of a contrast agent, whose side effects limit the frequency of these measurements. Development of a non-invasive method such as a MR technique known as Arterial Spin Labelling (ASL) can provide information on the viability of a liver as well as early and follow-up response to novel vascular targeting therapies for liver metastases.

Email: rmaprra@live.ucl.ac.uk

Marta Ranzini
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I joined the Translational Imaging Group in September 2015 as a MRes/PhD student at the CDT in Medical Imaging, after obtaining a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. in Physics at the University of Milano-Bicocca. During the academic studies I developed a strong interest in Medical Physics, especially during my Master thesis project, when I worked on Monte Carlo simulations for diagnostic dosimetry. Thanks to the collaboration with the Health Physics Department of Niguarda Hospital in Milan, I learnt how important the cooperation between clinicians and scientists can be in this field. For this reason, I decided to take part to this CDT at UCL, as it offers a unique multidisciplinary environment for forefront research. Here, I will work on a project named “The use of 3D Computer Tomography for musculoskeletal disease computational anatomy”, that aims to develop novel methodologies to study musculoskeletal system variability at a population level.

Sara Reis
(MPhil/PhD )

I obtained a 3+2 Bachelors plus Masters in Biomedical Engineering and Biophysics at the University of Lisbon in my home country Portugal. I was initially attracted to a career in research at the end of my Bachelors when I completed a three months research internship at the University of Virginia (USA). For this reason, in my second year of Masters I decided to do my research project at the Ultrasonics Lab in the UCL Department of Mechanical Engineering where I studied the acoustic properties of human liver tissue for ultrasound therapy purposes. This experience was very rewarding in a professional and personal level, and it convinced me to pursue a PhD to increase my research skills and hopefully make me a better professional. I joined CMIC in 2013 and I will develop my work within the Breast Cancer Imaging Group.

Email: s.reis@ucl.ac.uk

Antonio Ricciardi
Antonio Ricciardi
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I grew up in Matera, “The city of the Sassi”, in southern Italy. Always interested in both art and science as unique forms of language, I opted for the latter. After high school I moved to Milan, where I initially enrolled for Mathematics. However, I soon realized that maths is more about language than content, so I asked: what uses the mathematical language to describe the world? The answer was straightforward: physics! After graduating in Phyisics at the University of Milano Bicocca, I moved to Pavia (a university town south of Milan), where I got my Master degree in Physical Sciences.

During my studies I fell in love with MRI, and I decided to continue my career in the world of Medical Imaging research, joining the CDT at UCL. My PhD project involves quantitative MRI and machine learning for the diagnosis and prognosis of Multiple Sclerosis. Its final aim is to combine many of the several applications of this wonderful technique in order to better understand and clearly quantify the underlying processes characterizing such pathology.

Laura Riggall
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I joined the CDT following completion of the MRes in Experimental Neuroscience at Imperial College London. Prior to my master’s, I completed my BSc in Medical Sciences (Industrial) at the University of Leeds, the third year of which I undertook at GlaxoSmithKline. My interest in medical imaging originates from my MRes degree, during which I completed a project at Imanova Ltd using preclinical PET imaging to investigate the effect of a novel compound for the treatment of schizophrenia. I also completed a second project at the UCL Stroke Research Centre, where I analysed blood-sensitive MRI sequences in transient ischaemic attack patients. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy researching within these multidisciplinary environments, I also realised the great importance of both preclinical and clinical imaging in furthering our understanding of disease progression, and for the development of more targeted therapeutic interventions. As a neuroscientist, the CDT presented an unparalleled opportunity for me to undertake clinically translatable research within an interdisciplinary environment, allowing me to expand on my skills and experiences whilst simultaneously applying my biological knowledge.

Maria Robu
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I obtained my Bachelor degree in Economic Cybernetics, Statistics and Informatics in Bucharest, Romania with an Erasmus semester in the Hanze, University of Applied Sciences in Groningen, the Netherlands. With a wish to work on imaging, I continued with a MSc. in Computer Graphics, Vision and Imaging at UCL. My Master project looked into a faster spectral characterization of cameras for a spectrophotometric intracutaneous analysis (SIAscopy) pipeline. By taking a RGB image of burnt tissue, the application predicts the amount of blood and melanin in the skin, in order to help clinicians make a faster and more accurate diagnosis. I have joined the CDT to work on the project “Image Guidance in Abdominal Surgery”. My research looks into computer vision methods to facilitate an accurate overlay of pre-operative data during laparoscopic liver surgery. This approach aims to provide more information about the localisation of tumours and of important vessels to the clinician during the procedure.

