Research Associate in PET Reconstruction and Analysis towards Total Body Imaging Applications at KINGS COLLEGE LONDON

job description
The Wellcome EPSRC Center for Medical Engineering, hosted by the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences (BMEIS) and Department of Neuroimaging, King’s College London, focuses on bringing engineering research and innovation to medicine . Through the discovery and application of improved medical imaging techniques and our work in many scientific disciplines, we are improving the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of many neurological, oncological and cardiovascular conditions.


This new function aims to innovate in the fields of positron emission tomography (PET) image reconstruction and analysis in the particular context of preparing the way for total body PET (TB PET) imaging, with its application to radionuclide imaging, therapy and cell therapy. followed. It may also involve developments in PET data acquisition and, at the very least, will develop methodology applicable to existing standard PET scanners.


This will involve new developments in a number of areas related to image reconstruction and analysis:
1) High Spatiotemporal Resolution PET Image Reconstruction for Imaging Cell Tracking
2) Multiplexed data acquisition and image reconstruction for simultaneous imaging of more than one PET radiotracer
3) Image analysis and quantification for cell tracking and radiotherapy purposes


The specifics of this role will be adaptable within these areas of research, depending on the candidate’s interests and expertise. The role can accommodate more focused research as well as broader contributions to the overall mission of advancing imaging physics for current PET systems as well as in preparation for TB PET.


The role will also be integral to the work of the EPSRC-funded program for “Next Generation Molecular Imaging and Therapy with Radionuclides” or MITHRAS (www.mithrasprogramme.org). Thus, in addition to innovating in robust data acquisition and quantitative image reconstruction and analysis procedures, the role will involve working with biologists and radiochemists to ensure that the acquired data and images Reconstructed dynamics can be interpreted in terms of meaningful biological parameters, especially for cell counting.


The role will be a foundation for lead and lead author publications on the development of innovative methodologies in this field as well as the co-creation of user-driven publications. It is expected that the innovations will require advances in PET image reconstruction and analysis by exploiting the latest advances in deep learning and its integration with the latest advances in inverse problems.


The post holder will be supervised by Professors Reader and Marsden, who will bring their expertise in image reconstruction, deep learning, imaging physics and analysis.


This position will be offered as a 2-year fixed-term contract (end date April 27, 2024)
This is a full-time position – 100% full-time equivalent

Main responsibilities
• Play a key research role in a molecular imaging development program in support of the objectives of the CME as well as the MITHRAS program.
• Implement, propose and develop new methods of image reconstruction and analysis, possibly data acquisition
• Implement and propose methodologies that include AI/deep learning approaches for multiplexed (multi-tracer) PET imaging
• Use expertise in imaging physics and molecular imaging to assist in the design, conduct and interpretation of molecular imaging studies using in vivo scanning facilities, in the specific context of cell counting
• Interact with biologists and other researchers to ensure that biologically meaningful and robust interpretable parameters are derived from imaging studies of new and existing radiopharmaceuticals
• Build productive relationships with biomedical, clinical and technical researchers working in and with the group
• Carry out collaborative and technical research and method development projects related to the interests of the group
• To participate in ongoing training and career development based on your career stage
• Attend and, where appropriate, present research results and articles at internal and external academic meetings, seminars and conferences and contribute to the internal and external visibility of the Department and its collaborators
• There will be opportunities to engage in teaching at undergraduate/masters level in areas in which the post holder has specialist expertise


Communication and networking

  • Regularly communicate complex information clearly and accurately, in written and verbal form, to specialist and non-specialist audiences, both within the CME and MITHRAS program and nationally and internationally.
  • Decision making, planning and problem solving
  • Manage own workload, prioritizing to achieve goals. Assist in the operational planning of projects or workflows, ensuring the efficient use of resources.
  • Regularly dealing with a range of problems/issues where the solution is not apparent/easily corrected, and which require the application of initiative and creativity. There will be some requirement to apply expertise to solve complex longer-term problems and to generate innovative ideas.
  • Resolve issues affecting the completion of research projects in own area and in accordance with regulations.

Analysis & Research

  • The incumbent will regularly perform detailed data analysis and interpret standard data/information, reporting and presenting results as appropriate. They will help others analyze research data, highlighting issues. The performance of staff under their supervision will be monitored to ensure they adhere to guidelines when collecting and processing data.
  • They will select the most appropriate procedure, technique or approach for performing analysis and research, and decide how to undertake the work, analyze, interpret, collate and edit the results. The incumbent should have sufficient understanding of standard software, tools and equipment used, including bespoke imaging and data analysis software.
  • The post holder will work with data from a variety of radionuclides, instruments, techniques and materials, including biological materials and animals, for different purposes in relation to the research problem to be addressed.
  • Generate new research approaches and identify, adapt, develop and use research methodologies and techniques appropriate to the type of research. In particular, exploring the potentials of AI/deep learning to push the frontiers of imaging capabilities.
  • Contribute to the development of research strategies in the CME.
  • Develop proposals for research projects that will have significant impact by leading to an increase in knowledge and understanding and the discovery or development of new explanations, ideas, concepts or processes.

Teamwork and development

  • There will be a constant requirement to work independently and cooperate, support and encourage colleagues, giving advice to less experienced members of the team. Using their knowledge and experience, the job holder will coach or train others on how to undertake specific tasks.
  • The incumbent will have specialist knowledge or responsibility in particular areas or aspects of the job and will ensure that other team members are kept up to date with new developments.
  • Provide training and support research projects at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
  • Provide leadership to those working in research areas, for example by coordinating the work of others to ensure that research projects are delivered efficiently and on time or by organizing the work of a team by agreeing to goals and work plans.

Physical requirements and working environment

  • The incumbent may need to perform technically specialized/skilled work, which may require considerable effort or skill to become proficient.
  • There may be some responsibility in managing the impact of the environment on the work or safety of other people where normally the degree of risk or level of danger is obvious. On occasion, they may also be required to adapt the work environment as necessary, adhering to health and safety guidelines and legislation; restructure work or force others to take precautions.

Pastoral

  • All College staff will be diligent towards their colleagues and students.

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive and the post holder will be required to undertake the duties and responsibilities reasonably expected within the scope and classification of the post.

Skills, knowledge and experience
Essential criteria



1. Completed or nearly completed PhD related to medical imaging/PET/therapy/deep learning/reconstruction or analysis (or closely related topic)
2. BSc (2:2 or higher) in Physics, Engineering or related subject
3. Present scientific research in the form of articles, posters and oral presentations and patents
4. Technical programming experience in Matlab, Python or similar
5. Use of computers/software, including database and literature search
6. Proven experience in preparing academic manuscripts for high impact factor journals
7. Willingness to engage and learn about the biological aspects of studies and projects
8. Willingness and ability to forge collaborative links with other academic and clinical disciplines



Desirable criteria


1. Postdoctoral experience in medical imaging and preferably in radionuclide imaging
2. Knowledge of pharmacokinetics and standard and state-of-the-art biomedical data/image analysis methods
3. Understanding of AI/deep learning and implementation, and technical programming experience (e.g. PyTorch, TensorFlow)


*Please note that this is a PhD level position, but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting their PhD will be considered. In these circumstances, the appointment will be in 5th year, spine 30 with the title of research assistant. Upon confirmation of the PhD award, the job title will change to Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6.


More information



This position is subject to Disclosure and Barring Service and Occupational Health clearance.