In profile: Annemarie Knill

Having studied Physics at the University of Warwick, Annemarie Knill recently began a PhD studentship at The Institute of Cancer Research, London (ICR), under the supervision of Dr Christina Messiou, a Consultant Radiologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and Imaging Fellow at the ICR.

In profile: Annemarie Knill
Annemarie Knill: PhD student

Annemarie discusses her PhD project, its potential impact for patients and her hopes for a future career in research.

Tailoring treatment for melanoma

My project focuses on the development of whole-body MRI scanning methods, to automatically track metastatic lesions in melanoma patients whose cancer has spread. Specifically, this tool will be used to assess how a patient is responding to treatment with immunotherapy and detect measurable differences between lesions as the treatment progresses.

It is hoped that this could lead to better assessment and guidance on which patients will benefit from immunotherapy, ensuring that patients only receive the treatment that they will benefit from.

Access to a wealth of knowledge

I was eager to work with the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at The Royal Marsden and the ICR due to the interdisciplinary nature of the research they are engaged in. The range of highly qualified professionals working here means there is a wealth of knowledge to build on which I would not have access to elsewhere: from clinicians to scientists, and statisticians to physicists, there is always someone willing to help me deepen my understanding of my research area.

Developing expertise and making an impact

In the future I hope to use the expertise I will have developed in my PhD to continue working in the fields of the physics of MRI scanning and computer science. I am passionate about carrying out research which excites me, so I will have to see how my interests develop over the next three years. Research with a strong focus on patient benefit has always been a key aspect of the work that I enjoy, and so I hope to continue working in a field with the potential to make an impact.