Meet the team

MRI physics is part of imaging physics, and is made up of two clinical scientists.


Dr Angela Darekar, medical physics lead

As the lead for MRI physics, Dr Darekar's role includes supporting the clinical MRI service in areas such as service development, quality assurance and MRI safety (Angela is the MR safety expert for the Trust) and supporting research projects utilising MRI. This is wide ranging as it includes project at UHS as well as at the University of Southampton (UoS).

Angela has a keen interest in facilitating and encouraging the translation of research MRI techniques into the clinical setting, working closely with clinical colleagues and using her expertise in MRI physics to successfully enable this. She has acquired specialist knowledge in many areas of MRI, including musculoskeletal MRI, the assessment of body and liver fat using MRI, and MRI-based iron quantification. A large component of Angela’s work in Southampton has been concerned with applying and developing advanced neurological MRI techniques (diffusion imaging, functional MRI, MR perfusion imaging), both for research and clinical purposes. This has involved establishing appropriate imaging protocols as well as developing image and data processing techniques.  Angela’s PhD, awarded in 2010, was an investigation into the BOLD MRI response of the brain to alterations in blood pressure.

Angela’s work also involves supervising trainees and students, both for their professional qualifications in medical physics and for academic activities. She is currently supervising one PhD student, on a project entitled "Imaging the locus coeruleus in Alzheimer’s disease using advanced MRI techniques". Angela also has a range of teaching commitments at both undergraduate and post-graduate level.

Research

Angela has wide ranging MRI research interests, driven by the need to address clinical problems. Her main area of interest is neurological applications of MRI, although this is quite diverse in itself, from helping predict outcomes in neonates with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, to finding better ways of characterising the progression of dementia using MRI. She also has interest in using dynamic contrast enhanced MRI to assess blood brain barrier function in a range of diseases.

Other broad areas of interest include quantitative liver MRI, musculoskeletal MRI for biomechanical research, lung MRI and real-time MRI for interventional studies. Angela is also involved in running the research MRI scanner and encourages its use for new projects from all areas.

You can email her at Angela.Darekar@uhs.nhs.uk.


Dr Geoffrey Payne, deputy lead in MRI physics

Dr Payne joined the team in 2017. His current activities include

  • developing applications of magnetic resonance spectroscopy and of perfusion MRI (without the requirement for contrast agents) in babies with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy
  • developing processes and software to support the routine quality assurance
  • teaching about MRI within the hospital and University of Southampton.

In his previous roles at the Royal Marsden Hospital and the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), Geoffrey developed applications of MR spectroscopy in oncology, as well as supervising staff and students, and running the three-day MRI training course.

Geoffrey is secretary to the Science, Research and Innovation Council of the Institute of Physics and Engineering (IPEM). He also reviews articles for a range of journals, and continues to contribute to teaching at ICR.

You can email Geoffrey.Payne@uhs.nhs.uk

Contact us

You can contact us at MRIphysics@uhs.nhs.uk or by calling Sharon Archer on 023 8120 6738.