PhD scholarship: Layer-specific structure and function using ultra-high field functional and structural MR imaging and advanced data analysis

Summary

Enrolment status New students
Student type Domestic students, International students
Level of study Higher Degree by Research
Study area Engineering and Computing, Health and Behavioural Sciences
HDR funding type Living stipend scholarship, Tuition Scholarship
Scholarship value $28,597 per annum (2021 rate), indexed annually. Single Overseas Health Cover (OSHC) is also available.
Scholarship duration 3.5 years with the possibility of 1 extension in line with UQ and RTP Scholarship Policy
Opening date 26 July 2021
Closing date 23 August 2021

Description

Supervisor – Professor Markus Barth

This project will build on recent advances in high-resolution fMRI studies at ultra-high field (7T) in humans to push the boundaries of MR imaging techniques to study cortical layers at the Centre for Advanced Imaging at The University of Queensland and the Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre at University of Nottingham.

Objectives

The key objectives of this studentship are to develop ultra-high field functional and structural MR imaging and advanced data analysis methods to measure layer-specific structure and function at fractions of a millimetre and derive computational models to characterize structure-function relationships.

  1. Functional maps across cortical layers. These maps are at the scale of fractions of a millimetre and require the development of new fMRI techniques that enable fast and high-resolution image acquisition and include various functional contrasts, such as non-BOLD methods of VASO and arterial blood volume, in addition to the ‘classical’ BOLD fMRI. Coupled with this is the need for new analysis methods, such as partial volume models to define different layer-specific specificity.
  2. Myelination patterns at ultra-high spatial resolution will be developed using high resolution layer-specific T1/T2 and T2* mapping, and image analysis techniques (such as weakly-supervised machine learning methods for classification and pattern recognition).
  3. Functional connectivity maps across the cortex, and the use of diffusion MRI for TDI (tractography density) to explore connectivity contrast within the cortex.
  4. High resolution vascular maps to link functional maps to the underlying vessel structure. These methods will be applied to somatosensory and visual processing to study feed-forward/feedback networks.

A working knowledge of medical imaging, specifically MRI, with MR sequence development skills, programming skills, image/signal processing or computational modelling would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

Research environment

This project will build on recent advances in high-resolution fMRI studies at ultra-high field (7T) in humans to push the boundaries of MR imaging techniques to study cortical layers at the Centre for Advanced Imaging at The University of Queensland (UQ) and the Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre at University of Nottingham (UoN).

UQ’s dedicated Centre for Advanced Imaging focuses on all aspects of animal imaging, as well as human MRI (7T, 3T) and human/large animal PET-CT. The human 7T MRI scanner at UQ is one of only two in Australia, and comes with extensive auxiliary equipment to perform engaging experiments to achieve highest data quality including a visual stimulus presentation system, an eye tracking system, a vibrotactile stimulation system, response boxes and a data glove to capture hand motion. CAI also contains a preclinical suite of instruments including PET, MRI, optoacoustic, ultrasound, CT, optical methods and simultaneous PET-MRI. This is the Queensland node of the National Imaging Facility, a federally funded imaging initiative that provides open-access of state-of-the-art imaging infrastructure to scientists across Australia and the world. UoN’s track records include discrete application/sensing with electromagnetic energy, small-scale dielectric/ultrasound device design and combining techniques in Additive Manufacturing. The Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre (SPMIC) and Precision Imaging Beacon with 40 years of research in medical imaging have a SPMIC which operates four clinical MRI scanners along with a 7T scanner equipped, with multi-transmit capability, an upright 0.5T MRI scanner, hyperpolarisation facilities for helium, xenon and krypton imaging, a 273-channel SQUID-based CTF magnetoencephalography scanner and multiple MR-compatible electroencephalography systems.

This project is a collaboration between the universities of Nottingham and Queensland. Nottingham, home of the Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre and birthplace of MRI, and Queensland’s Centre for Advanced Imaging, are world leaders in precision medical imaging. The supervisory teams will include academics from Nottingham and Queensland, which share a vision of training world-leading researchers. Both institutions are Universitas 21 members, an international consortium of leading, research-intensive universities dedicated to strong collaborative engagement.

Eligibility

To be eligible, you must meet the entry requirements for a higher degree by research.

This scholarship is open to Australian citizens, permanent residents and International students who are currently in Australia at the time of application and commencement.

Applications are closed.

Before you get started

If this scholarship has rules, download and read them.

How to apply

To apply for admission and scholarship, follow this link. There is no separate application for scholarship because you will have the opportunity to request scholarship consideration on the application for admission.

Before submitting an application you should:

When you apply, please ensure that under the scholarships and collaborative study section you:

  1. Select ‘My higher degree is not collaborative’
  2. Select 'I am applying for, or have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship'.
  3. Select ‘Other’, then ‘Research Project Scholarship’ and type in ‘MR IMAGING-BARTH’ in the 'Name of scholarship' field.

See an example of what you have to do

Learn more about applying for a higher degree by research at UQ

Selection criteria

Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant’s previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field/s of biomedical engineering, physics, or a science related discipline and the potential for scholastic success.

Applications are closed.

Contact

Professor Markus Barth
Applications are closed.

Terms and conditions

Read the policy on UQ Research Scholarships.

A domestic part-time student with carer’s responsibilities, a medical condition or a disability, which prevents them from studying full time may be eligible for scholarship consideration, on a case by case basis.

Applications are closed.