Our Team

We love what we do, and we do it with passion.

Adriana Tavares

Reader and PiW team leader

Adriana is a senior research fellow in Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging and the head of the preclinical PET facility at the University of Edinburgh. Her research is focused on developing new PET radiotracers and novel methods of analysis of PET data. She serves as a reviewer for various journals, funding bodies and international congresses. Adriana is the co-chair of the STANDARD group of the European Society of Molecular Imaging (ESMI), founder of the “PET is Wonderful” group, and member of the Molecular Imaging Committee of the Scottish Imaging Network: A Platform for Scientific Excellence (SINAPSE).

Abby Hellman

PhD Student

Abby is a PhD student in the School of Physics and Astronomy who joined the PET is Wonderful Team in September 2022. She completed her BSc degree in Physics at the University of Virginia in May of 2022. Throughout her undergraduate degree, she was involved in a variety of medical physics research projects including quality assurance checks for proton beam radiation therapy and machine learning for x-ray tomosynthesis image interpretation. She also took part in nuclear physics research, building and testing gas electron multiplier detectors and developing a streaming readout data acquisition system.  Her PhD will involve network analysis of total-body PET data, looking to further the field of systems biology and explore the systemic effects of diseases.

Anne Grant

Affiliate member of the PiW group

Anne is the Facility Manager for Edinburgh Imaging and a great supporter of the PiW Team. She is instrumental to the group’s PiW meetings organised every year.

Bea Andrews

PhD Student

Bea is a PhD student funded through an EPSRC studentship. She completed her undergraduate integrated MPhys degree at the University of Edinburgh in physics. She grew a passion for PET imaging and computational research during her master’s research project with Catriona Wimberley which subsequently led to her joining the PiW group a few months after graduating. Her PhD project aims to develop and validate new whole-body PET and PET-MR methodology for radiometabolite measurements as well as the development of simplified PET-MR protocols, co-kinetic models, and analysis models for the quantification of radiotracer kinetics with a focus on reduced acquisition time without invasive arterial blood corrections.

Campbell Watt

Project manager

Campbell is a project manager working in the PET is Wonderful team.

Carlos Alcaide-Corral

microPET technician

Carlos has a BSc(Hons) in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology and a Master’s degree in Endocrinology carried out in the department of cardiovascular science of the University Clinical Hospital of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Upon completion of his university training, he was awarded with a 4-year research grant to carry out various research projects at the faculty of pharmacology. Carlos is currently working as a senior microPET/CT technician at the University of Edinburgh and he is responsible for conducting microPET/CT studies, including acquisition, reconstruction, transfer and storage of microPET/CT data.  

Catriona Wimberley

Post-doctoral researcher

Catriona is a current Research Fellow in PET-MR physics within Edinburgh Imaging and the PET is Wonderful Group, working in multi-modal imaging predominantly for neurodegenerative, neuroinflammatory and neurovascular studies. Catriona’s research is multi-disciplinary, applying mathematical tools to transform in vivo PET imaging data into biomarkers of emerging disease. Catriona’s main expertise is kinetic modelling, analysis and simulation of PET data, extending to MRI in her current projects. Catriona completed her PhD at the University of Sydney (Australia) and then spent 4 years in a post-doc position at the in vivo molecular imaging laboratory in Orsay, France before coming to Edinburgh.

Dániel Réti

PhD Student

Dániel joined the PET is Wonderful team in October 2022. He completed his undergraduate degree in Physics at Budapest University of Technology and Economics. He earned his Masters degree in Medical Physics at the University of Galway, Ireland in 2021. He contributed to projects of the field of medical imaging, like fMRI and phase contrast CT research. After his studies he started working as a PET/MRI physicist for Mediso, which installed two new preclinical imaging devices in Edinburgh in 2022. During his PhD research, he is finding ways to optimise and standardise preclinical quality control measurement for preclinical systems, focusing on cardiac and brain PET imaging. In his free time he enjoys analogue photography, improv acting, and when it is possible, skiing.

Kali Pandya

PhD Student

Kali is a PhD student working in the PET is Wonderful team.

Liam Carr

PhD student

Liam is a PhD student in the PiW group co-funded by the NC3RS and Unilever. He completed an undergraduate degree in Pharmacology at the University of Edinburgh, including an honours project within the PiW group. He became extremely enthusiastic about research having spent time working on a project in the lab, returning the following year to begin his PhD. His project aims to address current shortcomings in pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic stages of drug development, with the aim to produce a novel, in silico model incorporating data from biomimetic chromatography and body-on-chip technology to aid in high throughput screening of potential drug candidates.

