|UK Students, EU Students, International Students
|8th December 2023
|12th January 2024
MRC AIM Doctoral Training Partnership
The AIM (Advanced Inter-Disciplinary Models) DTP is funded by the MRC between three Partners – the Universities of Birmingham, Leicester and Nottingham – and three more Associate Partners – the Research Complex at Harwell, Mary Lyon Centre and Rosalind Franklin Institute. We have a range of exciting and diverse PhD 4-year projects at all 3 partner Institutions which are now open for a September 2024 start and those available at The University of Nottingham are detailed below.
Projects with an industry partner (iCASE projects) offer a unique opportunity to undertake translational research and come with a mandatory placement requirement and an enhanced stipend.
Full information about funding of these projects and application details, including application form plus Equality, diversity and inclusion form are available at https://more.bham.ac.uk/mrc-aim/phd-opportunities/. Academic requirements are also set out on this website.
The deadline for submitting applications is 12.00 am GMT, Friday, 12 January 2024. Interviews will take place during the week commencing 26 February and will be held via Zoom.
Full details can be found on the MRC website.
Please submit your application for University of Nottingham projects to RA-DTPemail@example.com .
Project Title: Is metabolic reprogramming the key to treatment failure in aggressive brain tumours? A multi-nuclear in vivo ultrahigh-field MRI approach.
Supervisors: Dorothee Auer, Dorothee.firstname.lastname@example.org, School of Medicine, Richard Bowtell (Physics & Astronomy, UoN), Peter Harvey (UoN), Martin Wilson (UoB)
Glioblastoma is the deadliest brain cancer with poor survival rates despite improved understanding of its genetic causes; novel treatments in lymphomas offer survival benefits for some people with lymphomas, but when treatments fail, the median survival time is ~5 months. One reason for these poor treatment responses is the complex way in which cancer cells adapt their energy production, through a process called metabolic reprogramming. A lot of current research is therefore focused on producing a better understanding of metabolic reprogramming, so as to inform the development of effective treatments.
MRI is usually based on signals from hydrogen in water and fat, but it is also possible to make images based on signals from deuterium. As there is only a very small amount of naturally occurring deuterium in our bodies, after feeding someone with a compound containing deuterium the signal we detect mainly comes from ingested material. Measuring deuterium signals following ingestion of labelled glucose allows us to track metabolic processes involved in energy production in brain tissues. We have implemented this deuterium metabolic imaging (DMI) approach on our 7T scanner, and this PhD project will focus on applying DMI to understanding metabolic reprogramming in aggressive glioblastoma and lymphoma tumours.
Preliminary studies have demonstrated the feasibility of DMI, and the successful candidate will expand on this work by refining the acquisition protocol for regular clinical use across a range of MRI platforms (3T, 7T and 11.7T). The candidate will also explore the use of novel RF coils, MR sequences and other deuterated labelling molecules. This multi-disciplinary project presents an exciting opportunity to combine cutting-edge brain tumour research, MR physics and dynamic spectral analysis. The student will be supported in all these aspects by supervisors based at the Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, The Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre and The Centre for Human Brain Health.
Type / Role: