Marta is in her third year on the CDT. Having studied chemistry in her undergraduate degree, her training within the CDT has allowed her to shift her research into a biological setting, where she studies novel MRI techniques to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease.
I started here in 2014. After graduating from the University of Oxford with a chemistry degree, I had limited awareness on the ways chemists could impact advancements in medical imaging. The first year of the CDT was spent studying for an MRes in Medical Imaging at King’s College London, which I really enjoyed. The year provided me with a strong foundation for various imaging techniques. Teaching wasn’t confined to lectures – it also had a strong emphasis on laboratory work. For example, working with my cohort during a 2-month group project emphasised the need for a multidisciplinary approach.
In addition, I was able to have a taster of my chosen PhD in the form of a 3-month research project where I synthesised functionalised gold nanoparticles for theranostic purposes. These experiences led me to change my PhD project to one with a greater biological orientation, which I wouldn’t have been able to do before having studied for my MRes.
The CDT management and staff were helpful in giving me the opportunity to change my project to better suit my developing academic interests. My PhD project involves the development of a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique to understand the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. The project has already provided me with a large portfolio of new technical skills, for example, the use of Matlab for image processing, running of the MR and confocal scanner as well as a more hands-on approach in the lab.
Developing new skills
The CDT has provided me with an opportunity to grow as a scientist as well as a person. Thanks to the cohort system I have made friends with students across the different years. Having a support community in place has helped overcome inherent challenges of a PhD. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of this CDT. So far I have developed skills essential for a scientist and I look forward to advancing these in the coming years.
Marta’s project clearly demonstrates the advantages of bringing together supervisors from different institutions and with different expertise to enable a new generation of PhD students to perform cutting edge interdisciplinary biomedical imaging science that would not be possible otherwise.Medical Imaging EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training- (Supervisor, Professor René Botnar, King’s)