Non-invasive imaging of myocardial coronary micro-vessel morphology and flow dynamics in vivo using super-resolution ultrasound

Applications are invited for a BHF 4-year MRes/PhD studentship starting in October 2021 at the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI) in partnership with the Bioengineering Department at Imperial College. The BHF 4-year MRes/PhD studentship comprises a 1-year MRes in Biomedical Research formed of two linked laboratory projects, followed by a 3-year PhD. 

The studentships will cover tuition fees (at the Home/EU rate) and a tax-free stipend starting from £22,278 per annum for a total of 4 years. A travel fund of £1000 in total per student will also be provided. Students will join a well established doctoral training program with bespoke teaching activities, seminars, mentors and workshops.

The Cardiovascular Sections of the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, are located within the Main Campus at South Kensington, the Brompton Campus and Hammersmith/White City Campus. Bioengineering is also located at Main Campus at South Kensington and at White City. Students will have the opportunity to work in state of the art facilities within a highly developed research environment where our ambition is to translate research findings to help those with cardiovascular diseases. All students benefit from a full programme of training in research and transferable skills organised through the Graduate School, the quality of which has been recognised several times at the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards.

If you are interested please contact Prof. Mengxing Tang (mengxing.tang@ic.ac.uk) with your CV.

Project summary

Coronary arteries supply the heart with vital blood and oxygen, and reduced flow within these vessels can cause ischemic heart disease, the leading cause of death in the western world. Despite tremendous advances for the different imaging modalities in the past decades, current clinical modalities have insufficient spatial and temporal resolution required to noninvasively image the spectrum of coronary arteries, due to their small sizes and significant motion during heartbeats. The aim of this project is to develop a very high resolution ultrasound technology suitable for imaging coronary micro-vessels of a beating heart at patients’ bedside, taking advantage of recent advances in both ultrasound super-resolution imaging, advanced computing/machine learning.

The BHF 4-year MRes/PhD studentships typically comprises a 1-year MRes in Biomedical Research, followed by a 3-year PhD. During the MRes year, students undertake two laboratory projects which will prepare them for the PhD. The two MRes projects will provide initial training in machine learning, ultrasound imaging, and cardiac vascular biology including in vitro work with cardiac microvascular endothelial cells, in preparation for the latter stages of the PhD project, where novel imaging and computing/machine learning algorithms will be developed and evaluated in patients with cardiovascular diseases.

Applicant requirements

Applicants must hold, or expect to obtain, a first or upper second-class honours degree or equivalent in an appropriate subject from a recognised academic institution. Candidates must fulfil College admissions criteria and meet BHF residency requirements. 

A first degree in engineering, physics, computing or a related subject is required. Experience in ultrasound imaging or machine learning is desirable but not essential.

How to apply

To apply, please email Jaya Rajamanie (j.rajamanie@imperial.ac.uk) with the following documents.     

  • Your CV
  • The names and addresses of at least two academic referees
  • A personal statement of no more than 1,000 words explaining your interest in the project

 Selected candidates will get a tour of the relevant campus.

Please assume that your application has not been successful if you have not heard from us within a month of the closing date.

Closing date for all applications: 29th March 2021

Interviews will be held online in mid-April.