Advanced MR Imaging of Brain Structure and Function in Health and Disease

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Clinical Neurosciences

Abstract

The FMRIB Centre at the University of Oxford is one of the leading UK centres for imaging the human brain. We use many different types of technology to find out how the healthy brain works, and to help understand brain diseases (e.g. stroke). This work requires a large team of researchers with varied skills, including physicists, engineers, neuroscientists and medical doctors.
The FMRIB Centre has been running for 10 years and our original brain scanner is now out of date. We need to buy a new scanner and we propose to buy one that will give us much more detailed pictures of the brain. A modern, ultra high-field scanner will provide a huge leap forward. We will be able to visualise what is going on inside the head when people are thinking, seeing, feeling and learning new skills. Importantly, we will also learn how peoples brains react after they have been injured by strokes or other diseases. The long-term aim is to give doctors the best advice and knowledge about how to treat their patients. Getting the most out of an ultra high-field scanner is technically challenging so we are also asking for money to pay experts in physics and computing to help solve these challenges.
Nearly 100 scientists and doctors at the FMRIB Centre will share the new equipment to ask questions about many different aspects of brain function. For example, how the brain deals with pain, what goes on in the brain when we make a decision, what brain changes occur when we learn a new skill, and how information from our two eyes is combined to help guide our vision. In all cases, we will be interested not only to find out what goes on in the healthy brain, but also how things go wrong when the brain is affected by diseases. In particular, the new scanner will follow changes in the brain of an individual patient. This would allow us to work out why some patients do better than others, and to learn how best to treat an individual patient.
The mix of experts available at the FMRIB Centre is unique and international, and we also benefit greatly from working with other scientists and doctors in Oxford. We feel that we are extremely well placed to make good use of this exciting new opportunity.

Technical Summary

The Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB) is a world-class, multidisciplinary, integrative MR imaging laboratory. Our translational neuroscience research in pain, plasticity in disease, cognition and in vivo neuroanatomy, combined with excellence in MR physics and image analysis, creates a unique environment for scientists and clinicians from Oxford, the UK and overseas. Advances in ultra-high-field imaging provide a timely and hitherto unrealised opportunity to move neuroimaging away from the primary domain of the research environment towards genuine translational approaches that can be applied to the individual subject or patient. We aim to place FMRIB at the leading edge of this next wave of development by providing an advanced high field 7 Tesla imaging system and the necessary infrastructure as a platform from which we gain the benefits of improved signal-to-noise, contrast and resolution, thereby making this opportunity a reality. Our programme for 7T includes novel MR physics developments in radiofrequency coil designs, B0-inhomogeneity and physiological noise correction methods, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, quantitative FMRI and high resolution structural imaging. All these MR physics developments require simultaneous advances in our image analysis techniques, a synergy that will continue and strengthen with this initiative. This two-pronged approach will deliver statistically meaningful readouts of both structure and function on an individual subject basis. In the pain programme, the increased spatial resolution and contrast at 7T will directly benefit our human brainstem pain research, providing valuable new information to guide surgical procedures for the treatment of chronic pain. Harnessing image analysis tools to study single event, single subject and single session imaging data, obtainable due to the increased SNR at 7T, will substantially advance the development of the pain centre at Oxford and our drug development research. The plasticity-in-disease, cognition and vision programmes of research all gain equally strong benefits from working at 7T, most notably from examining the individual brain from a structural and functional perspective. Securing key infrastructure posts as part of this bid is critical for the operational running of the entire FMRIB Centre. These people will have a critical role in exploiting the proposed 7T scanner and training the next generation of neuroimagers and systems neuroscientists in these advanced technologies. A focussed and timely capital investment in this high impact programme not only provides excellent value for money but potential benefits for human health as well as securing FMRIB?s world-class capabilities for the next 10-15 years.

