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New collaborative PhD programme launches

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Medical Imaging celebrated its launch event on 7th October, welcoming the first cohort of PhD students who are about to embark on a unique four year PhD programme. Over 100 people gathered at St Thomas’ Hospital, where the new Centre will be based, to hear about the vision for the Centre.

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Medical Imaging brings together King's College London and Imperial College London, two world leading research-focused universities in a unique collaboration to create an interdisciplinary training approach specifically designed to meet challenges in healthcare and medical imaging. The Centre builds on strong existing collaborations between King's and Imperial, including substantial joint grant funding, joint publications and current joint supervision. The CDT is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. 

Opening the event was Professor Ed Byrne, Principal of King’s College London who said: “It’s great to see Imperial and King’s coming together to create a unique course that prepares the students for leadership in society”.

Medical imaging has become an essential tool for clinical diagnosis, treatment and monitoring, playing an important role in the improvement of public health. Nowadays a variety of imaging techniques, including x-ray, CT, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) and nuclear medicine, are routinely used in medical practices. However, despite significant advances during the last decades, researches aim to further improve these imaging techniques and to enhance the information and clinical value provided by the images. 

Medical imaging requires interdisciplinary research with expertise in physics and engineering to investigate new image acquisition and reconstruction, knowledge in chemistry and biology to create new imaging contrast agents, as well mathematics and computer science to develop new image analysis and computational modelling approaches. In the CDT scientists work together with clinicians to translate their research into clinical practise. 

CDT Director, Professor Tobias Schaeffter, King's College London said: “The CDT has a comprehensive capability to train and nurture the next generation of imaging scientists and research and industry leaders. It offers a unique four year PhD programme to graduates from a wide range of disciplines who are interested in this cutting edge research area that is becoming indispensable to healthcare all over the world.”

Professor Nick Long, Imperial College London and Deputy Director of the CDT explained how the students will attend taught courses alongside their research project, adding “Transferable skills are a vital component to students’ education which will also enhance their research”.