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Research groups

Ayaka Shinozaki

DPhil Student

Research

Many human diseases are associated with how the body turns the fuels we eat (e.g. sugars and fats) into energy needed for growth, movement and repair-- processes collectively called ‘metabolism’. Studying metabolism provides a vital way to understand disease mechanism and assess treatment response. However, the tools used to study metabolism in vivo are limited and new methods are required.

My project revolves around a novel in vivo approach for measuring metabolism, called Hyperpolarized Magnetic Resonance Imaging (HP-MRI). 13C-labelled tracers are injected in the body and the in vivo uptake can be followed non-invasively using MRI. Reading the signals emitted by the HP probes requires specific radiofrequency (RF) coils, which need to be optimised for the organ of interest (e.g. brain, heart) to maximise the recorded signal to ensure good image quality. In partnership with PulseTeq Ltd, a RF coil design company, I aim to develop novel RF coils specifically for HP-MRI to allow rapid clinical translation of this emerging medical imaging technology.

Background

I am from Japan, and completed my B.A. in Physics at Columbia University (NYC). My MPhil is in Translational Biomedical Research from the University of Cambridge working on photoacoustic imaging of hypoxia. Before Oxford, I worked at an AI start-up as a software engineer for three years, winning awards as the AI professional of 2021, Innovative Developer of the Year 2020, and Future Stars of Tech: Automation Award. Through my studies and professional career, I gained insight into the tech industry space and developed a broad interest in medical imaging and technology-enabled clinical translation. I am now funded by the MRC DTP iCASE studentship and the Clarendon Scholarship program.