My PhD project aims to characterise abnormal early brain development and links to neuropsychiatric disorders using diffusion MRI and machine learning. More specifically, I try to build a statistical framework that could identify association between high-dimensional imaging and complex genetic data in term and preterm neonates. The results from this work will provide novel insight into biological mechanisms and effect of genetic burden of psychiatric disorders on early brain development.
I chose the MRC DTP because of the wide variety of projects across multiple themes, which I thought at the time would allow me to branch out and find new opportunities beyond my wet-lab experiences. I also decided to pursue my PhD at King’s primarily because I had grown to love King’s community (and London) while I was completing my BSc in Neuroscience here. I like most the support and encouragement shown by my DTP cohort peers, especially during the year- long work from home.
Before applying to the DTP, I had previously interned at Prof. Michael Miles’ lab at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Dr. QueeLim Ch’ng’s lab at Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, where I became interested in bioinformatics and computational neuroscience. These experiences later pushed me to seek out more “dry”-lab opportunities during my rotational year. In my current position, although I am learning from scratch neuroimaging and statistics, I am fortunate to apply my previous neurobiology and genetics knowledge to build my own hypothesis.
Link to our lab at St. Thomas’ Hospital: https://metrics-lab.github.io/team/