MRes in Biomedical Imaging for Experimental Physiology and Drug Discovery

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Medicine


This is a multi-disciplinary course that aims to give all participants an introduction to different aspects of biomedical imaging (including hardware and probe development, in-vivo and in-vitro experimental application, software development and data analysis). In addition, participants will have the opportunity to specialise further in a particular aspect (or 'stream') of biomedical imaging, e.g. probe development chemistry or experimental application of imaging in-vivo. The course offers theoretical and practical training at the interface of the biosciences and the physical sciences, engineering and mathematics. Graduates of the course will be highly trained and motivated scientists who will be ideal candidates for research (industrial and academic) positions within imaging science. The full-time, one year course is divided into 3 parts, all components are compulsory: Part A (Oct-Dec): A 12-week taught programme consisting of lectures, seminars, problem-based learning, specialist lectures in transferable skills, group discussion (journal club) sessions, clinical and preclinical demonstrations and visits to the pharmaceutical industry. Those students following the in-vivo applications 'stream' will take specific modules of the College-based Home Office training course and participate in dissection, regular animal husbandry and handling sessions. Part A comprises of: 1)Discipline hopping - aimed at specific groups. 2)Core teaching - aimed at all participants. 3)Elective lecture modules - of which participants must choose four. Discipline hopping: As a consequence of the diverse background of course participants, some cross-over teaching will be delivered aimed at providing missing background knowledge. The goal is to provide the students with a rudimentary 'shared' language before they move through the rest of the programme. Topics will include biology basics e.g. gene expression, cell signalling and systems physiology for the non-biologists, the chemistry and physics of imaging, and the basics of modelling for those without a physical sciences background, and pharmacology for those without a clinical background. Core teaching: Subjects include: (a) Anatomy and physiology of common laboratory animals with lectures and practicals, with particular emphasis on extrapolation to man, (b) Statistics, including experimental design and power calculation, (c) Preclinical imaging, biomarkers and probe development chemistry, and (d) Drug discovery with lectures from colleagues in Industry, including Novartis and GSK. Elective lecture modules: These will be based around a particular imaging modality. Modules include: Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Ultrasound/Echo, Bioluminescence and Fluorescence Imaging, X-ray Computed Tomography (CT), Biomedical Optics, Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM), Two-Photon Imaging and Intravital Microscopy. Part B (Oct-Jan): Comprises of a literature report based on a particular imaging modality. It will be an in-depth critical review of subject matter chosen for their first research project. Part C (Jan-September): Students will have the option to undertake one 32 week or two 16 week projects carried out either at Imperial College or via collaboration with industry. Emphasis will be placed on experimental design, hands on experience, data analysis and critical evaluation and use of appropriate statistical analysis. Examinations: Part A is examined by a written examination in early January, as well as assessment of performance in the journal clubs (ability to organise the presentation in a logical manner, the use of clear power-point slides, the clarity of the presentation and its scientific content). Part B is examined by assessment of the written style, standard of presentation, completeness of literature survey and analysis of literature. Part C is examined by oral and written presentation of the


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