MR Centre Staff
The powerhouse of the MR Centre is the expertise of the physicists.
Professor Andrew Blamire moved to Newcastle from Oxford, with a considerable track record of application of magnetic resonance physics innovation to clinical problems. He trained originally with the Nobel Laureat, Professor Sir Peter Mansfield, who established the basis of magnetic resonance imaging. Professor Blamire developed the earliest functional magnetic resonance imaging of brain whilst working at Yale University. He also came to Newcastle with extensive experience of developing methods to study brain metabolism in relation to multiple sclerosis and trauma.
Dr Peter Thelwall, lecturer in magnetic resonance physics, previously worked in the Universities of Cambridge and Florida. He brought expertise in metabolic spectroscopy especially using innovative methods based on less commonly used atomic nuclei. He also brought excellent experience of building coils for specific purposes.
Dr Kieren Hollingsworth, senior postdoctoral fellow, moved to Newcastle from the University of Cambridge. He brought experience in pulse sequence programming as well as an impressive track record in structural and functional studies of the liver.
Other expertise in the total team of 9 physicists includes image analysis, measurement of blood flow in tissues and study of tumours using magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy.
The overall function of the research centre depends upon the coordinated interaction of a number of professional groups.
Highly experienced clinical radiographers greet volunteers and explain details of the particular study. They reassure as necessary, achieve exact positioning in the magnet and run the sequences. The clinical investigators supervise the individual clinical study and collate all information. Research nurses carry out the associated observations and collect blood, breath or urine samples as required. The receptionists ensure that a warm welcome is provided for volunteers and that transport or car parking matters are trouble free.
The Centre manager, Beverly Hailstone, ensures that the entire operation functions smoothly. This includes efficient booking procedures, management of income and expenditure and provision of information for clinical researchers. It also includes management of a team of approximately 30 people. Great attention is paid to fostering the team spirit with events both in and out of work.
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History and Mission