PhD Candidate, Medical Biophysics

BSc Chemical Physics & Human Kinetics, University of Guelph
Contact information:
Email: pmccunn@uwo.ca

Dr. Robert Bartha

Dr. Robert Bartha is Professor of Medical Biophysics at Western University, with cross appointments in Medical Imaging and Psychiatry.  He is also a Scientist in the Imaging Research Group at the Robarts Research Institute where his research has focused on the development of high-field magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy methods for the early diagnosis of disease and monitoring of treatment response; specifically related to neurological diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, concussion, spinal cord compression, and brain cancer.  Dr. Bartha specializes in ultra high magnetic field imaging utilizing a 7 Tesla human MRI scanner, the only one of its kind in Canada, as well as 3 Tesla human and 9.4 Tesla small animal MRI scanners at the Western Centre for Functional and Metabolic Mapping.  Dr. Bartha’s research is focused on identifying specific imaging biomarkers of disease progression and building novel MRI tracers that highlight pathological aspects of a disease process.  His work is highly interdisciplinary involving collaboration with chemists, cell biologists, and physicians.  These collaborations have lead to the develop of new imaging contrasts sensitive to physiological conditions such as temperature and pH, new contrast agents targeted to specific proteases upregulated in Alzheimer disease and cancer, and to validate new endogenous metabolic and anatomical biomarkers of disease progression in subjects with Alzheimer disease and brain cancer.  Dr. Bartha heads an exciting team that includes research associates, post-doctoral fellows, technicians, and students, with expertise in imaging, physics, and biology.

I chose Robarts Research Institute, and specifically Dr. Bartha's lab, as it combines the opportunity to participate in innovative, leading-edge research while still focusing on applicability to the Medical Research Community. 

Upon completion of my PhD, i hope to continue teaching in University and College Education with the goal to improve the overall quality of higher education in Canada. 

Not only does Robarts have some of the most advanced imaging technology in Canada, it also has excellent research teams that promote collaboration and interdisciplinary research.  Being at Robarts-allows me to combine by interest in neurology and physiology with advanced imaging, while still still maintaining a close relationship with the patients, neurologists and neurosurgeons. When I was looking to combine my interests in neurology and imaging, Rob was the obvious choice. After my first introduction to Rob and the current students, I knew the Bartha lab would be a great place to spend the next four years

After completion of my PhD, I hope to see myself continuing research in the field and teaching. 

CURRENT BARTHA LAB TEAM
Patrick Mccunn
PhD Candidate, Medical Biophysics
BSc Science (& Psychology), Minor in Biology, Waterloo University (Dual Degree Program)
Contact information:
Email: kryan58@uwo.ca
Kayla Ryan
PhD Candidate, Medical Biophysics
BSc Physics, Western University
Contact information:
Email: aschranz@uwo.ca
Amy Schranz

I have always been fascinated by the brain and neurodegenerative diseases.  I chose to work at the Robarts Research Institute in Dr. Bartha’s lab to learn about magnetic resonance imaging and techniques such as proton spectroscopy and diffusion tensor imaging. In particular, how these techniques can help play a role in diagnosis and understanding of different diseases.  

After finishing my PhD, I hope to attend Medical School with the end goal of working in the clinic and in research.

I became interested in the medical applications of NMR and MRI after studying these techniques and their use in material science at the UNB MRI Research Centre. I ultimately came to work with Dr. Bartha because of the opportunities he offered to collaborate with clinicians and learn of MRI’s current and future use in medicine, while applying a wide range of MR techniques to study the brain.

 

Once I’ve finished my MSc, I am looking to continue my studies with a PhD in MR Physics.

John Adams
MSc Candidate, Medical Biophysics
BSc Physics, University of New Brunswick
Contact information:
Email: jadams33@uwo.ca
Dickson Wong

As someone with a natural curiosity, I’ve always enjoyed seeing how seemingly unrelated things are complementary and have never been satisfied with not knowing why something works. The brain is one of those intriguing mysteries where we still don’t really know how it works, why it stops working, and how to fix it. Dr. Bartha’s lab offered me an opportunity to dip my toes into this mystery from a unique perspective. Everyday, as an MD/PhD student in Dr. Bartha’s lab, I get to apply my electrical engineering background to study Alzheimer’s disease using magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance spectroscopy, whilst learning from other experts at Robarts who are tackling Alzheimer’s from a more behavioural, psychological, and physiological perspective. After my training here at Western, I hope to get the opportunity to work as a physician-scientist, diving ever deeper into the mysteries of the brain.

I have always had strong enthusiasm for solving different engineering and physics problems using advanced mathematical techniques and computer algorithm implementation and programming. Hence, I chose Biomedical Engineering at Western University where I received my PhD degree. My major research interests during my PhD studies were medical image analysis, computer programming for signal and image processing, finite element analysis, biomechanics, and patient-specific computational modeling. Later, I joined Dr. Bartha’s lab at Robarts Research Institute as a postdoc to further develop my computer programing and image processing skills for analysis of brain diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) data and to expand my theoretical and scientific knowledge in the field of the brain MR imaging. My major intension in the future is to continue my research/engineering career especially as a postdoc or research scientist in the academic environment to further develop my scientific knowledge and computer programming skills in the field of biomedical engineering and especially medical image analysis, medical image-based computational modeling, and signal processing

BSc Candidate Biomedical Engineer
Universidad Iberoamericana
Undergraduate Project 
Contact information:
Email: jc.gtz.sml@gmail.com
Juan Carlos Gutierrez

My goal in life has always been to aid in the fight against Cancer. As a Biomedical Engineer focused on Medical Instrumentation, I want to develop equipment or routines that help the treatment, diagnosis or assessment of this disease. I am a visiting undergraduate student from Mexico, currently working on a project to optimize chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) intracellular pH measurement in the human brain,which has a direct application in the diagnosis and assessment of brain tumours.

I chose Bartha Lab because after correspondence with Dr. Bartha, I got very interested in the CEST project he proposed and its innate applications to aid the fight against Cancer. The project is a requirement from my Biomedical Engineering program at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico, once I finish it I will be able to obtain my BSc.

 

Once I  get my degree, I plan on pursuing a master's in Medical Physics to ultimately work in developing radiotherapy equipment and/or research.

Samir Atiya
Patient Recruiter
MD, Saint James School of Medicine
 
Contact information:
Email: satiya@uwo.ca
Associate Professor, Medical Biophysics
Scientist, Robarts Research Institute
Bank of Montreal Chair in Neuroimaging
PhD Medical Biophysics, Western University
BSc Physics, Universty of Waterloo
Contact information:
Phone: (519) 663 5777 x24039
Fax: (519) 931 5224
Email: rbartha@robarts.ca
Dr. Hassan Haddad
Post Doctoral Fellow
 
PhD in Biomedical Engineering Western University
MSc Electrical Engineering - Communications, University of Tehran
BSc Electrical Engineering - Communications, Amirkabir University of Technology
Contact information:
Email: shaddad2@uwo.ca
MD/PhD Candidate, Medical Biophysics
BEng, Electrical and Biomedical Engineering, McMaster University
Contact information:
dwong263@uwo.ca

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