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Lead supervisor: Assoc Prof Olaf Ansorge, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford

Co-supervisor: Dr Roman Fischer, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford

Commercial partner: Bruker Daltonics, Coventry


We are offering a four-year, fully-funded MRC iCASE Studentship in partnership with Bruker Daltonics, a leading manufacturer of  Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MSI) hardware and software ( The Studentship will be hosted by the Nuffield Departments of Clinical Neurosciences and Medicine of the University of Oxford from October 2020 to September 2024.

The purpose of this iCASE studentship is to develop and validate cutting-edge spatial brain tissue proteomics technology for clinical application, using the latest mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) instruments.

The brain is the most complex organ of the human body. Most brain diseases are incurable. Translation of disease modifying therapies from model system to patient have failed, likely because the complex structural and biochemical composition of our brain remains poorly understood. Metabolites and proteins represent the ultimate effectors of intra- and inter-cellular signalling. Specifically, it is the spatial interaction of these signalling cascades that matters in the brain. The technological challenge, therefore, is not only to resolve the tissue specific molecular pathways in sufficient depth but also in spatial context. Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MSI) technology allows us to achieve this in an unbiased way. It has the potential to revolutionise tissue diagnostics. However, before this becomes reality, analytical challenges in sample preparation, throughput, data acquisition and interpretation must be solved, including integration with other tissue imaging modalities [1, 2]. This is the focus of the studentship.

The student will gain access to next-generation MSI instruments and analytical pipelines in academia and industry, benefit from access to highly annotated brain tissue samples linked to clinical trials and work with partners at the National Physical Laboratory.

The studentship is ideally suited for a top graduate in biochemistry, bioengineering or medical sciences who is motivated by the opportunity to work at the interface of basic and applied science that has the prospect to revolutionise brain tissue diagnostics for precision medicine.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the principal academic and industry supervisors:,,


1.         Porta Siegel, T., et al., Mass Spectrometry Imaging and Integration with Other Imaging Modalities for Greater Molecular Understanding of Biological Tissues. Mol Imaging Biol, 2018. 20(6): p. 888-901.

2.         Davis, S., et al., Development of a Sensitive, Scalable Method for Spatial, Cell-Type-Resolved Proteomics of the Human Brain. J Proteome Res, 2019. 18(4): p. 1787-1795.

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