Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering


David Holder

MA, MA, PhD, F InstP, FRCP

Professor of Biophysics and Clinical Neurophysiology, Hon. Consultant in Clinical Neurophysiology, University College London and UCL Hospitals

Biography and interests

I have had a joint training in Clinical Medicine and Biophysics. I currently hold a joint position as a consultant in Clinical Neurophysiology at UCH and head an interdisciplinary research group in Medical Physics at UCL.I have been at UCL since 1986 and over this time have pioneered the use of a new medical imaging method, Electrical Impedance Tomography, for imaging brain function and pathology. We have developed instrumentation and image reconstruction software for this purpose. these have been tested and refined in computer simulation, saline filled tanks, humans and anaesthetized animals. We have demonstrated that EIT can image fast electrical activity in the cerebral cortex in the brain, with a resolution of <200 um and 1 msec using non-penetrating electrode mats placed on the brain. Research is actively in progress into using EIT in imaging in normal activity and epilepsy, stroke and peripheral nerves in humans. If successful, this would provide a completely new imaging method which could image fast electrical activity throughout the brain. It could also provide a new portable imaging device which could be used in ambulances or GP surgeries in acute stroke; this could enable the early use of clot-dissolving treatment which would save many lives. The research is currently supported by Glaxo Smith Kline and Blackrock Microsystems, as well as charity and Research Council funds. I have been Consultant in Clinical Neurophysiology at UCH since 1997 where I undertake EEG reporting, nerve conduction studies and EMG (electromyography). I have an interest in the development of new methods for diagnosis, such as using machine learning methods for automated analysis of the EEG, or using EIT to assist in a project to treat many conditions by electrical stimulation of autonomic nerves.

In the copious time remaining, I like to jog, play tennis and cycle to work. In younger days, I was an avid nature photographer and played double bass and jazz alto sax in Slam Holder and the Rhythm Aces.


BA Med Sci, Physiology/Biophysics Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
1978 MBBS Clinical Medicine
University College Hospital, London
University of California Berkeley
University College London