Alice Romiti
(MRes/MPhil/PhD )

I have completed my BCs in Biology in my home town at University of Florence, Italy. After graduation I found myself two short term research assistant positions in Philadelphia, USA, at Drexel Medical College and Thomas Jefferson University. After spending a year in the States, I decided to move to London and did a MRes in Experimental Physiology and Drugs Discovery at Imperial College London. Having completed my MRes I was not sure if I really wanted to do a PhD. I therefore spent the last couple of years working in industry for Imanova developing preclinical and clinical PET radiopharmaceuticals. My experience in industry turned out to be essential in developing a passion in bioimaging techniques and in finding the drive to do a PhD to develop skills and expertise in a subject area of my interest. I joined the CDT in September 2014. I will be joining the cell imaging team at the Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging and will initially be developing PET reporters for tracking T lymphocytes and stem cells.

Hasan Sari
(MPhil/PhD)

Originally coming from Cyprus, I moved to UK to study Bachelors in Electronic Systems Engineering at University of Manchester and then obtained a Masters in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Oxford. After completing my master’s degree, I stayed at Oxford to work for Siemens Molecular Imaging as a software test engineer. I have now started my PhD at Institute of Nuclear Medicine and I am working on joint kinetic analysis of dynamic PET and contrast-enhanced MRI data. Combining the information from PET and MRI will enable us to tackle the limitations of each modality and would be an asset to clinicians and scientists in the design of new diagnostic tools and to provide better monitoring of treatment responses.

Email: hasan.sari@uclh.nhs.uk

Savvas Savvidis
Savvas Savvidis
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering (UCL), followed by an MSc in Medical Physics and Bioengineering (UCL) during which I developed a great interest in the field of Biomedical Medical Imaging. I therefore decided join the Centre of Doctorial Training in Biomedical Imaging at University College London.
Research Interest: The implementation of X-Ray Phase Contrast Imaging in Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine. A multidisciplinary project which combines the expertise from the Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering with the Institute of Child Health. The aim is to optimize and implement XPCi techniques for imaging biological tissue scaffolds in order to gain an insight of the biological process taking place during the process of creating, growing and also implanting such tissue.

MARZIA ANTONELLA SCELSI
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I earned both a BSc and a MSc in Physics at University of Bari, Italy. Medical imaging has always been my greatest interest: my BSc thesis was a review on phase-contrast techniques in mammography, while my MSc final project focused on the analysis of diffusion tensor -MRI images and the application of machine learning techniques to discriminate old healthy people from subjects with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease. Here at UCL CDT in Medical Imaging I will join the Translational Imaging Group led by professor Ourselin, working on the project “Using imaging genetics to better understand Alzheimer’s and frontotemporal dementia” under the supervision of Dr Andre Altmann. We will combine data from medical imaging such as various types of MRI with genetic data to find correlations with the conversion from MCI to Alzheimer’s and also for the prediction of the frontotemporal dementia.

Lebina Shrestha
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I graduated from the University of Surrey in 2010 with a BSc in Physics with Medical Physics. With my growing interest in medical physics, I started an MSc in Physics and Engineering in Medicine at UCL. My MSc project was based on programming an ultrasound scanner to monitor the effects of high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). In 2012, I joined the DTP programme as an MRes student. My MRes project is currently focused on implementing and programming an oscillating gradient diffusion MRI sequence onto a 3T Phillips MRI scanner at UCLH. Optimising this sequence will allow determination of axon sizes in the brain. This will form the basis of my work for the next four years, where I hope to achieve the goal of obtaining brain data of human subjects using this MRI sequence to distinguish between patient groups and control groups.

Email: lebina.shrestha.11@ucl.ac.uk

Catherine Scott
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I joined the CDT in September 2014 as an MRes/PhD student. My research will be in the field of PET/MR, analysing data acquired using an amyloid PET tracer for the diagnosis of dementia.
Prior to joining UCL I worked at King’s College Hospital for 3 years completing the Scientific Training Programme in Medical Physics. I specialised in imaging with ionising radiation and my MSc project focused on dosimetry for Y90 Selective Internal Radiotherapy using dose point kernel convolution. I completed my undergraduate degree in Physics with Medical Physics at the University of Surrey.