Publications

10 25 50
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Akaishi R (2016) Neural Mechanisms of Credit Assignment in a Multicue Environment. in The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

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Beckmann M (2009) Connectivity-based parcellation of human cingulate cortex and its relation to functional specialization. in The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

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Behrens TE (2009) The computation of social behavior. in Science (New York, N.Y.)

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Benjamin P (2015) 7 Tesla MRI in cerebral small vessel disease. in International journal of stroke : official journal of the International Stroke Society

 
Title Science Museum - Pain Less 
Description Exhibition on how our thoughts and expectations can affect our response to pain treatment and if we actively change our emotions to make drugs more effective. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2012 
Impact Wide engagement with audience who wanted to learn more information and become involved in future research. 
URL https://painlessexhibition.wordpress.com
 
Description 065374/Z/01/Z London Pain Consortium (£5.4m across 4 participating centres)
Amount £1,366,109 (GBP)
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2008 
End 01/2013
 
Description ABIDE Therapeutics
Amount £400,000 (GBP)
Organisation Abide Therapeutics 
Sector Private
Country United States
Start 10/2014 
End 11/2017
 
Description Advanced FMRI acquisition, reconstruction and signal processing for dynamic brain network imaging
Amount £560,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/J005444/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2012 
End 01/2015
 
Description Capital Steering Group at University of Oxford
Amount £2,000,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Oxford 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2009 
End 01/2011
 
Description European Commission FP7 International Training Network, "Adaptive Brain Computations
Amount £520,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Department Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 01/2011 
End 01/2014
 
Description Great Britain Sasakawa Travel Fund
Amount £3,000 (GBP)
Organisation The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2017 
End 06/2017
 
Description Human Connectome Project - NIH
Amount £1,400,000 (GBP)
Organisation National Institutes of Health (NIH) 
Sector Public
Country United States
Start 06/2010 
End 06/2015
 
Description IMI EUROPAIN (18m euros across 18 participants)
Amount £360,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 03/2009 
End 03/2014
 
Description LUMINOUS
Amount £3,500,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Department Horizon 2020
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 09/2015 
End 09/2019
 
Description MRC Partnership Grant
Amount £1,047,787 (GBP)
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Department MRC Partnership Grant
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2016 
End 03/2019
 
Description MRC component grant: - Parietal cortical structure and function in attentional disorders
Amount £503,000 (GBP)
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2009 
End 01/2013
 
Description MRC programme grant: - Frontal cortical mechanisms and interactions during learning and decision making
Amount £2,500,000 (GBP)
Funding ID G0902373 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2011 
End 01/2016
 
Description NIH Vision Grant
Amount £60,000 (GBP)
Organisation National Institutes of Health (NIH) 
Sector Public
Country United States
Start 04/2010 
End 04/2013
 
Description NIHR. Lifelong Cognitive Health Theme. Part of Oxford Biomedical Research Centre.
Amount £2,500,000 (GBP)
Organisation Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 
Department NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2012 
End 01/2017
 
Description NIHR. Lifelong Cognitive Health Theme. Part of Oxford Biomedical Research Centre.
Amount £3,000,000 (GBP)
Organisation Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 
Department NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2012 
End 01/2017
 
Description RIKEN Brain Sciences Institute and the Smart Ageing International Research Centre on MRI
Amount £3,200 (GBP)
Funding ID No. 4940 
Organisation The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2016 
End 06/2017
 
Description Research Grant
Amount £3,120,254 (GBP)
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2014 
End 04/2019
 
Description Sir Henry Dale Fellowship
Amount £689,500 (GBP)
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2014 
End 02/2019
 
Description Sir Henry Dale Fellowship jointly funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society
Amount £868,042 (GBP)
Funding ID WT104128 
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2014 
End 07/2019
 
Description Strategic Award
Amount £200,000 (GBP)
Funding ID WT098369 
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2012 
End 09/2017
 
