Richard Southworth

Richard Southworth


  • Phone020 7188 5435
  • 1034

Personal profile

Biographical details

I studied for my Ph.D. in cardiovascular biochemistry in the Division of Cardiovascular Research, UMDS, working under Professors Frank Kelly, Michael Shattock and David Hearse. After a post-doctoral position at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, I moved to Radiological Sciences, KCL. Working with Dr. Pamela Garlick, my research focused on developing, optimising and finding new applications for the PANDA system, a unique combined PET imaging/high field NMR system. I was appointed Lecturer in the Division of Imaging Sciences and Biomedical Engineering in 2008, promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2016, and Reader in Cardiac Molecular Imaging in 2020

Research interests (short)

Molecular imaging; cardiac biochemistry; cardiac glucose handling; ischaemia; hypoxia; PET; NMR; MRI; oxidative stress; cardiac toxicity

Research interests

My research group has two main aims - to utilise new imaging techniques to understand cardiac biology, and to use our understanding of cardiac biology to develop new imaging techniques.  We use high field NMR imaging and spectroscopy, and PET and SPECT imaging to characterise the biochemistry of the heart during health and disease.  We then use traditional biochemical assays (and less traditional ones like immunogold electron microscopy) to provide biochemical context to the data that our imaging techniques provide.  We also employ the process in reverse, for example utilising isolated hearts and NMR spectroscopy to help validate and characterise the novel PET and SPECT imaging agents that our department is developing.  Our current main projects include the development of novel PET imaging agents for the idenitification and stratification of cardiac hypoxia and oxidative stress, and the use of PET and SPECT to non-invasively characterise off-target damage caused to the heart by cancer therapies.

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 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Free radical production in the immature myocardium: the importance of a favourable oxidant/antioxidant balance, United Medical and Dental Schools (UMDS)

Award Date: 1 Jan 1997

Bachelor of Science, Brunel University London

Award Date: 1 Jan 1992


  • QH301 Biology
  • Molecular Imaging
  • cardiac imaging
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • PET
  • cardiotoxicity
  • anthracyclines
  • radiotherapy


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