Mark MacAskill

Post-doctoral researcher

Mark MacAskill is a postdoctoral researcher working within the Tavares group at the Centre for Cardiovascular Science, University of Edinburgh. He gained his PhD in vascular biology from the University of Strathclyde before moving to the University of Edinburgh to undertake postdoctoral studies largely involving preclinical imaging including MRI, Ultrasound and PET. His research interests involve the development and application of novel imaging approaches to understand the underling mechanisms behind adverse cardiovascular remodelling. His current projects include the development and application of novel PET radiotracer targeting the inflammatory marker TSPO for detection of cardiac inflammation following myocardial infarction, in addition to the assessment of novel angiogenesis biomarkers and radiotracers.

Robert Shaw

PhD student

Robert Shaw is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh funded by the SPRINT-MND/MS PhD Programme. He completed his undergraduate MSci in Neuroscience at the University of Glasgow in 2017 before moving to a research assistant position within the University of Glasgow. His PhD project is supervised by Dr Adriana Tavares. His project focuses on the preclinical testing and validation of a novel radiotracer for imaging myelination/remyelination using PET imaging.

Timaeus Morgan

Post-doctoral researcher

Timaeus was born and raised in North West England. He studied at Newcastle University and, in 2014, completed an MChem Honours degree in Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry. His Masters research was focused on the synthesis of potential inhibitors of the p53-MDM2 interaction. He then studied for a PhD in chemistry at the University of Glasgow under the supervision of Dr Andrew Sutherland. The aim of his PhD was to synthesise novel molecular probes for imaging disease using positron emission tomography (PET) and fluorescence imaging. After obtaining his PhD in 2019, Timaeus joined the University of Edinburgh as a postdoctoral scientist with Dr Adriana Tavares. His major role within the team is the radiosynthesis of both novel and known carbon-11 and fluorine-18 radiotracers for preclinical PET imaging.

Victoria Reid

Research technician

Victoria recently joined the “PET is Wonderful” team as a research technician. She is currently investigating the pathophysiology of collagen synthesis (fibrosis) in the remodelling myocardium using a myocardial infarction (MI) model and assisting with the development of collagen-targeted PET radiotracers. If successful, these radiotracers would have the potential to change the way in which patients are managed clinically following an MI event.  She holds a research masters qualification in Cardiovascular Science from the University of Edinburgh and has over 8 years of radiation experience gained in an industry setting.

Viktoria Balogh

PhD student

Viktoria is a PhD student in the British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Science programme at the University of Edinburgh. Her PhD project focuses on using [18F]fluoroproline PET imaging to investigate myocardial fibrosis in a hypertensive heart failure rat model treated with angiotensin II.  She graduated from the University of Glasgow with a BSc (Hons.) in Neuroscience. She then went on to complete an MRes in Biomedical Sciences (Integrative Mammalian Biology) at the University of Glasgow. She has also received an MScR in Cardiovascular Biology as part of the Edinburgh BHF programme.


Agne Knyzeliene

Affiliate member of the PiW group

Agne received a BSc(Hons) degree in Pharmacology (University of Aberdeen, UK) and a MSc in Brain Sciences (University of Glasgow, UK). Her doctoral research focussed on the validation of a novel TSPO PET radiotracer, [18F]LW223, for imaging neuroinflammation and the characterisation of the dynamics of TSPO expression in health and disease across multiple brain cell types. In collaboration with Prof. Karen Horsburgh and Dr Barry McColl, she is also looked into the application of [18F]LW223 for imaging dementia-associated neuroinflammation. Agne received her PhD in 2022.

Wendy McDougald

Affiliate member of the PiW group

Wendy received a BSc from Seattle University and a MSc from the University of Washington in physics and mathematics. She is also a certified clinical positron emission tomography (PET) and PET/CT engineer. While in Seattle she conducted medical physics/engineering research at the University of Washington as a Research Scientist/Engineer III focusing on clinical PET, PET/CT and SPECT. Since coming to the University of Edinburgh, Wendy has completed a MScR focusing on bioinformatics and preclinical PET/CT, as well as a NC3Rs-funded PhD with the PiW, Tavares Group. During her PhD, she became aware of the need to regulate the ionising radiation doses small animals absorb while being imaged. Currently, Wendy’s NC3Rs Training Fellowship will delve into understanding the DNA damage caused by ionising radiation, while establishing guidelines and regulations for small animal X-ray exposure during CT imaging.

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