Email: catherine.scott.14@ucl.ac.uk

Website

Carla Semedo
(MRes/MPhil/PhD )

Research Interests: PET/MRI, biomarkers and neuroimaging.
Current Research: I am currently a MRes/PhD student in UCL Centre for Doctoral Training in Medical Imaging and I have joined the Translational Imaging Group (TIG) in September 2014. My research will focus on developing an automatic framework to segment and characterise subcortical structures using information from distinct modalities in order to provide better imaging biomarkers of neurodegenerative diseases.
Background: I completed my BSc and MSc in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Lisbon, Portugal in 2014. My MSc project undertaken in King’s College London involved assessing the use of bimodal agents and Partial Volume Correction procedures in enhancing PET images resolution. In addition, during my studies I did a Research Fellowship at the University of Lisbon which consisted of structural and functional MR images in the study of schizophrenia.

Email: carla.semedo.14@ucl.ac.uk

Website

Thomas Stahl
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

During my BSc in Chemical Engineering studies in Germany I started to develop a big interest in the detection and treatment of cancer. In 2011, I completed a MRes in Chemical Research, aiming to contribute to the development of gas sensors, which in future could be applied as breath-sensors for the cancer detection. During this research period I became more and more fascinated by the possibilities modern imaging modalities make available in the field of cancer detection, so I applied to the Department of Medical Physics at UCL, where I recently started a Doctoral Training Program. My project here involves the development of targeted contrast agents for photoacoustic modalities. The future prospect of the development of such contrast agents is to reveal processes that occur at a molecular level and allows observing the effects of a treatment.

Email: t.stahl@medphys.ucl.ac.uk

Agnieszka Szczotka
(MPHIL/PHD)

I am currently a PhD student at the University College London (UCL) EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Medical and Biomedical Imaging. I am part of the Translational Imaging Group (TIG) and also member of the Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering department.

The purpose of my PhD project is to develop the online super-resolution for fibre-bundle-based video acquisition medical devices. I work under the supervision of Dr. Tom Vercauteren and Dr. Marco Lorenzi and in cooperation with Mauna Kea Technologies.

I have been granted my bachelor’s degree in Medical Physics at AGH University of Science and Technology in Cracow in 2015. My bachelor thesis was connected with image-guided radiotherapy treatment planning of prostate cancer.

Maira Tariq
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I joined the Doctoral Training Program in 2011. I graduated from Imperial College, London in 2009 with a Masters degree in Biomedical Engineering. The course in Biomedical Engineering attracted me due to its application to the field of medicine. After working as a Clinical Engineer for two years, I decided to join the DTP at UCL since it combined the areas of medical technology, computing and mathematics, all of which I am deeply interested in. I have joined the Microstructure Imaging Group (MIG) in CMIC, which focusses on obtaining the neural structural details non-invasively, using Diffusion MRI techniques. I am working under the supervision of Dr. Gary Zhang and will be working on the clinical implementation and testing of the microstructure imaging techniques generated within MIG.

Email: maira.tariq.11@ucl.ac.uk

Marcel Tella
(MRes/MPhil/PhD )

I have a telecommunications engineering degree focused on image processing and computer vision. Currently, I am starting my PhD in fethal surgery in the GIFT surg project in UCL. The current project is based in the 2D and 3D reconstruction of the placenta as well as the time real location of the surgeon. The main idea is to use the mosaicking techniques to be able to do such reconstructions. The group is directed by Dr. Sebastien Ourselin and my PhD is supervised by Dr. Tom Vercauteren. Prior to UCL, I did my final project in Vienna (Austria) working in Object Recognition with Dr. Xavier Giró from UPC and Dr. Matthias Zeppelzauer from TUWien. I am happy to be at UCL because I think that the PhD program will give me all necessary tools to have a successful career.

Email rmaptel@ucl.ac.uk

Website

Elena Tran
Elena Tran
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I obtained both my Bachelor’s degree in Clinical Engineering and my Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at Sapienza University of Rome in Italy. My great interest in Medical Imaging arose during my Master’s thesis project entitled “Biomedical Image Processing for 3D printing: a tool for surgical planning”.
My professional aim is to become a cancer researcher and the CDT in Medical Imaging represents the ideal starting point for me to achieve this objective. My research project is related to the MR-Linac, a new technology that combines an MR scanner and a linear accelerator. In particular, I will investigate the different stages involved in the formation of respiratory motion model of the patient, which can be useful for radiotherapy treatment in order to not only maximise the dose absorbed by the tumour but also spare the surrounding healthy tissues as much as possible.

