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Azalea Khan

0+4 Student

I am doing 0+4 year PhD in theme 4. My project is about PET imaging of cancer nanomedicines. I am working with Dr Rafael Torres M. de Rosales at St Thomas’ Hospital.

I chose the MRC DTP because of the wide range of projects it offers for people from variety of background. Not in every PhD program, one can take up a chemistry based project being from a physics background. What I like most is the range of courses it offers for students. These are designed to prepare the students for the challenges they face and equip them with the skills needed.

I did both my BSc Physics with Medical Physics and MSc Advanced Biomedical Imaging at UCL. For my BSc project I worked on designing and developing an ultrasound spinal phantom supervised by Dr Adrien Desjardins. Part of the research was funded by the Wellcome Trust Biomedical Vacation Scholarship in 2013. Later, I worked with Prof Jem Hebden during my Master’s project. The aim of the project was to detect a fluorescent dye that binds to apoptotic cells using near infrared spectroscopy. This project was part of a phase 2 clinical trial carried out at Western Eye Hospital.

I have 4 years’ experience of working in palliative care, 1 year in operating theatre and 6 months in caring for chemotherapy patients. Although these are not directly relevant to research, but these clinical experiences have been an eye opener for me in realising the importance of imaging and research in the clinic, and the need for more translational research.


I am co-author of a publication titled “Development of an Ultrasound Phantom for Spinal Injections with 3-Dimensional Printing”, Regional Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine, 2014.