I am Gloria Martí, a neurologist who works in Clínica Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona (Spain). As part of my Ph.D. project I have performed a formative stay in University Medical Centre Ljubljana.
The aim of the internship was to learn about spatial covariance analyses (e.g SSM/PCA) a kind of multivariate approach of brain Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomograph imaging. This statistical approach assesses the metabolic connectivity, in other words, it shows the brain regions with an abnormal activity which are in turn functionally interrelated. This analysis is designed to identify a disease-related pattern. Moreover, a unique property of this assessment is that the pattern expression can be prospectively calculated for a subject in an independent cohort.
It has been a truly interdisciplinary experience, collaborating closely between neurologists (Maja Trošt, Tomaž Rus, and Matej Perovnik) and medical physics (Petra Tomše, Eva Rebec, and Andrej Studen). We have assessed both theoretical and practical issues: imaging harmonization, preprocessing adjustments, obtention of disease-related patterns and their cross-validation, papers discussion, etc. This international collaboration has been a great opportunity in my professional career, I do recommend it. Thus, I have pushed ahead with my Ph.D. project and I feel more confident and autonomous.
I would like to express my gratitude to the group for their kind reception and unconditional help. I hope It would be the beginning of the present and future fruitful collaborations.