Rising stars of microstructural MRI

3 July 2017

Group photo of CUBRIC fellows

Three talented rising stars of microstructural MRI have each secured highly prestigious fellowships to study at the Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC).

Maxime Chamberland (Sherbrooke University, Quebec), Erika Raven (Georgetown University, Washington DC), and Chantal Tax (Utrecht Medical Centre, Utrecht) will start their fellowships this year in the newly built, state-of-the-art centre.

Prof Derek Jones, mentor to all three Fellows, said: “I am absolutely thrilled by the success and high calibre of these three Fellows, and in particular, that they have chosen to hold their Fellowships in CUBRIC at this important stage in their career development...”

An image of Professor Derek Jones

“I am excited by the research proposals from each of the Fellows, and really look forward to working with each of them here in an increasingly international CUBRIC!”

Professor Derek Jones, Professor, Director of CUBRIC

World-leading expertise

Dr Chamberland secured a Fellowship from the Natural Sciences Engineering and Research Science Council (NSERC) of Canada to develop fast, interactive tools for exploring brain fibres and brain connectivity, and was ranked first out of his application round. He said: “As a computer scientist, I am interested in developing cutting-edge methods that will ultimately improve neurosurgical outcome. Although there are many centres in the world, I carefully selected CUBRIC as the host institution for my proposed research project...”

“Given its world-leading expertise, combined with world-leading equipment, CUBRIC is the perfect environment to develop my career and work with the best possible neuroimaging data to explore the limits of what might be possible in the human brain.”

Dr Maxime Chamberland, Sherbrooke University, Quebec

First Connectom MRI scanner in Europe

Dr Tax secured a Rubicon Fellowship from The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), again ranking first in her round, for her proposal to exploit ultra-strong gradients in multi-modal MRI for assessment of white matter microstructure. She said: “I have a passion for unravelling the brain's structure. The unique equipment and multidisciplinary academic environment at CUBRIC is ideal for building upon the experience and tools from my PhD in diffusion MRI...”

“CUBRIC also hosts the first Connectom MRI scanner in Europe. Motivated by the potential of this system, the expertise of my supervisor Professor Derek Jones, and the similarities between my interests and the research lines at CUBRIC, I selected CUBRIC to hold my Fellowship.”

Dr Chantal Tax, Utrecht Medical Centre, Utrecht

US-UK research collaboration

Dr Raven won the only Marshall Sherfield international Fellowship from the US to look at the iron content of brain tissue, and how this relates to cognition. She said: “The CUBRIC facilities are incredible, and I am excited to learn from the large assembly of experts that make up the group...”

“The mission of my fellowship is to promote US-UK research collaboration. CUBRIC has been very active in hosting international meetings, notable speakers, and local community events like the brain games. I think this will be an excellent place for both academic growth, and meeting new colleagues.”

Dr Erika Raven, Georgetown University, Washington DC

Located on Cardiff University’s Innovation Campus, the Brain Research Imaging Centre houses a combination of neuroimaging equipment unique within Europe, allowing the University to further its world-leading research and reputation as one of the UK’s top three Universities for Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience.

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