I am an NHS clinical scientist working with MRI scanners. A large part of my job involves supporting researchers who use MRI in their studies. This involves working with the investigators – to work through what is possible in MRI, the radiographers – who actually scan the patients, and analysing the images – which often requires writing bespoke software.
My own research has focussed particularly on quantitative MRI, i.e. taking measurements not just images. My PhD was concerned with measuring myocardial blood flow with cardiac MRI. We were able to show that these measurements are useful for diagnosing myocardial ischaemia, as well as measuring changes in other diseases such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Since Beginning a role in the BRC I have applied quantitative MRI techniques in musculoskeletal imaging, and in particular the muscle. We have used a wide range of measures such as T1, T2, fat fraction, extra-cellular volume and diffusion measurements to explore muscle changes. Using these techniques we have been able to show muscle changes due to ageing and muscle injury, as well as in diseases such as Rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma and myositis.