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Neuroimaging in Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease

A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.

Details

Close date
Thursday, 10 September 2020
Academic background
Sciences, Health Sciences
Host campus
Christchurch
Qualifications
PhD, Postdoctoral
Department
Medicine (Christchurch)
Supervisors
Dr Tracy Melzer, Professor Tim Anderson, Dr Mustafa Almuqbel

Overview

Parkinson’s disease currently affects 11,000 New Zealanders and this number is predicted to double over the next 25 years. In addition to motor impairments, many people with Parkinson’s develop cognitive problems and, eventually, dementia. Our work uses multi-modal neuroimaging techniques (MRI and PET) to characterise, track, and predict cognitive decline in Parkinson's. Over the past 10 years, we have established a longitudinal cohort of Parkinson's patients and healthy individuals, who we continue to follow with clinical, cognitive, and brain imaging assessments every 1–2 years.

Multiple projects are possible based around this rich imaging dataset. We are particularly interesting in machine learning and predictive modelling approaches to better understand the relationship between brain metrics and cognitive decline/dementia.

Preferred student/postdoctoral expertise: We are seeking a student who has an interest in medical imaging, machine learning, predictive modelling, and/or cognitive impairments. Basic understanding of programming, statistics, and signal processing would be ideal, but not required.

We collaborate widely and are involved in a number of other imaging studies, specifically the Dementia Prevention Research Clinics, focusing on early Alzheimer's disease.

Contact

Dr Tracy Melzer
Email   tracy.melzer@otago.ac.nz