Ph.D. Candidate


Nanyang Technological University



Principal Investigator

Anna Barron



Changes in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients start long before any noticeable symptoms. Tests to detect these early changes are needed to prevent irreversible damage. Imaging approaches using positron emission tomography scans, commonly known as PET scans, allow visualization of energy usage in the living brain through injection of a tracer before the scan. This project will evaluate a new tracer targeting mitochondria, the energy-producing power station of the cell. A lot of evidence shows that mitochondria are damaged very early in Alzheimer's disease and therefore may be a good biomarker for early detection. We will test the sensitivity of the mitochondria-targeted probe in Alzheimer's mice that have a human genetic mutation for the disease. Further, we will evaluate the ability of this probe to detect changes in mitochondria function in mice treated with drugs that damage or protect the mitochondria. These studies will form the basis of further testing in humans in the future.

For further information about the Neurobiology of Aging and Disease Laboratory, visit

Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine) is a partnership between Imperial College London and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

The LKC Medicine Ph.D. by Research Program admits students from a variety of backgrounds—natural science, medicine, social science and engineering—and exposes them to a range of topics and disciplines such that on completion, graduates will have a deep knowledge and appreciation of b​oth translatable and translational medical research methods.



At least upper-second, preferably first-class honors degree in a relevant field. A master’s degree is not a prerequisite but is considered advantageous.

Good English test score (TOEFL/IELTS) is required for international applicants except those who are from English-medium institutions or whose undergraduate/graduate degrees are from autonomous universities in Singapore.

Valid test GRE score is required for applicants who are not graduates from autonomous universities in Singapore. Test dates must be within five years or less from the date of application.