Current projects

Details of active NICAD research projects can be found here.

Neuron cells system - 3d rendered image of Neuron cell network on black background

Dissecting endothelial/neuronal crosstalk during neurovascular coupling

PhD Student: Karishma Chhabria


Using state-of-the-art lightsheet imaging, this project combines Dr Chico’s expertise in zebrafish models with Dr Howarth’s expertise in cell-level imaging of the mechanisms underlying neurovascular coupling to establish novel zebrafish models of neurovascular coupling.

Professor Wharton and Dr Heath provide the expertise necessary to extend these studies in order to examine the effect of differential gene expression within endothelial cells, as occurs in ageing and cardiovascular disease.

Neurovascular breakdown in atherosclerotic mice

PhD Student: Currently vacant


This project combines atherosclerotic mouse models in Professor Francis’ group with state of the art multi-modal mouse neuroimaging methods that are already developed in Dr Berwick’s group in order to investigate how neurovascular function is altered by cardiovascular disease.

Dr Hoggard provides the expertise and supervision necessary translate findings to pilot human neuroimaging studies involving atherosclerotic patients.

We carry out multimodal imaging and neurophysiological measurement to study neurovascular function in rodent models of health and disease

Human neuroimaging biomarkers for cardiovascular disease

PhD Student: Maria Eleni Dounavi


  • Dr Iain Wilkinson (Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease)
  • Dr Chris Martin (Department of Psychology)
  • Dr Aneurin Kennerley (Department of Psychology)

The first part of this project involves retrospective human MR data analysis (Professor Wilkinson) to develop a biomarker for vasodilatory functional status of the macro- and micro-vascular networks involved in blood supply and regulation to and within the human brain.

The second part will initiate a comparative animal neuroimaging model study (Dr Martin), applying the same MR imaging techniques (Dr Kennerley).


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