Hannah West
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

I joined the CDT in September 2016 one year after graduating from the University of Southampton after studying a four year Masters degree in physics and astronomy. My focus was on theoretical physics and I completed my bachelors and masters projects on the study of dark matter. During University I had fell in love with coding and so started working as a software developer and business consultant for a small company in London. However I realised that I missed my true passions which were physics and mathematics; as well as wanting to do something meaningful that would help people. Having studied a module in medical physics at University I new that the CDT at UCL was the place for me as it would allow me to use my skills in physics, mathematics and coding to help people.
I am working on a project to develop mathematical models of hypoxia, glycolysis and oxygenation in tumours and then validate these models using medical imaging techniques, especially MRI.
This project is so appealing as the mathematical models will help to improve the classification of tumours and so help patients get the best treatment for them. The validation of the techniques using MRI scanners is also fascinating, as for me they embody the power of pure physics and engineering whilst at the same timing having such a huge impact in the clinic. I hope that this project will help in the personalisation of treatments and result in an improved patient outcome.

Guotai Wang
(MPhil/PhD)

I obtained my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree of Biomedical Engineering in Shanghai Jiao Tong University and then joined CMIC in September 2014. My research interest mainly includes medical image segmentation, registration and visualisation. During my Master’s programme, I worked on segmentation framework in liver surgical planning system. In UCL, my research project is to develop algorithms for image guided fetal surgery, under the supervision of Professor Sebastien Ourselin.

Email: guotai.wang.14@ucl.ac.uk

Website

Alexandra Young
(MPhil/PhD)

I joined the DTP in 2012 after completing a BSc in Mathematics and an MSc in Computer Graphics, Vision and Imaging at UCL. During my MSc I took some courses related to medical image computing and for my project I worked on disease progression modelling within CMIC. My research is focussed on modelling the progression of neurological diseases within the brain, in particular Alzheimer’s disease. Current techniques for disease staging are based on cognitive test scores which are subjective, have limited temporal resolution and cannot characterise the earlier disease stages. My work will use computational modelling and machine learning techniques which make it possible to analyse progression patterns from a variety of measurements and without reliance on the clinical staging of patients. More detailed models of disease progression will allow earlier and more reliable patient diagnosis which is essential for drug trials.

Email: alexandra.young.11@ucl.ac.uk

Anna Zamir
(MPhil/PhD)

I graduated with a BSc in Physics with Medical Physics from UCL. Having spent 3 years undertaking courses which focussed on applying physical theories to the medical world, I knew this wasn’t enough for me and decided to pursue a PhD in the field. I’m currently based in the Medical Physics and Bioengineering department and my supervisor is Prof. Sandro Olivo. The research team lead by Prof. Olivo is working on a novel way of using X-rays for imaging. The method is called “Coded Aperture X-ray Phase Contrast Imaging” . This method produces images based on the refraction of X-rays as they go through a sample, as opposed to the conventional method which is based on their absorption. So far it has been shown to have significantly higher resolution and contrast compared to conventional X-ray imaging. My project aims to optimize the imaging method in 3D and to create a prototype phase contrast CT scanner, while investigating different applications (such as regenerative medicine, tumour invasion, composite materials).

Email: anna.zamir.10@ucl.ac.uk

Jiaying Zhang
(MPhil/PhD)

I joined DTP as a MPhil student after completing my master degree of computer science at national key laboratory cognitive neuroscience and learning of Beijing Normal University in 2013. It is during my master degree that I found my potential life goals and the strong wishes deep from my heart to help patients who suffer a lot. And the most important thing of all is that I find myself enjoy the research even though sometimes it turns out to be very painful. Therefore, I came to mig at cmic to continue my research life. Till now, my research interest focuses on reconstructing brain structural connectivity by new tractography algorithms based on Neurite Orientation Dispersion and Density Imaging technique (NODDI) and further demonstration of the new tractography algorithm.

Email: jiaying.zhang.13@ucl.ac.uk

Yanan Zhu
(MRes/MPhil/PhD)

Following my graduation from UCL in BSc Biomedical Sciences in 2011, I was not sure if I really wanted to do a PhD. I worked as a private tutor, whilst looking for a full-time job. However I was surprised how much I missed studying science, the constant mental workout and the rewarding feeling after understanding a difficult concept or solving a complex problem. In the end, I was determined to do a PhD and to develop scientific research skills and expertise in a specific subject area of my interest. I joined the Doctoral Training Programme in September 2012. My project is on assessing the effects of an anti-cancer therapy known as proteasome inhibitor on pre-clinical model of gliama, a type of brain tumour using Amide Proton Transfer Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The complexity in the physics of magnetic resonance imaging and its vast clinical applications make the subject intellectually stimulating.

Email: yn.zhu@ucl.ac.uk