Department of Diagnostic Radiology


Research Questions

  • How useful is an imaging test in identifying early disease, such as Alzheimer's or liver cancer?
  • What can functional imaging tell us about disease processes at the molecular level?
  • Can imaging reveal more than just conventional assessment for diagnosis?
  • Can use of modern feature extraction and artificial intelligence help advance imaging research?
Department of Diagnostic Radiology
Research Areas

1. Advanced MRI and Other Molecular Imaging Techniques in Neurological Diseases

  • Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases − volumetric MRI, functional MRI, MR perfusion, MR spectroscopy (MRS), amyloid and tau PET, susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI), chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST), artificial intelligence in dementia diagnosis
  • Demyelinating diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, neuromyelitis optica and multiple sclerosis − arterial spin labelling (ASL), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), MRS
  • Brain tumours − surrogate markers in anticancer drug trials using dynamic contrast enhanced (DCE) MR perfusion and MRS
  • Epilepsy − volumetric MRI, T1 Rho, MRI/PET

  

2. Stroke and Cardiovascular Imaging

  • Stroke imaging − MR perfusion (ASL) imaging in evaluation of stroke, MR vessel wall imaging in aneurysm, vasculitis and intracranial atherosclerosis, blood-brain-barrier imaging in haemorrhagic stroke, stroke imaging database in Hong Kong West Cluster of the Hospital Authority
  • Carotid plaque characterization − multimodal MRI
Supervisor(s)

Dr HKF Mak

  

3. Molecular and Functional Imaging in Gynae-Oncology, Bridging the Imaging-Pathological Translation

  • Body diffusion-weighted MR imaging (DW-MRI) − application in oncology, quantification of diffusion parameters and technique optimisation on 3T MRI
  • DW-MRI quantification beyond mono-exponential model
  • Gynaecological oncology imaging − functional assessment of metabolic activity (PET/CT) and the use of advanced MRI techniques (e.g. DWI, IVIM, DCE-MRI) in disease diagnosis, treatment response assessment and disease prognostication
  • Qualitative and quantitative peritoneal imaging
  • Application of radiomics in gynaecological oncology
Supervisor(s)

Dr EYP Lee

  

4. Early Clinical Translatability of Advanced Imaging Techniques Leveraging Emerging Technologies and Complex Computational Methods

  • Using imaging for early detection, cancer characteristics, and response assessment
  • Nasopharyngeal carcinoma
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Prostate cancer
  • Quantitative radiomics and radiogenomics
  • Big data, machine learning, medical artificial intelligence
  • Deep Learning Imaging Applications to Ageing and Longevity
Supervisor(s)

Dr VV Vardhanabhuti

  

5. Cardiac Magnetic Resonance (CMR)

  • Stress cardiac magnetic resonance and perfusion mapping/quantification in
    1. asymptomatic high risk diabetics
    2. coronary microvascular disease and
    3. empagliflozin
  • T1 and T2 mapping for the assessment of myocardial fibrosis and myocardial oedema. This research is currently focused on two types of patients:
    1. heart failure with preserved ejection fraction
    2. chronic kidney disease patients
  • CMR feature tracking for prognosis and diagnosis of diastolic dysfunction in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction and comparing this to catheter pressure measurements, echocardiography and CMR tagging
  • 4D flow in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction

  

6. Cardiac Computed Tomography

Calcium scoring in marathon runners on the progression of calcium in the coronary arteries

Supervisor(s)

Dr MY Ng

 

7. Advanced MRI and Deep Learning

  • Deep-learning-based MRI reconstruction and quantification
  • Deep-learning-based medical imaging segmentation and classification
  • fMRI acquisition and modelling for brain function, BOLD and non-BOLD contrast mechanisms
  • MRI pulse sequence design and novel imaging contrasts
  • Molecular imaging, such as MR spectroscopy and chemical exchange saturation transfer
  • MRI hardware development 
Supervisor(s)

Dr P Cao

Next Step?

For more information or to express interest to join the research areas, please email the supervisor or the specified contact point in the description. Interested candidates are advised to enclose with your email:

  1. your CV,
  2. a brief description of your research interest and experience, and
  3. two reference letters (not required for HKUMed UG students seeking MRes[Med]/URIS projects).

Research postgraduate studies enquiries specific to the department/school’s research should be directed to the Chairman of the Departmental Research Postgraduate Committee:

Dr P Cao
caopeng1@hku.hk

Information on the research programme, funding support and admission documentations could be referenced online at the Research Postgraduate Admissions website.

General admission enquiries should be directed to rpgmed@hku.hk.

Our Students

SHI Jingjing

Place of Origin: China
Progress: PhD Year 3
Supervisor: Prof PL Khong

史菁菁的首個運用小動物PET/MRI成像系統、以影像學為基礎的腫瘤研究。從對新領域一無所知,到摸索出有效的應用方法,從束手無策到得心應手。

目前動物的藥物應用研究廣泛,但真正轉化到臨床醫學的藥物極少,這其實是對基礎研究資源的巨大浪費。歸根結底,是由於對動物模型缺乏透徹了解。史菁菁表示,「我們的研究為幫助大家深刻認知動物模型的內在變化,以此提高臨床藥物應用的轉化率。」

史菁菁將堅定研究影像學領域,在臨床和科研同向發展,既成為一名影像科的醫生,同時從事動物成像及轉化醫學研究。「目前該領域還有很大的研究空間,希望盡我所能助推一步,而當醫生是在宏觀上助人的體現,幫助患者去解決病痛,這也是我的快樂來源。」

April 2021