Dr Paul Prentice is CavLab principal investigator and group leader.
Paul’s background is physics, with a dash of astro, which he studied at Queen’s University, Belfast. He eventually landed in Dundee, where he undertook a PhD with Dr Paul Campbell (a fellow Norn Irish lad), Prof Sir Alfred Cuschieri and Prof Kishan Dholakia, at the University of St Andrews. This work developed a holographic optical trapping rig, for tweezing and manipulation of ultrasound contrast agent microbubbles. He used the experimental configuration to demonstrate that microbubbles, stimulated by ultrasound, were capable of ‘micro-jetting’ into biological cells, as a drug delivery mechanism…
…and so his obsession with cavitation was born. Soon after graduating, Paul took an RCUK fellowship at the newly founded Institute of Medical Science and Technology (IMSaT), University of Dundee. From there he (eventually!) developed an independent research programme, studying bubble activity in high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), for potential therapeutic applications. His research goal is to harness and control the power of cavitation for medical and industrial applications …he loves a challenge!
Before Keith’s academic career he was a self-employed businessman who achieved ISO 12215 certification to manufacture fibre-glass fishing boats. A self-employed business is a challenging environment which requires a large skill set to stay competitive and successful. This five year period taught Keith important skills such as project and time management, problem solving, innovation and communication skills. ‘Fortunately’, Ireland’s recession gave Keith the opportunity to study mechanical engineering after completion of Dundee University access summer school. Since then Keith has found university life stimulating, interesting and rewarding. Keith’s Honours year project was self-proposed, and involved development of a wireless power meter system that had applications in both medical and cycling industry. Keith graduated in 2012 with a first class BEng (Hons) degree in Mechanical Engineering with a thesis entitles ‘An investigation of a novel force sensor application for dynamical cycling power evaluation’.
Keith started his PhD at IMSaT under the supervision of Dr Paul Prentice, in CavLab September 2012. Dundee University is currently at the forefront of medical research, Keith’s specific PhD topic ‘Fundamental understanding in cavitation research’ is allowing him to continue development in research skills, where he was recently awarded IEEE best student paper award, problem solving techniques, presentation and communication skills as well as becoming more involved with teaching and the supervision of students.
Ms Miriam Jimenez Garcia is a 2nd year PhD student
Miriam has a background in Computer Science (she holds a 3-year Diploma degree as well as a 5-year Licentiate degree in Computer Science Engineering) from the University of Valladolid (Spain) and a M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Dundee.
In 2008, she obtained her Diploma in Computer Science Technical Engineering for Management, where she received First Class Honours in a diploma degree project titled “Development of a Control Architecture for a Surgical Robot”. She then obtained her Licentiate in Computer Science Engineering in 2012, with First Class Honours thesis titled “Generation of Timed Transition Diagrams for Time Constraints Representation in Healthcare Processes”. Miriam graduated in 2013 with an M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering with thesis titled “Ultrasound-guided Focused Ultrasound Surgery”. This was her first encounter with a technique that truly sparked her interest, due to its wide range of potential applications in medicine.
She has just started her second year of PhD in IMSaT, under the direct supervision of Dr Paul Prentice. She will be particularly involved on the development of an FPGA-based rapid feedback control loop between detector and focused ultrasound source, to manipulate cavitation activity at sub-millisecond timescales.