Application of novel molecular imaging techniques to the study of cardiovascular disease


We have an opportunity for a PhD student to join our team developing and applying novel molecular imaging techniques to the study of cardiovascular disease. The Group study both animal models of disease, as well as human patient populations. The project would involve optimization of VCAM-1 imaging by high field magnetic resonance using iron-tagged supermagnetic microparticles. VCAM-1 is a key endothelial molecule in the inflammatory cascade following many cardiovascular disease insults. The project will characterize the expression patterns of VCAM-1 following myocardial ischaemia-reperfusion, and assess the response to new treatment strategies including ischaemic pre-conditioning.


Associate Professor Gemma Figtree, Professor Stuart Grieve

Research Location

North Shore - Kolling Institute of Medical Research

Program Type



Although outcomes of patients with myocardial infarction have improved with rapid revascularization, reperfusion itself can result in injury to the myocardium. Factors contributing to such ischaemia reperfusion (IR) injury include oxidative stress, inflammation, microvascular dysfunction, calcium malhandling and apoptosis. The aim of the PhD project will be to apply cardiac magnetic resonance techniques to assess cellular expression of molecules involved in the pathogenesis of heart attack with the use of molecular contrast agents; and to use this novel imaging technique to evaluate new therapies. Initially, VCAM-1 antibodies will be tagged with iron microparticles, and used as molecular contrast agent to image the VCAM-1 expression in a rodent model of myocardial ischaemia-reperfusion. This technique has recently been established in the Laboratory and tested at high field. The project will be co-supervised by Dr Stuart Grieve, who has extensive experience with high field magnetic resonance imaging, and its application to cardiovascular disease. The PhD student will also work closely with members of the group who are developing molecular contrast agents for imaging using intravascular ultrasound, and optical coherence tomography.

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Molecular imaging; cardiac magnetic resonance; myocardial ischaemia-reperfusion; coronary artery disease

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 1487

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