3D reconstruction of the human major duodenal papilla

Project code:  MHS002

Department

Anatomy and Medical Imaging

Location

Auckland

Supervisor

Ali Mirjalili

The major duodenal papilla is a mucosal elevation located on the posteromedial wall of the second part of the duodenum; it marks the site at which the common bile duct and main pancreatic duct open into the duodenum. The ampulla of Vater is the confluence of the biliary, pancreatic and digestive tracts. The regulation of the flow of bile at the duodenal orifice of the common bile duct has occupied a central position in the literature and the hyperstimulation of smooth muscle fibres which surround the intramural portion of the common bile duct are believed to provide the mechanism for biliary stasis. Endoscopic sphincterotomy (ES) involves incising the major duodenal papilla in order to widen it. This procedure is usually done to release a gallstone impacted in the distal common bile duct or hepatopancreatic ampulla. The aim of this study is to investigate the detailed muscular structure of the human major duodenal papilla and 3D reconstruction of the muscles fibres. 

Skills

  • Learning to use Image J to reconstruct the 3D of the PBJ at the Auckland Biomechanics Institute
  • Learning about the histology of the gastrointestinal system
  • Carrying out a Literature Review

Characterization of beta amyloid-induced molecular, cellular and behavioural changes in an in vivo Alzheimer's disease mouse model

Project code: MHS095

Department

Anatomy and Medical Imaging

Location

Auckland

Supervisor

Dr Andrea Kwakowsky

Alzheimer's disease (AD). AD is characterized by progressive loss of neurons, memory and other cognitive functions. Currently, there are still no effective treatments to prevent, delay or reverse AD. A feature of the pathogenesis of AD is the increased concentration of neurotoxic soluble oligomers of Ab peptides.

The aim of this project is identifying the mechanism and behavioural impacts of beta amyloid-induced changes in an in vivo Alzheimer's disease mouse model.

We offer a stimulating and collaborative research environment. The successful candidate will join a lively community of students at the Centre for Brain Research. The ideal candidate is ambitious and highly motivated for pursuing a career in neuroscience.

Skills

  • Neural tissue collection, fixation
  • Combination of molecular, anatomical and imaging techniques
  • Data collection, analysis and presentation

 

Developing OE-MRI as an imaging biomarker of hypoxia in recurrent head and neck cancer

Project code:  MHS148

Department

Anatomy and Medical Imaging

Location

Auckland

Supervisor

Beau Pontré

It is well known that hypoxia (low levels of oxygen) within the tumour microenvironment is a strong predictor of adverse outcomes when patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) are treated with radiotherapy. Being able to identify which patients have significant hypoxia using a non-invasive diagnostic imaging techniques would help identify which patients may potentially benefit from treatments that can be used with radiotherapy to modify the hypoxic environment or try to exploit it. This project will investigate the use of oxygen-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (OE-MRI) for this purpose. The presence of oxygen in tissues result in changes to the tissue properties that in turn influence its appearance in MR images. Specifically, this project aims to -

1. Develop image analysis techniques to quantify changes in MR images owing to the presence of oxygen in tissues.

2. Use these techniques to determine the degree of hypoxia based on images acquired from mouse tumour models, and from patients with HNSCC.

Skills

By the end of this project, the student will develop skills in:

  • MRI scanning techniques
  • Image analysis techniques
  • Programming in Matlab