PhD position – Correlative spectromicroscopy to advance metallomics: application to Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

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Correlative spectromicroscopy to advance metallomics: application to Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

Supervisors: Dr Kalotina Geraki and Dr Konstantin Ignatyev from Diamond Light Source, Professor Joanna Collingwood from University of Warwick

Project Description:

This project centres on development of correlative microscopy, building on synchrotron x-ray microfocus spectromicroscopy techniques. It bridges the gaps between state-of-the-art histology that can be undertaken in a pathology laboratory, advances in optical fluorescence to target analytes in systems of interest, and label-free spectromicroscopy at anatomical, cellular and subcellular resolutions. The best and most achievable emerging approaches will be tested to increase the robustness and impact of correlative spectromicroscopy in the field of metallomics.

The scientific focus for this project is Progressive supranuclear palsy, a neurodegenerative disorder that is sometimes misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s disease, or Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Progressive supranuclear palsy has a much more aggressive disease course than Parkinson’s disease, it responds poorly to medications, and has a significantly reduced life expectancy, so this project provides an important opportunity to advance understanding of this disease with experts in histology and pathology at University of Toronto, through an existing collaboration. The analytical work in this project will incorporate in-vitro experiments and human tissue work, underpinned by systematic investigation and comparison of the information obtained about the tissue architecture, descriptors of iron homeostasis, and pathological hallmarks using state-of-the-art histology and synchrotron spectromicroscopy.

This work will deliver new understanding about the metallomics of Progressive supranuclear palsy as an aggressive and little-understood rare disorder. The method development to achieve this outcome will support the wider analytical science community in future analysis of metals in challenging heterogeneous systems.

Supervision of this four-year PhD project will be led by Dr Tina Geraki (I18 Microfocus Beamline) at Diamond Light Source, and Prof Jo Collingwood (Trace Metals in Medicine Laboratory, School of Engineering) at Warwick University as part of the Warwick Centre for Doctoral Training in Analytical Science. It is anticipated that equivalent amounts of time will be spent at Diamond and Warwick, with occasional visits to external collaborators for specialist training in histology.

Applications for this studentship are now open.  Further information is available here.

Kindly note, each project is not guaranteed to go ahead at this stage until there is a signed agreement in place between Diamond and the University.

Diamond Light Source Ltd holds an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, demonstrating their commitment to provide equal opportunities and to advance the representation of women in STEM/M subjects: science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.

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