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My research focuses on using neuroimaging to understand risk for psychiatric and neurodegenerative disease.
By the time conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease are clinically diagnosed, much of the damage in the brain is already done. My group focuses on understanding mechanisms of risk, i.e. investigating how factors such as particular genes change brain structure and function before people are suffering from the symptoms of disease. We hope that, when neuroprotective agents become available, we will be able to identify individuals in whom these agents will be most effective.
My interest in brain imaging began at the Magnetic Resonance and Image Analysis Research Centre (MARIARC) at the University of Liverpool. I moved to Oxford as a post-doc in 2000, and alongside developing an independent research career I managed the neuroimaging ‘half’ of the Oxford Centre for Clinical Magnetic Resonance Research (OCMR). I am closely affiliated with the Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB), and I co-lead the Neurobiology of Ageing group in the Department of Psychiatry with Prof Klaus Ebmeier. I am part of the team of co-applicants who secured funding to start the Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre (OPDC), and the Whitehall II imaging study. In 2012 I became the co-ordinator for Oxford Dementia and Ageing Research (OxDARE), with responsibility for bringing together Oxford’s diverse dementia research and clinical community for the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre.