Centre for Medical Imaging


Research Groups

CT Colonography

CT Colonography (CTC) is an advanced imaging technique for the diagnosis of colorectal cancer and its precursor, the adenomatous polyp. It involves rapid CT scanning of the cleansed, distended colon. Modern computing technology allows 3D rendering of the inside of the colon – “virtual colonoscopy”. We have been investigating the implementation of CTC within the NHS for several years. Notably, the SIGGAR randomised trials (funded by the NIHR HTA) showed that CT colonography is superior to the older alternative imaging test, barium enema, and equivalent to colonoscopy. At the time of writing our current interest is on how CTC is best implemented within the National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. We have just completed a large, multi-centre study that investigates how radiologists who interpret CTC in the screening programme should be trained and assessed; the PERFECTS study.

Investigators: Dr. Andrew Plumb, Prof. Steve Halligan, Prof. Stuart Taylor


Evidence-based assessment of imaging tests

The Centre for Medical Imaging has had a long-standing interest in the design and analysis of imaging studies and similar diagnostic tests. These studies exhibit key distinctions from studies in multiple other medical fields. Statistical tests and study designs that may be appropriate for research of, for example, novel therapeutics, do not necessarily translate into the imaging domain. We also have a strong interest in the design and execution of studies that seek to develop diagnostic or prognostic models that diagnose or predict events in individual patients. Much of our work in this area centres around systematic reviews that detail how the design, execution, and reporting of such models can be improved.    

Investigators: Prof. Susan Mallett, Prof. Steve Halligan

Radiological assessment of ventral hernias

With surgical collaborators (Mr. Sam Parker & Mr. Alastair Windsor), we secured a grant from the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit scheme, to investigate how the imaging of large ventral hernias may be best placed to help patients undergoing abdominal wall reconstruction. This work has produced multiple publications that have clarified the terminology used for surgical reconstruction (notably the anatomical plane into which a mesh is placed); has identified deficiencies with the reporting of surgical; research in theis area; and has investigated radiological and non-radiological predictors associated with reherniation following surgery.

Investigators: Prof. Steve Halligan

Enteric Imaging

The small bowel is a complex organ and can be afflicted by a range of structural and functional diseases. It is relatively inaccessible to even modern endoscopic techniques, and imaging is pivotal to diagnosis and assessment.

Lead by Professor Stuart Taylor, the small bowel imaging group in the Centre for Medical imaging has an active research program using advanced imaging techniques, notably MRI and ultrasound to investigate the small bowel.

Crohn’s disease is a major research interest with a full translational pipeline from development of new imaging biomarkers of biological activity through to a multicentre trials of MRI and ultrasound in the NHS.

Working in collaboration with CMIC, and industry partners we have developed a validated novel software which can quantitate global and segmental enteric motility which has applications not just in structural small bowel disorders, but in disease affecting global enteric function such as Parkinson’s disease, pseudo-obstruction and refractory constipation. Our research investigates how quantification of small bowel motility may be most effectively implemented as part of clinical care pathways, and we are researching its ability to predict treatment response in Crohn’s disease. With an SME partner, we are also investigating whether analysis can be automated with the use of machine learning techniques

Our research is funded by the NIHR, Innovate UK, MRC and industry collaborators.

Small Bowel 1

Small Bowel 2

Content placeholder

MR Image Acquisition, Reconstruction and Analysis

Content placeholder

Equilibrium Imaging

Content placeholder


Content placeholder


Content placeholder

Adolescent Rheumatology 

Content placeholder