Brain and Brain PET 2022 May 29, 2022 - Jun 01, 2022 — Glasgow
2022 OHBM Annual Meeting Jun 19, 2022 - Jun 23, 2022 — Glasgow, SEC


SINAPSE experts from around Scotland have developed ten online modules designed to explain medical imaging. They are freely available and are intended for non-specialists.

Edinburgh Imaging Academy at the University of Edinburgh offers the following online programmes through a virtual learning environment:

Neuroimaging for Research MSc/Dip/Cert

Imaging MSc/Dip/Cert

PET-MR Principles & Applications Cert

Applied Medical Image Analysis Cert

Online Short Courses

PECRE award recipients

May 2018 - Six SINAPSE members awarded funding for international research exchanges

Congratulations to the SINAPSE early career researchers selected to receive PECRE funding for international research exchanges in the latest round of applications:


Una Clancy

Una Clancy is a Princess Margaret Research Development Fellow based in the Dementia Research Institute (DRI) at the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh. She is a member of the small vessel disease (SVD) research group led by Prof Joanna Wardlaw. She is involved with a number of studies investigating SVD, in particular the Edinburgh DRI Clinical Study, the UK-wide Rates, Risks and Routes to Reduce Vascular Dementia (R4VaD) Study and the LACI-2 Trial. She is currently taking time out of her geriatric medicine training programme to pursue a PhD. Una’s current research interest is in analysing non-traditional symptoms of cerebral SVD in in relation to imaging correlates, which is important in order to translate radiological evidence of ‘silent’ SVD into clinically significant outcomes.

For her PECRE exchange, Una will visit Prof Sandra Black’s research group at Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto, Canada. She will analyse a large existing dataset of people with a largely cognitive presentation of SVD, to assess the relationships between imaging features of SVD and specific neurocognitive symptoms. This will allow her to identify symptoms of interest for application to research in Edinburgh.


Breda Cullen

Breda Cullen is a Lecturer in the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow. She originally qualified as a clinical neuropsychologist, and then subsequently undertook further research training in epidemiology. Her research focuses on understanding cognitive impairment in adults with psychiatric and neurological conditions.

Breda will visit Columbia University (New York, USA) to work with Profs Myrna Weissman and Jonathan Posner. She will undertake pilot analyses of their unique three-generation cohort of families at high and low risk of depression, to investigate the potential role of structural and functional MRI markers in explaining cognitive performance. Breda will also visit Prof James Anthony’s group at Michigan State University (USA) to explore collaboration possibilities using UK Biobank brain imaging data.


Marta Guarisco

Marta Guarisco is a second year PhD student in Neuroscience at the University of Glasgow, funded by SINAPSE and Canon Medical Research Europe. After completing her undergraduate and master degree in Physics at the University of Trento (Italy), she continued with a MSc in Nuclear Technologies at the University of Glasgow. For her PhD she is now working with the stroke team at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow, supervised by Prof Keith Muir and Dr Ian Poole (Canon). Her research focuses on image analysis and aims to develop an automated system for the assessment of collateral vessels on CTA scans in acute stroke setting by using an ATLAS- and machine learning-based approach.

For her PECRE exchange Marta will spend three months collaborating with the group of Prof Bijoy Menon at the University of Calgary, Canada. Prof Menon and his colleagues have recently developed an imaging protocol based on multiphase CTA which allows collateral scoring with excellent reliability. The exchange visit will thus provide Marta an opportunity to familiarize with this technique, acquire new data, assess and compare the reliability of collaterals scoring based on single-phase CTA, currently used in Glasgow, versus multiphase-CTA and, lastly, to investigate how the automated collaterals scoring algorithm performs in terms of domain adaptation.


Olivia Hamilton

Olivia Hamilton completed her undergraduate degree in English Language at Cardiff University and postgraduate (MSc) in Language Sciences at University College London, where she also worked for two years as a research assistant on the MARQUE Project. Olivia is currently in the second year of her 4-year Wellcome Trust PhD in Translational Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh, supervised by Profs Joanna Wardlaw and Ian Deary. Olivia’s PhD project focuses on changes in cognitive ability in cerebral small vessel disease and how this might relate to structural brain changes that occur throughout the disease course.

During her PECRE exchange visit to the Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto, Canada, Olivia will work with longitudinal brain imaging data to examine whether white matter lesions have the potential to shrink over time and if so, whether there is any relationship between white matter lesion shrinkage and cognitive ability. Olivia also plans to visit the University Medical Centre Utrecht, Netherlands, where she will learn about associations between lesion location and cognitive ability in individuals with cerebral small vessel disease.


Joyce Joy

Joyce Joy is currently working as a Research Physicist/Postdoctoral Research Scientist for the IMSaT MRI group at the University of Dundee with Prof Andreas Melzer. Her research focuses on validation of image guided therapies (IGT) such as MRI and ultrasound guided focused ultrasound surgery. Joyce gained her undergraduate degree with distinction in Biomedical Engineering from India in 2008, then moved to the University of Dundee for an MSc in Biomedical Engineering. In 2010 Joyce was awarded the SUPA (Scottish Universities Physics Alliance) INSPIRE studentship to pursue a PhD under the physics and life sciences theme, working on models for testing ultrasound systems.

For her PECRE exchange Joyce will undertake a project ‘3D abdominal phantom for surgical training’ at the Austrian Center for Medical Innovation & Technology (ACMIT) in Austria. The project will contribute to the Horizon 2020 EU project Smart Autonomous Robotic Assistant Surgeon (SARAS) at the University of Dundee. The aim of the SARAS project is to build and test a robotic surgery platform capable of performing assistant surgeons' tasks in a laparoscopic robotic surgery. This will allow assistant surgeons' time to be spared for other surgeries. During the exchange, Joyce will be developing an abdominal phantom model concentrating on prostatectomy and partial nephrectomy surgeries.


Emma Pead

Emma Pead is a second year PhD student in Clinical Brain Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, funded by SINAPSE and Optos (PLC). She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Edinburgh in Molecular Biology and continued her studies at the University of Glasgow in masters of Bioinformatics, Systems Biology and Polyomics. Emma is an active member of the VAMPIRE initiative, a collaborative project for retinal image analysis that spans Edinburgh and Dundee. Her PhD project is assessing neurodegeneration of the retina and brain in ultra-widefield retinal imaging. She is currently developing deep learning algorithms for the automatic detection, segmentation and analysis of small lesions in the retina.

For her PECRE exchange, Emma will be visiting a leading clinical research centre at Duke University (North Carolina, USA), namely the Duke Department of Ophthalmology. This one month exchange will provide her the opportunity to learn about clinically relevant signs of neurodegeneration and how imaging is conducted in challenging patient groups. The exchange visit will harmonise with on-going image analysis and algorithm validation in an Alzheimer disease cohort. Emma aims to build strong international collaborations and to build on the understanding of the transformative potential of retinal image analysis for neurodegeneration.