PhD position Metabolic Imaging at Ultra-High Field
Website University Medical Center Utrecht, Center for Image Sciences, Ultra-high field MRI group
Metabolic perturbations often drive chronic diseases such as cancer and obesity-related metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes. Ageing and unhealthy lifestyles will increase disease prevalence in the coming decades, tremendously impacting our society and economy. An imperative problem is that current treatments are not always effective, resulting in reduced quality of life and societal participation, poor prognosis, and high healthcare costs. The underlying cause is that existing treatment response evaluations are unable to predict efficacy in an early stage. Thus, there is an urgent need for novel methods. Particularly, measuring metabolic responses is promising to provide early efficacy markers. In the MAESTRO project we aim to develop novel non-invasive, radiation-free metabolic imaging technology based on ultra-high field Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of X nuclei (phosphorus and deuterium) to measure metabolic biomarkers predicting (non-)response to treatments and lifestyle interventions in an early stage. The challenges that we will address are the long acquisition times of whole-body metabolic imaging, and motion-induced signal degradation. We will develop acceleration, motion correction and reconstruction methods to increase spatiotemporal resolution, sensitivity and accuracy. We will test the technical developments and demonstrate the potential of MRI-based metabolic imaging to assess early therapy (non-)response in 4 proof-of-concept patient studies: (i) systemic treatment of advanced cancer, (ii) radioembolization of tumors, (iii) lifestyle intervention in prediabetes, and (iv) lifestyle intervention as add-on to conventional cancer treatment. MRI-based metabolic imaging will lead to more effective treatments, improving patient quality of life, societal participation and prognosis, and reducing healthcare costs.
We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD candidate, with a background in (bio)medical engineering, medical imaging, physics, mathematics, or a related field, for the technical development of metabolic imaging in the MAESTRO project.
For more information you can contact Jeanine Prompers, Associate professor in the UMC Utrecht and program leader of MAESTRO, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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