Characterizing brain-body relationship with respect to biological aging in elderly population

Research Opportunity
Masters by Research, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
1
Number of Master Places Available
1
Department / Centre
Psychiatry
Location
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Ye Tian ye.tian2@unimelb.edu.au Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Vanessa Cropley vcropley@unimelb.edu.au Personal web page
A/Prof Andrew Zalesky azalesky@unimelb.edu.au

Summary This project aims to comprehensively characterize patterns of aging in various human biological systems including the brain and other organ systems such as the cardiovascular, respiratory and skeleton systems, and to understand the relationship between the brain and the body with respect to the aging trajectory and health outcomes.

Project Details

We are seeking an enthusiastic and motivated master/honours candidate to be involved in an ongoing project characterizing patterns of biological aging in a large prospective population cohort of 500,000 participants aged 40 to 69 years available from the UK biobank.

Biological age is the apparent age of individuals’ biological systems. The age at which an individual’s trajectory diverges from the norm could reflect crucial characteristics of the overall health of an individual and the underlying pathophysiology of many diseases. For example, studies have shown evidence that accelerated brain aging, i.e., when an individual’s brain appears older compared to the brain age of a normative individual of the same age, is strongly associated with major neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia, respectively.

The brain hosts the mind and controls the rest of the body. The brain and the body constantly interact. This project aims to comprehensively characterize patterns of aging in various biological systems including the brain and other organ systems such as the cardiovascular, respiratory and skeleton systems, and to understand the relationship between the brain and the body with respect to the aging trajectory and health outcomes. This project also aims to identify risk/protective factors such as sociodemographic, lifestyle, and early life events that could modify the normal age-related trajectory of these biological systems.

The successful applicant will work on rich imaging-derived brain and body metrics, biological phenotyping, medical records, sociodemographic, behavioral and cognitive measurements. The student will be responsible for conducting a literature review, the development of more specific proposal and hypotheses as well as statistical analyses. The student will have the opportunity to learn advanced brain imaging (MRI) and machine learning techniques. Publication of results is expected at the end of the project. A student who is interested in or has a good understanding of neuroscience, biology and medicine as well as some experience in computer programming is most favourable.



Faculty Research Themes

Neuroscience

School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry



Research Opportunities

Masters by Research, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department / Centre

Psychiatry

Research Node

Royal Melbourne Hospital

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