Recently as part of the launch of the SDRC Annual Report 2019/20, we have been sharing the work early career researchers by publishing a series of blogs from the ECRs that feature in the report. Today, we are featuring Jennifer Waymont, a PhD student from the University of Aberdeen.
I am a final-year PhD candidate at the University of Aberdeen, working towards a PhD in Medical Imaging. Prior to this, I obtained a BSc in Psychology with Clinical and Health Psychology, an MSc in Psychological Research, and a further MSc in Neuroimaging, all at Bangor University in North Wales.
My PhD title is ‘Automated detection and analysis of life-course determinants of brain white matter hyperintensities in healthy ageing and in Alzheimer’s Disease’. White matter hyperintensities (WMH) are a common brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) finding in older adults, arising from advancing age and cardiovascular risk factors, and contributing to cognitive decline, dementia, stroke, and death.
This project has included validating an open-source algorithm to detect WMH, exploring risk factors for and outcomes of increased WMH burden in later-life, and better understanding the association between WMH and Alzheimer’s Disease (including exploring potential pharmaceutical interventions to reduce WMH burden).
I aim to complete my PhD in the coming months, after which I hope to continue to pursue a career in academia. I am interested in further exploring how life-course psychosocial and lifestyle factors influence brain health in later-life. I am especially passionate about early-intervention, risk reduction, and prevention of diseases that cause dementia.