Centre for Medical Imaging


Professor Shonit Punwani

Shonit Punwani is Professor of Magnetic Resonance and Cancer Imaging  and Consultant Radiologist at UCLH. His medical training, undertaken at UCL, was supplemented with a PhD in MRI Physics. He completed post-graduate training in Medicine at Northwick Park, before training as a radiologist at UCLH. He was awarded a Walport NIHR Clinical Lectureship, before being appointed as a Senior Lecturer at UCL and Consultant Radiologist at UCLH.

He leads the 3T MRI research facilities that provide the infrastructure for imaging trials at UCLH. He is the research and development lead for radiology at UCLH, responsible for the provision of imaging services for clinical trials at UCLH. He is Director of Clinical Imaging at the UCLH Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) and also directs the BRC Medical Imaging Trials Unit (the first unit of its kind dedicated to the support of clinical trials involving new/novel imaging methods). He co-chairs the UCLH Cancer Collaborative Diagnostic Expert Reference Group with a remit to facilitate the spread of clinically proven imaging technologies within the region.

He has a specialist clinical and research interest in the application and development of local and whole-body quantitative and functional MRI methods for imaging prostate cancer.

Research Summary

Shonit has over 110 publications and is principal and co-investigator on several major grant awards. His current research programme focuses on three areas:

  1. Quantitative multi-parametric MRI: develops computational and analytic methodology for extracting quantitative data from multi-parametric (anatomical and functional) MRI and determine its biological significance for cancer imaging.
  2. Whole-body MRI: spans development of novel whole-body techniques for detection of disease and assessment of treatment response, to multi-centre evaluation of more evolved methods for cancer imaging.
  3. Novel MRI technologies:focus on the clinical translation of novel imaging technologies allowing new approaches to assess microstructure, function and metabolism of cancer in-vivo.

Summary of current research projects:

PositionProject TitleFunderDuration (months)YearGrant award
PINovel microstructural (VERDICT and T2 mapping) and metabolic (hyperpolarised 13C-Pyruvate) MR in diagnosis, risk-stratification and treatment response assessment of prostate cancerCRUK602018£2,321,544.59
PIDeveloping MRI Magmetic Susceptibility-Based Cancer Oxygenation Mapping (SBCOM) and Investigating its Clinical Potential to Measure Hypoxia in Prostrate Cancer (PCa)


PIEstablishment of BRC Imaging Trial UnitNIHR602017
PIBBSRC PhD Case StudenshipBBSRC482017
PIStandardisation of Prostate Multi-parametric MRI across UCL PartnersLondon Cancer482016
PIImaging Trial Support Funding UCLH482016
PIEstablishment of Hyperpolariser Probe GMP Facility 


PICombIning advaNces in imagiNg with biOmarkers for improVed diagnosis of Aggressive prosTate cancer (INNOVATE)Prostate Cancer UK 482015£534,000
Co-ILearning MRI and histology image mappings for cancer diagnosis and prognosis EPSRC362018£774,000
Co-IThe exploitation of a novel image-based risk stratification tool in early prostate cancer - the Re-IMAGINE Consortium MRC602018£6,300,000
Co-IDevelopment and evaluation of machine learning methods in whole body magnetic resonance imaging with diffusion weighted imaging for staging of patients with cancer. (MAchine Learning In whole Body Oncology, MALIBO) NIHR EME362015
Co-IGLINT - developing Gluco-CEST MRIHorizon 2020 602015
Co-IComparison of diagnostic accuracy of Lumial Index and Multi-parametric MRI for Accelerated deTEction of significant prostate cancer (CLIMATE)John Black Foundation362020£750,830.49
Co-IOptiminising the role of imaging in the early detection of cancer (ACED)CRUK602019£3,499,999.60
PINCITA: National Cancer Imaging Translational Accelerator CRUK602019£9,729,629.82
PILuminal Water Fraction MRIGift donation482019£151,000
PILuminal Index MRI Identification of Treatment critical Prostate Cancer (LIMIT PCa)CRUK362021£583,560.17
PIFeasibility Study of Hyperpolarized 13C MRI in Gilomas and Correlation of the findings with Metabolic MRI Metrics and Histopathology NIHR302018£40,000.00
PIReconcile Predicting Prognosis in Prostate Cancer: a Pioneering Longitudinal Trial Jon Moulton Charity Trust482019£763,034.28

For more information on CMI PI's full list of current and completed reserach grants, please follow links below:

Current Research ProjectsCompleted Research Grants