Description University of Oxford Medical Research Fund
Amount £6,250 (GBP)
Organisation University of Oxford 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2017 
End 06/2020
 
Description Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging
Amount £11,500,000 (GBP)
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Department Wellcome Trust Cente for Neuroimaging
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2017 
End 02/2022
 
Description Wellcome Senior Investigator Award
Amount £1,851,544 (GBP)
Funding ID WT100973AIA 
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2013 
End 05/2020
 
Description Wellcome Trust CDF
Amount £560,000 (GBP)
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2011 
End 06/2016
 
Description Wellcome Trust SRF - Structural brain changes with learning and recovery from stroke
Amount £1,600,000 (GBP)
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2011 
End 01/2016
 
Description Wellcome Trust Strategic Award
Amount £4,955,047 (GBP)
Funding ID WT101092MA 
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2014 
End 04/2019
 
Description Wellcome Trust Strategic Award
Amount £5,287,909 (GBP)
Funding ID WT102645 
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2014 
End 03/2019
 
Description Wellcome Trust Strategic Award
Amount £4,846,495 (GBP)
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2014 
End 01/2019
 
Description Wolfson Foundation
Amount £750,000 (GBP)
Organisation Li Ka Shing Foundation 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country Hong Kong
Start 03/2009 
End 07/2010
 
Title Anaesthesia patent 
Description Patent filed on anaesthesia-related method of understand levels of consciousness during anaesthesia. 
Type Of Material Model of mechanisms or symptoms - human 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Pending 
 
Description Human Connectome Project 
Organisation University of Minnesota
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution FMRIB and key investigators are only a few of non-USA based scientists asked to be involved in the NIH funded Human Connectome Project. This collaboration forms part of a major initiative whereby our expertise in the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of tractography and resting state networks is being used to map the human brain's connections.
Collaborator Contribution Intellectual benefit, improvements in data acquisition/analysis methods that benefit other projects and anticipated further spin-offs of this project that will leverage other grants and collaborationsIntellectual benefit, improvements in data acquisition/analysis methods that benefit other projects and anticipated further spin-offs of this project that will leverage other grants and collaborations
Impact Project has begun and data collection commenced.
Start Year 2010
 
Description Human Connectome Project 
Organisation University of Washington
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution FMRIB and key investigators are only a few of non-USA based scientists asked to be involved in the NIH funded Human Connectome Project. This collaboration forms part of a major initiative whereby our expertise in the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of tractography and resting state networks is being used to map the human brain's connections.
Collaborator Contribution Intellectual benefit, improvements in data acquisition/analysis methods that benefit other projects and anticipated further spin-offs of this project that will leverage other grants and collaborationsIntellectual benefit, improvements in data acquisition/analysis methods that benefit other projects and anticipated further spin-offs of this project that will leverage other grants and collaborations
Impact Project has begun and data collection commenced.
Start Year 2010
 
Description Innovative Medicines Initiative - Europain 
Organisation European Commission
Department Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI)
Country European Union (EU) 
Sector Multiple 
PI Contribution Large pan-European programme of research involving pharma and academia have come together to research mechanisms related to pain. FMRIB is involved via the pain research performed there and several experiments are in progress.
Collaborator Contribution Intellectual benefit and leverages further opportunities for collaboration and funding
Impact Data acquisition complete for first half of project - expected outputs/publications in 2012.
Start Year 2010
 
Description Luminous project 
Organisation European Commission
Department Horizon 2020
Country European Union (EU) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Collaboration and discussion.
Collaborator Contribution Opened up communications with additional laboratories in France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and UK.
Impact NA
Start Year 2015
 
Description Musculoskeletal Imaging at 7T 
Organisation University of Oxford
Department Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Diseases (NDORMS)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Developing ultra high field imaging of joints
Collaborator Contribution Expertise in orthopaedics
Impact NA
Start Year 2012
 
