Personal profile


I was appointed to the Chair of Imaging Science at Manchester University in 1999 to bring expertise in MR imaging techniques and their application in biology and medicine.

Research interests

My research is based on the use of magnetic resonance techniques (imaging - MRI; spectroscopy - MRS) to understand normal physiology/biochemistry and how these become deranged in disease. I research into the development of new techniques but also the application of existing techniques in human disease and animal models.  I have established valuable collaborations with a number of research groups in Manchester (see below) which have led to PhD studentships, programme grants, project grants and joint academic appointments as well as publications and abstracts. My main areas of interest are: (i) functional MRI of the brain, in the use of pharmacological challenge to probe the brain areas which respond to drugs, in gut-brain interactions and in appetite regulation. This work is carried out in human volunteers, psychiatric patients and animals; (ii) MRS of the brain, particularly the measurement of glutamate and GABA in psychiatric disease and in  cortical plasticity; (iii) studies of anti-vascular agents in rodent models using contrast-enhanced MRI.

I am a member of the  Diabetes and Obesity Research Network. My research interests in this area include:

  • Measuring liver and muscle fat by MR spectroscopy
  • Measuring whole body fat distribution by MRI
  • Investigating the relationship between intra-organ fat and cancer

I am the local PI for the UoM arm of the UK Regenerative Medicine Platform Safety Hub (led by Liverpool, with Manchester, Edinburgh Universities and UCL) bringing imaging techniques to bear on establishing safety and efficacy of stem cell therapies. This has involved extensive collaboration within Manchester (Susan Kimber, Adrian Woolfe, Marie-Claude Asselin) and outside:

  • Establishing a model of chronic kidney disease in mice and characterizing with MRI
  • Collaborating with Liverpool on development and testing of novel cell-tracking agents based on super paramagnetic iron oxide MRI contrast agents
  • Developing and testing bioluminescent imaging and PET reporter-genes for cell tracking in vivo


I have previously been Postgraduate Tutor and MSc Programme Lead in the Centre. Now my main contribution to students (both undergraduate and post graduate) is through research supervision of projects (Medical School u/g, MSc and Ph.D.), module leader on the MSc in 'Medical Imaging', contributor of lectures on other modules and courses and as a Tutor for Personal and Professional Development for 1st and 2nd Year Medical students.

My collaborations

Geoff Parker, Marie-Claude Asselin, Rainer Hinz: Imaging Science

Shaheen Hamdy: GI Sciences

Bill Deakin, Ian Anderson, Rebecca Elliott, Shane McKie, Laura Parkes, Matt Lambon-Ralph: Experimental Neuroscience

Andrew Renehan: Cancer Science

Adrian Woolfe: Human Development

Susan Kimber: Cell Matrix Biology

Patricia Murray and Matt Rosseinsky: Liverpool University

Caroline Rae: University of New South Wales

Cristina Cudalbu: EPF Lausanne

Methodological knowledge

  • Magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy
  • Computer-based analysis of spectra and images
  • Analysis of fMRI data
  • Design and optimization of protocols for MRI/MRS


1977 BA (Hons) Chemistry, Merton College Oxford

1980 D.Phil Biochemistry, Merton and Linacre Colleges Oxford

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
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute


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