PhD opportunity to assess ways on how to detect diabetic retinopathy (DR) earlier helping to limit damage to the retina and vision function.
PhD scholarship opportunity for a for a project entitled: “Identifying new diabetic retinopathy biomarkers based on Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography (OCT-A), advanced image processing, and computational modelling”.
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the leading cause of visual loss in developed countries worldwide. Previous studies have reported haemodynamic changes in the diabetic eye that precede clinically evident pathological alterations of the retinal microvasculature. Therefore, new methods that allow greater understanding of these early haemodynamic changes may empower earlier detection of DR helping to limit damage to the retina and vision function. Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography (OCT-A) is a non-invasive, dyeless technique for evaluating physiologic components of the retina. OCT-A can resolve the microvasculature of the eye to a level of detail never seen before. It is only very recently that the first OCT-A commercial products have started to be utilised in clinical centres.
One of the first OCT-A devices installed in the UK is hosted in Edinburgh at the Clinical Research Imaging Centre (CRIC, is part of Edinburgh Imaging and is a partnership between the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian). CRIC’s Image Analysis Laboratory Manager, Dr MacGillivray, is one of the co- supervisors of this project and works closely with a team at Queen’s University in Belfast, who also has an OCT-A machine and are engaged in collaborative research with Edinburgh. Furthermore, co-supervisors Prof. Dhillon and Dr MacGillivray have over 12 years’ experience developing a successful research programme around retinal imaging and analysis and are behind the software package VAMPIRE used in research centres worldwide. In recent work, co-supervisor Dr Bernabeu and colleagues showed that it is possible to build computational blood flow models from high-resolution images of the parafoveal region of the retina (of paramount importance for sharp central vision and visual detail). These computational models can provide a detailed haemodynamic characterisation of the region beyond the capabilities of current imaging technologies.
All applications should be made via the University of Edinburgh, irrespective of project location:
Please note you are encouraged to contact the primary supervisor prior to making your application. Additional information on the application process if available from the link above.
The supervisory team brings together a unique set of skills in order to lead a programme of research of high calibre: Prof. Andrew Morris (Health Informatics), Dr Miguel O. Bernabeu (computational modelling in Biology and Medicine), Dr Tom MacGillivray (multimodal image acquisition and retinal image processing), and Prof Baljean Dhillon (Clinical Ophthalmology and Brain Sciences).
For more information about Precision Medicine visit: http://www.ed.ac.uk/usher/precision-medicine