Description Ultra high field imaging physics collaborations 
Organisation Radboud University Nijmegen
Department Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Developing advanced 7 T neuroimaging
Collaborator Contribution Developing advanced 7 T neuroimaging
Impact N/A
Start Year 2012
 
Description Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists Annual Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Michael Cousins Lecturer Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists Annual Meeting in areas of pain and anaesthesia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description BBC world service/Wellcome Trust 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 'Exchanges at the Frontier' interview with Claudia Hammond entitled: "Is pain an emotion?"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03hv43v
 
Description BRC workshops 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Multiple BRC-related public/patient partnership workshops on research-related activities and output.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Biannual World Congress Plenary 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact International Association Study of Pain Biannual World Congress Plenary lecture.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Brain Awareness Week 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Various activities, talks, and discussions were carried out throughout the week with the purpose of engaging the general public in research activities and better informing them of the impact of current and future study.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Brain awareness week 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Sell-out public lecture to lay audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Canadian Pain Society 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Delivered the Mary Ellen Jeans lecture at the Canadian Pain Society entitled: "Understanding Human Pain Perception and Analgesia Through Advanced Neuroimaging"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4447163/
 
Description Centre for Doctoral Training in Biomedical Imaging stand at the Oxfordshire Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A stand was hosted at the Oxfordshire Science Festival for the purpose of promoting Biomedical Imaging techniques to Doctoral students
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Cheltenham Science Festival/Dana Foundation 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Presentations/debates and workshops at various venues.

Always generates follow-up emails/correspondence and enquiries about participating as subjects in research from lay-audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010
 
Description Founder and Chair of Trustees for Europa School UK: a UK state free school specializing in Modern Languages and Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Workshop Facilitator
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact NA
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012
 
Description Keynote Lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Keynote presentation by Dr. Irene Tracey on "What advanced human neuroimaging has taught us about pain, relief and altered states of consciousness".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://qnjpi-rqjid.ca/mcgill-pain-day-2015/
 
Description Multiple radio broadcasts 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Exchanges at the Frontier - Wellcome Trust and Radio 4/World Service audience event/plus broadcast
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016
 
Description Multiple school visits 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Each year we host school visits (approx. 30 per visit) of various ages - from primary through to sixth form

None that we know of - but hugely popular and apparently is useful for encouraging students to choose science/medicine as careers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010
 
Description Multiple talks for charitable events 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact Talks to charities and patient support groups about the research of their conditions.

Positive feedback and gives sense of hope and optimism knowing that bright, young dedicated scientists and clinicians are dedicating careers to their problems.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007,2008,2009,2010
 
Description Pain Less 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Workshop Facilitator
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Contributed to London's Science Museum's "Pain Less" Exhibition to raise awareness of pain.

Too early to determine.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Radio 4 series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Presenting a new two-part Radio 4 series to be aired in 2017
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Radio, newspaper, and web-based interviews 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Multiple radio, newspaper, magazine, web based coverage of work and interviews discussing pain and anaesthesia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description School Lecture to Science Club 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Lecture delivered to a science club within a school environment, whereby students where engaged and allowed to ask questions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Scientific Mentor for finalist in BBC Radio 4 "So you want to be a Scientist?" 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Type Of Presentation Workshop Facilitator
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Mentored finalist for this competition.

Hopefully contributed to enthusing school children about science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Secrets of the Brain: TV documentary (Lambent Productions for Insight TV) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact James Kolasinski recently filmed the television documentary segment (not aired at time of submission)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Television, radio, webcasts and newspapers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Significant newspaper, radio and television and web based coverage of our research and ongoing work at the FMRIB Centre.

Seems to generate more interest from media.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010
 
Description UNIQ Summer School 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Several cohorts of students were invited to talks and activities by the FMRIB Plasticity group, engaging and interesting them in neuroimaging research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Various (~15) invited lectures and keynotes 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Approx 15 other invited lectures/keynotes at national and international meetings or Universities
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016