David Buckley- - Professor and Head of Medical Physics

John Biglands- Honorary Lecturer

David Brettle- Visiting Senior Research Fellow

David Broadbent - - PhD Student

Andrew Davies- Lecturer

Tony Evans- - Senior Lecturer in Medical Physics

Dimitra Flouri - - PhD Student

Amber Gislason - Research Officer

Dan Johnson - - Trainee Clinical Scientist & PhD Student

David Keane - - Clinical Scientist and NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow

Claire Keeble- Research Fellow

Steve Kengyelics - - PhD Student

David Longbotham - - PhD Student

David Paynter - - P/T PhD Student

Beatrice Reiner - - P/T PhD Student

Stephen Smye- Honorary Professor

Steven Sourbron- Lecturer in Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Laura Treadgold- Lecturer in Medical Physics & Director of Intercalated Studies

Charalampos Tsoumpas- Lecturer in Medical Imaging

John P Ridgway- Consultant Clinical Scientist and Visiting Senior Research Fellow

Key Funding Success

Measuring renal function with dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI: tracer-kinetic model-driven image registration.
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) - GlaxoSmithKline CASE PhD studentship.
We have recently developed and validated a method to measure single-kidney glomerular filtration rate (SK-GFR) with dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI).  The analysis of the data involves three consecutive steps: (1) rigid-body image registration to remove breathing motion in the data; (2) (semi-)automated segmentation to outline the kidneys and the lumen of the aorta; (3) tracer-kinetic modelling to extract SK-GFR and other parameters from the data. In the current analysis method these steps are performed independently, but there are strong arguments that the efficacy and robustness of each can be improved by integrating them into one larger inverse problem.

Aims of the project:  (1) to develop a tracer-kinetic model-driven registration and segmentation model for SK-GFR measurement with DCE-MRI; (2) to develop the numerical tools to solve the inverse problem in a context of clinical routine; (3) to validate the method by comparison against the current method in terms of accuracy and precision in SK-GFR, numerical performance, and interobserver effects.

CHERNAC: characterising early response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy with quantitative breast MRI.
Breast Cancer Now project grant.
In a recent pilot study of 18 patients undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC), we demonstrated for the first time that it was feasible to measure breast tumour blood flow (TBF) as part of a standard clinical MRI exam. TBF decreased dramatically in clinical responders and when compared with similar results obtained by others using [15-O] H2O positron emission tomography, the data led us to hypothesise that TBF will decrease after only 1 cycle of NAC in responders. Our data also suggested that changes in TBF over the course of NAC might predict pathological response.                                                                                                          

Our primary aim is to assess response to first line NAC noninvasively after only 1 cycle of treatment. A secondary aim is to predict pathological response based upon changes measured over the course of NAC.
We will measure TBF using our novel MRI approach in 40 patients studied before, following 1 cycle, at the mid-point and the end of a fixed course of NAC. The MRI data will be compared with histological and molecular markers, obtained from biopsies at baseline and after 1 cycle of NAC and from specimens obtained during surgery at the end of NAC, to assess mechanisms of response to chemotherapy.
Impact on breast cancer research. These techniques will provide absolute measures of tumour function during therapy which will particularly benefit non-responders to first line NAC allowing clear and objective decisions to be made about possible early changes in their treatment.

Correction of whole body PET data for motion-induced confounds using co-acquired motion fields.
Medical Research Council (MRC) - Imanova CASE PhD studentship.
Following the improvement of spatial resolution of clinical positron emission tomography (PET) to 3mm the principal limiting factor hampering its further advance is subject motion but developing motion correction techniques for different types of motion is challenging. Possible solutions might be offered by combining PET and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems. The use of MRI can provide independent estimation of the subject motion to correct PET data. In this research project, the student will combine PET and MRI to achieve motion correction, which would be feasible to translate into clinical practice.

Optimisation and validation of single-kidney GFR measurement with dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI.
Kidney Research UK project grant.

The purpose of this project is: (i) to optimise the analysis of these data to improve reproducibility and make it sufficiently practical for application in routine clinical practice; (ii) to validate the optimised method by comparison against the gold-standard and alternative DCE-MRI methods in a large existing study population; (iii) to support distribution, wider acceptance and transferability by development of a software prototype METHODS A database of 143 patient studies with paired MRI/radio-isotope data will be compiled by combining data from 4 previous studies.

Quantitative cardiac magnetic resonance for the evaluation of sub-clinical fibrosis and micro-vascular dysfunction in diabetic cardiomyopathy.
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) PhD Research Fellowship.

