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Professor SUSAN FRANCIS
Professor of Physics
|Research Interests||My research interest is to develop advanced quantitative MRI techniques for studies of physiology, clinical imaging and neuroscience applications.
This includes the development of imaging methods, such as Arterial Spin Labelling (ASL) based perfusion measures, and methods to study oxygenation and relaxometry of tissues. My work can be divided into projects to study the abdomen and the brain. In the body this has a particular emphasis on:
• Renal MRI. Developing a programme on multiparametric renal MRI, including the new methods for acquisition and analysis including machine learning, and clinical applications in Chronic Kidney Disease, Acute Kidney Injury, and Dialysis. I lead the UKRIN MAPS grant for harmonisation of renal MRI measures across vendors. Combining proton imaging with sodium imaging of the kidney.
• Liver MRI. Developing a programme on multiparametric liver MRI to study fibrosis and inflammation in liver disease as well as associated haemodynamic changes, applying MRI methods to cirrhosis, portal hypertension and liver HCC.
• Using MR measures to study dynamic physiological and metabolic responses, including the response to exercise and applying this to IBD, COPD and frailty, and interventions such as fluid therapy, meal challenges and dialysis treatments.
• Studying the multi-organ pathophysiology of renal and liver disease and interventions.
• Studying the MSK system, assessing muscle function and tissue perfusion. Using 31P to study energetics. Applying sodium imaging to study total sodium content in the muscle and changes on disease.
For brain imaging, i work at both high (3T) and ultra-high (7 T) on developing and applying high resolution functional MRI techniques and arterial spin labelling (ASL) methods to measure blood flow and blood volume non-invasively to study basic neuroscience, with particular interests in:
• Study the somatosensory and motor function in healthy subjects and patients.
• Using quantitative measures to study layer-specific fMRI by combining VASO and arterial cerebral volume (aCBV) and perfusion measures with high resolution BOLD fMRI and structural measures.
• Study auditory function in healthy subjects and changes with hidden hearing loss.
• Using fMRI to study taste and olfactory responses.