Innovative, translational research opportunities in the diverse field of Medical Physics
The Dalhousie University Graduate Programs in Medical Physics are pleased to offer multiple exciting research opportunities for MSc and PhD graduate students. PhD candidates may start their program in January, May or September. MSc candidates begin their program in September only. All positions include full financial support through research stipends or QAship.
Contrast enhanced dual-energy CBCT gadolinium imaging for liver SBRT
Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) relies critically on image guidance for accurate tumor visualization and patient positioning to deliver high radiation doses to tumor while sparing normal organs at risk. Tumor visualization with cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is inherently poor in liver SBRT patients. Gadolinium (Gd) based contrast agents can remain in liver for 1-2 hours providing tumor contrast due to its high atomic number. Previous studies demonstrated that CBCT imaging for contrast enhancement is feasible but only at high concentrations of Gd. However, high Gd concentrations is prohibitive due to potential toxicity thus its maximum safe concentration level is regulated by Health Canada. However, tumor contrast enhancement with low Gd concentration may be achieved by dual-energy technique. This technique uses two separate CBCT images at high and low energies and applies material decomposition algorithm to obtain images of a specific tissue type. The objective of this research project is to implement CBCT dual-energy decomposition technique to create Gd-only images. This is an exciting MSc level project that involves establishing baseline image quality and determining optimal imaging parameters using clinical CT and CBCT equipment in the contest of liver SBRT.
A New Approach to MR Neuroimaging in Emergency Medicine
As part of a research partnership with Synpative Medical, Dr. Beyea has recently obtain more than $2M in funding to pursue research evaluating the use of a novel MRI design for use in emergency/acute care settings. Graduate students will have the opportunity to participate in “first in patients” research in an emerging area of diagnostic imaging. Research project opportunities will span the development of novel MR screening protocols to the evaluation of the diagnostic value of this technology in an emergency neuroimaging context.
Through a multi-year partnership with GE Healthcare we are seeking to develop a novel spectroscopic MR image acquisition and analysis approach to imaging the fatty acid profile in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Dr. Steven Beyea is seeking to recruit graduate students interested in data acquisition and analysis project aimed at studying this disease, being done with co-investigators clinician-scientist Dr. Sharon Clarke and imaging physicist Dr. James Rioux.
Applying Artificial Intelligence to Characterizing Functional Neuroimaging Data Quality
In collaboration with AI data scientist Dr. Alex Guida of the Biomedical Translational Imaging Centre, Dr. Steven Beyea is seeking to recruit graduate students to a project involving the application of emerging methods for utilizing AI deep learning approaches to objectively classify functional neuroimaging data. Students with a solid background in programming and data analysis are especially encouraged to apply.