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Personal profile

Biography

I received my BSc from Seattle University and MSc from the University of Washington in physics and mathematics (Seattle, Washington USA). While in Seattle I conducted medical physics and engineering research at the Imaging Research Laboratory (IRL), University of Washington as a Research Scientist/Engineer III focusing on clinical positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET, PET/CT) and single photon emission/computed tomography (SPECT). I am also a clinical PET and PET/CT scanner systems engineer. Since coming to the University of Edinburgh I've obtained a MScR in Biomedical Life Sciences focusing on bioinformatics and preclinical PET/CT as well as completing my NC3Rs PhD studentship. My doctoral research centred around standardising preclinical PET/CT imaging acquisition and reconstruction protocols across multi-centres (UK, EU and USA). Thus, providing the foundational mainframe towards improving reliability and reproducibility of in vivo PET/CT measurements irrespective of scanner manufacture. During my doctoral work I became aware of the need to regulate the ionising radiation (X-ray) doses small animals absorb while being imaged. Currently, my NC3Rs Fellowship provides the means to delve into understanding DNA damage caused by ionising radiation whilst establishing guidelines and regulations for small animal X-ray dose amounts received during CT image acquisitions.

My research in a nutshell

My interests lie in using Monte Carlo simulations and X-ray beam measurements with an in-house developed anthropomorphic rodent phantom to gain a greater understanding of the levels of ionising radiation small laboratory animals are routinely exposed to during CT imaging. Based on CT X-ray beam intensities the Monte Carlo simulations will mechanistically model the radiochemistry and physics of ionising radiation effects on organs, cells and DNA. Additionally, establishing CT guidelines and regulating doses will reduce the cumulative severity effects of radiation, especially in longitudinal studies. This will improve animal welfare while reducing the potential impact of biological responses from the radiation effect on research studies.

Collaborative Activity

NHS Lothian, Scotland: Dr Nick Weir

University of Aberdeen, Scotland: Prof Andy Welch

University of Leeds, UK:

            Prof Sven Plein

            Prof Jurgen E. Schneider

Ghent University, Belgium:

            Dr Christian Vanhove

            Prof Stefaan Vandenberghe

University of Washington, USA:

            Dr Robert Miyaoka

            Mark Muzi

University College Cork: Prof Finbarr O'Sullivan

University of Tübingen, Germany: Dr Julia Mannheim

University of Edinburgh, Scotland:

            Prof Scott Webster

            Dr Gary Smith

            Prof Carmel Moran

        

Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor of Science, Seattle University

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Edinburgh

Master of Research, University of Edinburgh

Master in Science, University of Washington

External positions

Preclinical PET lead: STANDARD study group, European Society for Molecular Imaging

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