People  with  diabetes  mellitus  have  a  high  risk  of  developing  heart  failure.  This  risk  is  partly  due  to  diabetes  and  heart disease  sharing  some  risk  factors,  but  diabetes  also  causes  heart  wall  fibrosis,  contributing  to  the  development  of  heart failure.  This  work  aims  to  develop  and  test quantitative  magnetic  resonance  imaging  (MRI)  methods  for  measuring  the degree of heart muscle fibrosis. The methods will be tested in volunteers and patients with early and developed diabetes. They are expected to improve detection of heart wall damage in its early, potentially reversible, phase, allowing more timely treatment to prevent or delay development of heart failure.

CADERA: Coronary Artery Disease Evaluation in Rheumatoid Arthritis.
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) EME award.

This study bolts on to the VEDERA trial, a prospective longitudinal intervention study of patients with early RA, randomized to either first-line anti-TNF therapy or conventional DMARD therapy. It is proposed that VEDERA patients undergo cardiovascular MRI at baseline, 1 and 2 years. Baseline MRI results from the first 30 recruited patients will be compared with 30 matched controls. Changes in MRI findings between baseline and 1 year will be compared between VEDERA treatment groups.

Ultra Wide Context Aware Imaging. (PANORAMA)
EU funding

PANORAMA will deliver solutions for applications in medical imaging, broadcasting systems and security & surveillance, all of which face similar challenging issues in the real time handling and processing of large volumes of image data:

    • A huge increase in amount of data that needs to be processed
    • An increase in the complexity of image processing and image analysis algorithms
    • Tight real time requirements for image based control systems
    • Representation of "holistic" image data.

    PANORAMA will provide autonomous image acquisition, tightly coupled to the image sensor by research, development and demonstrating generic breakthrough technologies and hardware architectures for a broad range of imaging applications. Solutions will be delivered that require the real time handling and processing of large amounts of image data and develop new CMOS image sensor silicon supporting the autonomous image acquisition. In all these application domains the solutions will support the user by introducing more intelligent components to the imaging system, such that the user can work more efficient and can give more attention to the primary task of the application.

    Key Publications

    Biglands JD, Magee DR, Sourbron SP, Plein S, Greenwood JP, Radjenovic A.
    Comparison of the Diagnostic Performance of Four Quantitative Myocardial Perfusion Estimation Methods Used in Cardiac MR Imaging: CE-MARC Substudy.
    Radiology 2015;275(2):393-402.

    Sourbron S.
    A Tracer-Kinetic Field Theory for Medical Imaging.
    IEEE T Med Imaging 2014;33(4):935-946.

    Gislason-Lee AJ, McMillan C, Cowen AR, Davies AG.
    Dose optimization in cardiac x-ray imaging.
    Med Phys 2013;40(9).

    Lim SW, Chrysochou C, Buckley DL, Kalra PA, Sourbron SP.
    Prediction and assessment of responses to renal artery revascularization with dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging: a pilot study.
    Am J Physiol-Renal 2013;305(5):F672-F678.

    Broadbent DA, Biglands JD, Larghat A, Sourbron SP, Radjenovic A, Greenwood JP, Plein S, Buckley DL.
    Myocardial Blood Flow at Rest and Stress Measured with Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced MRI: Comparison of a Distributed Parameter Model with a Fermi Function Model.
    Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 2013;70(6):1591-1597.

    Sourbron S, Sommer WH, Reiser MF, Zech CJ.
    Combined quantification of liver perfusion and function with dynamic gadoxetic acid-enhanced MR imaging.
    Radiology 2012;263(3):874-883.

    Thielemans K, Tsoumpas C, Mustafovic S, Beisel T, Aguiar P, Dikaios N, Jacobson MW.
    STIR: software for tomographic image reconstruction release 2.
    Physics in medicine and biology 2012;57(4):867-883.

    Sourbron SP, Buckley DL.
    Tracer kinetic modelling in MRI: estimating perfusion and capillary permeability.
    Physics in medicine and biology 2012;57(2):R1-33.

    Sourbron SP, Buckley DL.
    On the scope and interpretation of the Tofts models for DCE-MRI.
    Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 2011;66(3):735-745.

    Shidahara M, Tsoumpas C, Hammers A, Boussion N, Visvikis D, Suhara T, Kanno I, Turkheimer FE.
    Functional and structural synergy for resolution recovery and partial volume correction in brain PET.
    NeuroImage 2009;44(2):340-348.

    Sourbron S, Ingrisch M, Siefert A, Reiser M, Herrmann K.
    Quantification of cerebral blood flow, cerebral blood volume, and blood-brain-barrier leakage with DCE-MRI.
    Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 2009;62(1):205-217.

    Buch MH, Boyle DL, Rosengren S, Saleem B, Reece RJ, Rhodes LA, Radjenovic A, English A, Tang H, Vratsanos G, O'Connor P, Firestein GS, Emery P.
    Mode of action of abatacept in rheumatoid arthritis patients having failed tumour necrosis factor blockade: a histological, gene expression and dynamic magnetic resonance imaging pilot study.
    Annals of the rheumatic diseases 2009;68(7):1220-1227.