Researcher biography

My interests lie in the research and development of medical imaging methods for the direct in vivo mapping of biological effects, translatable to the diagnosis and monitoring of neurological diseases and disorders. As such, my research focuses on understanding the underlying biological and physical processes influencing signal formation, specifically in magnetic resonance imaging. My work relies on both animal and human data and can be categorised as:

  • Tissue microstructure imaging: Use multiple MRI contrasts to develop quantitative biomarkers for the purpose of improving diagnosis of neurological disorders in which tissue microstructure features can vary, such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy.
  • Ultra-low field MRI: Develop non-conventional instrumentation and imaging methods for the purpose of studying processes that occur on a relatively short timescale with application in studies on chemical exchange and diffusion.
  • Anomalous processes: Explore the importance of anomalous diffusion in brains and how it changes with tissue structure and architecture, applicable to studies on brain tumours. I am also interested in how MRI signal relaxation deviates from the classical mono-exponential decay and what it means in terms of tissue composition and structure.
  • Using models to link with biology: Develop and test models which can be used to make a direct link between a specific biological effect and induced MRI signal change. Models investigated include those involving magnetic susceptibility of tissue, and induced frequency shift in image voxels.

I actively contribute my time to the teaching of subjects in the Magnetic Resonance Technology and Molecular Imaging Technology programs offered by Centre. Traditionally I have been focused on teaching MRI instrumentation and Advanced MRI Techniques, and have expanded to teaching the Radiotracer Based Molecular Imaging and Molecular Imaging Advanced subjects. I also offer Masters level projects to students enrolled in these programs. Over the past five years, I have been involved in the Medical Imaging subject, offered through the Biomedical Engineering program.

As the Image Analysis and Methodology Development group leader, I spend time developing pipelines and protocols for image processing and analysis. I also discuss projects with people outside of the centre who rely on medical images for their research. I provide guidance and feedback on protocol development and use, and the implications of utilising different imaging strategies and image processing and analysis methods alongside a range of imaging modalities to answer important research questions.  

Featured projects Duration
Novel MRI approaches to map focal cortical dysplasia in focal epilepsy
NHMRC Project Grant
Modelling and analysis of anomalous diffusion in magnetic resonance imaging
UQ Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
Portable three-dimensional ultra-low field MR
ARC Discovery Project Grant