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University College London – Departments of Chemistry and Medical Physics and Bioengineering
Applications are invited for a 3 year PhD Studentship to work on the development of contrast agents for a new biomedical imaging modality, photoacoustic imaging. This technique relies upon the use of laser generated ultrasound waves to provide 3D images of soft tissues. To date, photoacoustic imaging has been used largely as a structural imaging modality to provide images of tissue anatomy. Although diagnostically valuable, changes in tissue structure tend to occur during the later stages of disease processes. The aim of this project is to characterise the earlier stages of disease by imaging specific receptors through the use of targeted contrast agents. By probing the molecular abnormalities that are the origins of disease, a more fundamental understanding of disease can be acquired that can be exploited to allow earlier diagnosis and improved assessment of therapeutic interventions. Ultimately this work is expected to find broad application in the development of new drugs and other treatments for cancer, cardiovascular disease and other conditions.
The project will involve the design, synthesis and characterisation of a range of targeted contrast agents based on organic dyes and nanoparticles such as nanorods, nanotubes and other structures. This will require preparation of the contrast agents, characterising their optical and acoustic properties, developing the route of delivery to specific target receptors and in vivo pre-clinical imaging studies. The project will therefore be highly interdisciplinary encompassing synthetic chemistry, optical physics, biochemistry and physiology. An interest and ability to work across all of these disciplines will be required. This work will be collaborative drawing upon the expertise and facilities in the UCL Departments of Chemistry, Medical Physics, the UCL Cancer Institute, Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging and London Centre for Nanotechnology.
Applications are invited from well motivated individuals who have, or are expected to have an honours degree or MSc with a background in Chemical Physics, Chemistry or a related discipline. Applicants with a background in Physics may also be considered. Applications are welcome from those with relevant industrial experience seeking to return to an academic research environment. The studentship, available from 1 September 2010 onwards, is fully funded for 3 years and will attract a stipend of £15,290 pa. Only UK/EU applicants are likely to be eligible for the funding associated with this award.
The closing date for applications is 30 July 2010.
Interviews are expected to take place in mid-August.
Requests for further information and applications (including a covering letter, CV and names of 2 referees) should be sent to Prof Paul Beard at firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information on the research area and the activities of the Chemical Biology Laboratories and Photoacoustic Imaging Group can be found at:
- Chemical Biology Laboratories
- Photoacoustic Imaging Group