Edinburgh Imaging

01 Feb 18. 1 year on..life post PhD

After the success of gaining his PhD, we asked our research associate Stewart, to describe the last 12 months of working with Edinburgh Imaging colleagues.

One year on..

About 15 months ago we reported on one of Edinburgh Imaging’s research radiographers being awarded a doctorate for his thesis investigating inflammation in cerebral small vessel disease (SVD).  We were delighted that Dr Stewart Wiseman, agreed to join our team late in 2016. 

We decided to catch up with him to discover what life was like, after working for a year, post PhD success.

Main Responsibilities

Dr Stewart Wiseman is employed as a research associate, has gone on to work on several projects within the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences.

This includes the project management for a large multi-centre observational brain imaging study investigating predictors of disease outcomes in patients with newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis (Future MS).  With colleagues, Stewart is responsible for managing the vast volume of brain imaging data and analysing features such as MS brain lesions and the amount of brain tissue loss over the course of one year.

Stewart has also published more papers since gaining his PhD.  One of these,  was published in Human Brain Mapping,  which uses graph theory to describe the connections in the brain in older age. 

We asked Stewart, what has been the most challenging aspect of his job in the last 12 months?

Co-ordinating multiple projects and managing workflow; often we have too many meetings!  I have found that as my career progresses I have to deal with more management/admin/paperwork, which reduces the time for science.

Other research 

Stewart has also recently diversified into retinal imaging and has submitted a proposal to the Stroke Association to study the human eye to find out about the health of the brain’s small blood vessels and nerve connections in people who have recently had a stroke.

He explained, that after a stroke, they would normally scan a patient using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to see the brain. This tells clinicians about the condition of the brain tissue and its blood supply, however,  the very smallest blood vessels are not always easy to see. However, Edinburgh Imaging now houses retinal cameras that can take exceptionally detailed pictures of the blood vessels and nerve fibres at the back of the eye, that can give us information about what is happening to tiny blood vessels and nerve connections in the brain.

Stewart and the team believe that by studying the eye, they will be able to estimate what is happening to the tiny blood vessels and nerve connections in the brain.

We wish him the best of luck with his Stroke Association application. If successful, Stewart will be one of only a few post-doctoral research radiographers in the UK.