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Personal profile


Leading preclinical brain PET imaging, with a strong interest in cross modalities brain (MR, US), and supporting brain imaging projects from collaborators.


Over the years, I have developed a strong interest for neuropathological conditions and their mechanisms, and how we could manipulate these molecular mechanisms to develop therapies. I rapidly realised that to understand acute neuropathological conditions such as stroke or chronic brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, we must have the ability to study in vivo the mechanisms of such conditions, hence my interest in animal models and in vivo imaging. These neuropathologies are complex and multifactorial, but my interest has focused on inflammation/neuroinflammation due to infection and other comorbidities, as over the last 2 decades they have emerged as major players in brain damage/neuronal loss.

To answer the numerous scientific questions involved in these processes, I have acquired a strong experience in several domains such as pharmacology of various neurotransmission systems (e.g. opioidergic, cholinergic, benzodiazepine), neuroscience, and neuroinflammation and neuropathological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or stroke. Over the years, I have become an expert in animal models of stroke and AD (transgenic mice and rats) and most importantly their respective strength and weaknesses (i.e. high reproducibility that translate poorly to clinical application, lack of comorbidities).

I had the opportunity to approach PET imaging during my PhD and I keenly grabbed the opportunity to return to PET imaging during my post-doc in Orsay (CEA, France) before bringing that expertise back to Manchester. This technique obviously requires theoretical and practical expertise in the biological field it is applied to, but also knowledge in pharmacology, physiology and neuroanatomy, and basic knowledge in radiochemistry to liaise with the radiochemists efficiently. Computing and programming are almost compulsory in this field to enable efficient image analysis, data management and processing which fit quite well with my taste for programming.

Over the years, I have validated several neuroinflammation tracers ([11C]DPA-713, [11C]CLINME, [18F]DPA-714 and [18F]GE-180) that are used in approximately 20 labs worldwide and have generated 170 publications, ~60 of them being clinical investigations. My expertise in the field is recognised internationally through my publications, presentations at international conferences with over 50 abstracts accepted as posters or oral presentations and my election as president of the European Society for Molecular Imaging.

Research interests

I am leading the preclinical brain PET imaging activity in the University at the Wolfson Molecular Imaging Centre.I led the preclinical activity in Manchester for our contribution to the EU FP7 project INMiND, which started in March 2012 and ended in February 2018, leading to numerous publications. I am particularly interested in and leading independent projects on i) developing new biomarkers and contrast agents for both PET and MRI imaging, and ii) using these contrast agent and techniques to image neuroinflammation and investigate how peripheral inflammation or comorbidities influence neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. To achieve this, I have established industrial collaborations (GE, Roche, GSK) as well as academic collaborations with Prof S. Allan on inflammation in stroke and Dr Brian Bigger on the role of inflammation in MPS diseases, Drs Marie-Claude Asselin and Rainer Hinz for PET data modelling and Dr Ben Dickie (MR), as well as numerous external collaborations with academic labs in Europe. I have supervised the work of Dr Matthias Vandesquille (research associate) in our project aiming at developing nanobody-based imaging agents to visualise vascular adhesion molecules by SPECT and PET (funded by the EPSRC) as well as developing PET tracer to image neuronal/synaptic loss. These agents were/are developed in parallel of other MR measurements developed by Dr Laura Parkes' team within the same grant. I have also supervised Dr Daniela Bochicchio on a project investigating change in protein synthesis in AD using PET imaging.Over the years, I have supervised several other post-docs, PhD students and project students. I am currently supervising Mr Will Harris who started her PhD in September 2020.


  • Imaging in Biomedical Research (BIOL31631) (Unit lead & lecturer)
  • MSc Advanced PET imaging (IIDS67432) (Lecturer)
  • Y1 and Y2 tutor
  • Supervision of undergraduate and post-graduate lab projects (BSc, MSc, MSci, MPhys degrees)

My collaborations

Main collaborators:

FMBH: Profs Karl Herholz, Federico Roncaroli, Geof Parker, Stuart Allan, Kaye Williams, Joanna Neill, Drs Laura Parkes, Ben Dickie, Rainer Hinz, Marie-Claude Asselin, Michael Harte, Emmanuel Pinteaux.

Past and present PhD students and post-doc: Drs Fabien Chauveau, Loan Nguyen, Fiona Britton, Aisling Chaney, Sujata Sridharan, Helen Parker, Daniela Bochicchio, Martin Kozar and Mr Will Harris and Research Associate Drs Francois-Xavier Lepelletier, Matthias Vandesquille, Yolanda Ohene.

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

  • Past-President of the European Society for Molecular Imaging (http://www.e-smi.eu/) (March 2022-2023).
  • President of the European Society for Molecular Imaging (March 2021-2022).
  • Vice-President of the European Society for Molecular Imaging (March 2020-2021).
  • Member of the Educational Committee of the European Society for Molecular Imaging.
  • Reviewer for various funding bodies (EPSRC, MRC, NHS, ERC, Royal Society, Alzheimer Society, Multiple Sclerosis Society, France Alzheimer, la Fédération pour la recherche sur le cerveau (France), le Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Belgium), la Fondation pour la Recherche sur les AVC (i.e. stroke) (France), IBiSA (Infrastructure en Santé, Biologie et Agronomie (France), EuroBioImaging).
  • Associate editor for Frontiers in Neurology (stroke), Frontiers in Pharmacology and Biomolecules.
  • Former chair of the NeuroImaging study group of the ESMI (http://www.e-smi.eu/index.php?id=molecular-neuro-imaging)

Social responsibility

Contributing to various public engagement events across the University and associated institutions such as museums, schools and other public spaces.

Research interests

Neurosciences, neuroinflammation, Alzheimer's disease, stroke & brain ischemia, cytokines, pharmacology, in vivo imaging (specialised in Positron Emission Tomography, interest in all others imaging techniques: MRI, optical, ..)


Supervision information



Identifying the Role of IL-1 in Neuroinflammation of MPSIIIA

Author: Parker, H., 1 Aug 2018

Supervisor: Boutin, H. (Supervisor), Wilkinson, F. (Supervisor) & Bigger, B. (Supervisor)

UoM administered thesisPhd

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Science, PhD in Neuroscience, University of Caen

Award Date: 18 Dec 1998

Habilitation, D.E.A. (Diploma of Advanced Studies, compulsory pre-thesis diploma), Neurosciences, University of Caen

Award Date: 1 Sep 1995

Master of Biological Science, Master in Biochemistry and Biology, University of Caen

Award Date: 30 Jun 1994

Bachelor of Biomedical science, BSc in Biochemistry and Biology, University of Caen

Award Date: 30 Jun 1993

Areas of expertise

  • QP Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Neuroscience
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Imaging
  • preclinical animal models

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Dementia@Manchester


  • Preclinical molecular imaging
  • PET
  • MRI
  • Neuroscience
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer disease
  • Animal Models
  • Neurodegeneration
  • biomarkers
  • quantification
  • Modelling


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