Edinburgh Imaging

11 Mar 22. PhD - PET data analysis

"Network models for total body PET data analysis"

DEADLINE: 11 Apr 22
PROJECT TITLE: "Network models for total body PET data analysis"
CENTRE: School of Physics and Astronomy, Centre for Cardiovascular Science
SUPERVISOR: Dr Adriana Tavares, Professor Paul Clegg



In Positron Emission Tomography (PET) a radiotracer is injected into a patient and its distribution through the body is observed. Crucially, the radiotracer undergoes metabolic interaction with different tissues, highlighting physiological processes. PET is routinely used in the fields of oncology, neurology, and cardiology. Recently, total-body PET scanners have begun to be developed (uExplorer or PennPET). Besides having a higher sensitivity, faster scanning time, and permitting using lower dosage, these scanners allow researchers to study radiotracer uptake in any number of tissues dynamically and in real time. Furthermore, this makes possible the study of system-level molecular interrelations between different tissues and organs in the body.

The aim of this PhD is to exploit this recent development in the field, using human PET imaging data taken with a carefully chosen palette of radiotracers, to study the ways in which full body dynamic radiotracer metabolic data can help us understand the complex molecular interactions between tissues in the body in the context of particular diseases. To do this, we will use network analysis contrasted with other statistical system-level approaches to map out connections between different tissues. The aim of this approach is to elucidate functional processes between tissue systems, which would not have been detected without the full body integration and interconnection approach. For example, we will show how the brain is influenced by the onset of a cardiac condition or how bones can regulate glucose consumption at systems level during cancer development and progression. More generally, we will be aiming to demonstrate the relationship between organs as it impacts on disease states. With this newfound knowledge and techniques, we hope to be able to better understand pathological processes related to disease activity and protein expression, in order to design new and improve therapeutics that adjust to our findings.


For more information and for details on how to apply, please contact either: Dr Adriana Tavares, Professor Paul Clegg



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Fully funded 4 year PhD studentship, "Network models for total body PET data analysis", at the School of Physics & Astronomy & Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences, supervised by Dr Adriana Tavares & Prof Paul Clegg.

@EdinUniCVS @PhysAstroEd @PETisWonderful @SINAPSECENTRE