Our Team

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

Adriana Tavares

Chancellor’s fellow 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).

Agne Knyzeliene

PhD student

Agne is a PhD student in the Tavares group. She has a BSc(Hons) degree in Pharmacology (University of Aberdeen, UK) and a MSc in Brain Sciences (University of Glasgow, UK). Her doctoral research is focussed on the validation of a novel TSPO PET radiotracer, [18F]LW223, for imaging neuroinflammation and the characterization 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 looking into the application of [18F]LW223 for imaging dementia-associated neuroinflammation.

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.

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.

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.

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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