King's College London

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Neuroimaging

Organisational unit: Department

Contact information

PO BOX89, De Crespigny Park
Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences
SE5 8AF
London
United Kingdom
  • Phone: 02032283084

Organisation profile

Introduction

The Department of Neuroimaging led by Professor Steve Williams  is an academic Department embedded within the Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences  (CNS). The CNS is a joint venture of the King's College London Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) and the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust (SLaM). 

The Centre promotes an interdisciplinary research environment with a world-leading combination of application-oriented brain imaging, analysis and clinical expertise for the definition, diagnosis and treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

The Department of Neuroimaging also houses the Preclinical Imaging Unit (PIU), comprising state-of-the-art purpose built MR research facilities for preclinical experimental research and fully equipped to study a variety of disease models.

Research in the Department

Current research projects span neurodegeneration, epilepsy, stroke, pain, psychosis, affective disorders, developmental disorders and normal brain function, using a battery of neuroimaging techniques which include perfusion, diffusion, functional and structural imaging. Complementary research in imaging physics and analysis supports these applications.

Basic scientific research is also performed in models of neuropsychiatric disease, again using a diverse array of neuroimaging techniques, including pharmacological MRI and spectroscopy techniques. In conjunction with non-MR methods such as microscopy and autoradiography, this multifaceted approach enhances our understanding of the patho-physiological mechanisms underlying disease and informs the development of novel therapeutic interventions. In addition, improved understanding of the biological processes that underlie MR signal changes advances the crucial role of MR in non-invasive assessment of neuropsychiatric disease.

Our long-term objective is to translate our on-going pre-clinical developments in neuroimaging to the clinic, improving diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric and neurological diseases.

Facilities

For research studies, the CNS houses dedicated GE MRI scanners (one Signa HDx TwinSpeed 1.5T, one GE Signa HDx TwinSpeed 3T, and one Discovery MR750 3T)  and operates an additional Discovery MR750 3T scanner in the newly opened NIHR/Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility (CRF). All this equipment is also made available for clinical and advanced clinical scanning. The scanners are all capable of functional, spectroscopic, anatomical and pathological mapping techniques. 

Preclinical MRI is performed on a 9.4T Bruker scanner, fully equipped for experimental studies, with adjoining dedicated ancillary services. The scanner has all the capabilities of the CNS scanners but significantly higher spatial resolution is possible.

The Department of Neuroimaging also runs an EEG laboratory, re-launched in 2010, with the aim of facilitating the integration and standardisation of research-led EEG at the Institute of Psychiatry and within King's College London.

Within the department, MR imaging and physics development, expertise and support is provided by Professor Gareth Barker and his team, while Professors Mick Brammer and Federico Turkheimer and their group are involved with developing new image analysis methods.

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