A post-doctoral research associate position is available at King’s College London within the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences, located at the St Thomas Hospital. King’s College London.

MRI, with its ability to visualize and quantify structure and function of human organs in-vivo, allows unique and fascinating insights into human physiology. Recently, new scanners at lower magnetic field strength (0.55T) have emerged and offer the potential of lower costs and thus wider access to MRI examinations.

However, low field MRI and the associated opportunity to widen access also pose new and significant engineering challenges. Low field MRI produces less distortion, more uniform B1 fields, but also lower SNR. There is therefore a need to develop novel acquisition techniques specifically tailored to exploit the advantages of low field MRI.

The post-holder will develop novel efficient push-button MRI examination on low field MRI systems that combines a range of structural, micro-structural and functional contrasts in one individual scan, to enable comprehensive examination of various organs, including the placenta in pregnancy.

Typically, an MRI examination consists of multiple individual sequences, which may focus on anatomical measurements, the molecular properties of tissues such as the concentration of oxygen or on the microstructure, density and orientation of tissue. These individual sequences are typically acquired and then analysed individually. However, these sequential techniques are inefficient and do not offer the optimal signal per time during the examination.

The new continuous scan will address this challenge by acquiring multiple contrasts simultaneously. In a next step, AI will be employed to exploit the inherent redundances to further optimise the scan time and SNR and extract diagnostic quantitative information from these optimised scans.

The post will benefit from the state-of-the-art MRI infrastructure, including a new 0.55T MRI scanner, provided by the School of Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Sciences and will be based at St Thomas’ Hospital. This project and team is embedded in the Centre for Medical Engineering – an outstanding, interdisciplinary and enriching research environment. The School also houses London AI centre and offers opportunities for collaboration with external academic and industrial partners.

Successful candidates will have knowledge in MR physics and analysis and be interested in interdisciplinary work.
This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract for 2 years (latest end date 27 April 2024) This is a full-time post.

Key responsibilities

* The post holder is expected to be part of a team working to develop novel MR acquisition, reconstruction and analysis techniques for low field MRI. The project is part of a wider stream of research at the Centre for Medical Engineering together with industrial and academic partners. The post holder will be primarily responsible for developing and implementing MR techniques, designing and running validation experiments in phantoms, volunteers and patients. The post will use the MR infrastructure provided by the School of Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Sciences and will be based at St Thomas’ Hospital
* Development of MR techniques to transform the examination into a continuous scan
* Development of appropriate multi-modal analysis techniques, including AI-based techniques
* Validation of novel developments in phantoms, healthy volunteers and patients.
* Effective teamwork and collaboration with colleagues and project partners.
* Contribute to / support the work of the research team
* Attend and, as appropriate, present research findings and papers at internal and external academic meetings, seminars and conferences and to contribute to the internal and external visibility of the Department.

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.
Skills, knowledge, and experience
Essential criteria
1. PhD awarded in Computer Science, Physics or related areas completed or close to completion*
2. Experience in Magnetic Resonance Imaging
3. Presenting scientific research in the form of papers, posters and oral presentations
4. Use of computers, software, research literature
5. Good verbal and written communication skills

Desirable criteria
1. Experience in AI techniques
2. Experience in real-time control
3. Experience in phantom, healthy subject and patient scanning
4. Experience in Python, C++ or similar
5. Ability to work in a scientific context
6. Ability to plan and prioritise workload
7. Working as part of a multidisciplinary research team, relying on and supporting others effectively

* Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6.

Further information
The recruitment process will include a presentation and an interview.
This post is subject to Disclosure and Barring Service and Occupational Health clearance.