Institute of Child Health
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Professor Chris Clark
Developmental Imaging & Biophysics
The Developmental Imaging & Biophysics Section consists of the Imaging and Biophysics Unit (IBU) and the Centre for Advanced Biological Imaging (CABI). Researchers in IBU are concerned with the development and application of advanced neuroimaging techniques for improved understanding of disease in childhood, including improvements in diagnosis and prediction of outcome. The primary imaging modality is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The work of IBU encompasses a broad range of disciplines from imaging physics, image processing and analysis, biophysical modeling and connectomics with application of these methods across a broad range of conditions in childhood. The focus of IBU has been primarily centred on imaging of the brain with particular attention paid to the dramatic changes in brain structure occurring from the neonatal period through childhood and adolescence and into young adulthood. As such IBU has a significant methodological programme with grants from EPSRC and BBSRC to support methods that are tailored specifically for use in clinical studies in childhood.
A broad and diverse range of applied research studies is facilitated by strong links with Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the Radiology Department there to ensure translation of new developments into clinical practice. Examples of this include a functional MRI and tractography service for the pre-surgical evaluation of children with intractable temporal lobe epilepsy. Epilepsy imaging is a major theme in IBU and work is ongoing to develop EEG-fMRI as a key evaluation tool in children being considered for surgery. Other clinical applications include studies in children with visual impairment, autism, dyslexia, anorexia nervosa, cerebral palsy, paediatric multiple sclerosis and sickle cell disease. Further details of these studies can be found on this website. IBU is also active in imaging projects outside of the brain and is active in the field of renal MRI. Neuromuscular MRI represents an important new programme of research for the Unit. The arrival of a new state of the art 3T MRI scanner with powerful magnetic field gradients at Great Ormond Street Hospital in the Autumn of 2014 heralds an exciting new opportunity for advanced paediatric imaging research. IBU is also an active participant in the broader imaging programme across UCL and many of the onging projects in the Unit include collaborations with researchers across the University, including the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, Institute of Neurology and the Department of Computer Science at UCL.
Part of a “tractography” reconstruction of the white matter connectivity of the brain.
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