Edinburgh Imaging

30 Oct 17. Job - PhD vacancy ED13

Study Preclinical radionuclide imaging - a MS PhD Studentship.

PhD Opportunity (2018-SPRINT-EDI3)

Project title: Imaging myelination/remyelination processes with Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and a selective sphingosine-1-phosphate-5 (S1P5) radiotracer


Supervisors: Dr Adriana Tavares, Dr Christophe Lucatelli


The student will be primarily based at the Edinburgh Preclinical Imaging (EPI) facility, a state-of-the-art infrastructure with a unique set up for in vivo preclinical radionuclide imaging (headed by Dr Tavares). Adjacent to EPI is the radiochemistry facility (headed by Dr Lucatelli). This project will be in collaboration with colleagues from the School of Chemistry (Dr Sutherland) and School of Medicine (Dr Pimlott), University of Glasgow.


The sphingosine-1-phosphate-5 receptors (S1P5) are expressed prominently in the white matter tracts of the central nervous system (CNS). It is a high-affinity S1P receptor that is restricted to oligodendrocytes, the myelinating cells in the CNS. S1P5 immunoreactivity co-localizes with myelin basic protein and is restricted to myelinated fibers. Targeting this specific oligodendroglial receptor subtype, instead of targeting β-sheet structures in brain, will allow for a more circumscribed receptor-based targeting of myelin sheaths and glial cells with a key role in the demyelination/remyelination processes. This project aims to develop a new radiotracer (a small organic compound labelled with a radioactive isotope) targeting S1P5 as a biomarker of myelin using Positron Emission Tomography (PET).

Recently, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Glasgow, we developed a small library of compounds targeting S1P5. The next step is to evaluate the biodistribution and kinetic properties of the lead candidate in rodents for subsequent translation to humans. This PhD proposal aims to address that next step in the development process of the new S1P5 PET radiotracer.



  • The closing date is Friday 8th of December 2017


  • Full details are on the Edinburgh Neuroscience website, University of Edinburgh with links to the online application form

Applicant details

  • Background in neurosciences, pharmacology or imaging with good in vivo skills and willingness to work in the field of radionuclide imaging.
  • Applications are now open for SPRINT-MND/MS: a Scotland-wide PhD scheme for research into motor neurone disease and multiple sclerosis.
  • Projects, encompassing a wide range of topics including discovery, social and clinical science, are available at Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews Universities.
  • The studentships include stipend, fees, consumables/travel and structured opportunities for patient/public engagement.
  • The deadline for applications is 8 December 2017.
  • For more information, see http://www.edinburghneuroscience.ed.ac.uk/edneurophd/sprint-mndms-phd-programme.