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Matthew Howard


    • SE5 8AF

      United Kingdom

    • 2601

    Personal profile

    Research interests

    Structural and functional neuroimaging and psychometric testing of acute and chronic painful conditions; development of painful conditions in healthy individuals.

    Research interests (short)

    Structural and functional neuroimaging and psychometric testing of acute and chronic painful conditions.

    Biographical details

    Matt Howard graduated with an upper second-class degree in Psychology in 1996.

    He began his PhD part-time at the University of Liverpool in the same year, using structural magnetic resonance imaging to examine brain structure-function relationships in young men with high functioning autism. During this time Matt also performed commercial research for Professor Francis McGlone at Unilever Research Port Sunlight.  Matt continued his association with Unilever as an overseas fellow at the University of Melbourne before returning to the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at Port Sunlight.

    In 2005 Matt returned to academic research as a senior scientist at the Pain Clinical Research Hub (PCRH), an inter-disciplinary clinical, academic and industrial research programme sponsored by Pfizer Global Research and Development.  Located at the Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences and supervised by Professor Steven Williams, Matt has lead this research programme since 2008, developing novel magnetic resonance imaging-based markers of human acute and persistent pain states.  In particular, Matt has developed close working links with Drs Fernando Zelaya, Jonathan O’Muircheartaigh and Owen O’Daly in the application of perfusion MRI-derived markers to the study of ongoing, clinically relevant pain.

    Collaborative Research

    Via the ‘King’s Health Partners’ initiative, Matt has ongoing collaborations with Professor Tara Renton at the Department of Oral Surgery.  Together they co-supervise two NCCRCD-funded clinical PhD fellows, examining the cerebral representation of post-surgical and chronic trigeminal pain. Matt also supervises two further clinical PhD candidates from the Department of Physiotherapy at Guy’s and St Thomas’s hospital.  These clinical fellows are co-supervised by Dr Mick Thacker, course co-ordinator of the King’s College MSc course, “Pain: Science and Society”.  Matt also works closely with Dr Aikaterini Fotopoulou at the Department of Psychology; together they co-supervise a post-doctoral fellow, examining social modulation of pain using functional MRI and conventional behavioural analysis methods.


    Most recently, Matt has become the section leader of the pain research section at the newly formed Department of Neuroimaging. Matt teaches on the MSc in Neuroscience and delivers the “Pain and the Brain” module on the KCL ‘Pain: Science and Society’ Msc course which is hosted by the Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences. In addition to his four PhD students, Matt provides additional supervision to MSc Pain/Neuroscience students on their research projects. 

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
    • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

    Education/Academic qualification

    Doctor of Philosophy, University of Liverpool

    Award Date: 1 Jan 2002

    Bachelor of Arts, University of Sheffield

    Award Date: 1 Jan 1996


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