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Dr Claudia Metzler-Baddeley

Dr Claudia Metzler-Baddeley

Reader, NIHR/HCRW Advanced Research Fellow

+44 (0)29 2087 0705
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre, Maindy Road, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ
Available for postgraduate supervision


Research summary

I am a cognitive neuroscientist studying how ageing and neurodegeneration (Alzheimer's disease, Lewy body disease, Huntington's disease) affect the brain and cognition with a particular interest into the role of myelin and neuroglia in ageing and disease. I use quantitative multi-parametric MRI including diffusion weighted, magnetization transfer weighted and relaxometry-based imaging in combination with experimental-cognitive methods to address these questions.

I am the PI of the Cardiff Ageing and Risk of Dementia Study (CARDS) with a cohort of over 200 adults (38-71 years of age). CARDS was funded by the Alzheimer’s Society and BRACE to understand the impact of dementia risk factors on the brain and cognition many years before disease onset.  CARDS has discovered genetic and lifestyle risk interactions on brain microstructure reflecting tissue damage due to inflammation and hypertension (, 

I also study the mechanisms underpinning brain plasticity, including myelin remodelling, and how they can be exploited to the benefit of people with brain disease such as Huntington's disease (HD). I currently hold an NIHR Advanced Fellowship, funded by Health Care and Research Wales, to design and assess the feasibility of a novel training app (HD-DRUM). This project is based on our pilot research showing benefits of drumming on cognition and neural pathways in people with HD (, As part of the fellowship I will study the effects of HD-DRUM on the brain and clinical outcome measures.


Undergraduate education

Psychology at Bonn University, Germany

Postgraduate education

D.Phil work on frontal attention deficits at Sussex University


Alzheimer’s Society and BRACE Research Fellow and  Lecturer, Cardiff University

Research Associate, Cardiff University

Neuropsychologist at the Research Institute for the Care of Older People (RICE) in Bath

Lectureship in Psychology at Manchester University and postdoctoral work at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London

Honours and awards

Awards/External Committees

Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol) and Associate Fellow of British Psychological Society (AFBPsS).

Member of Scientific Advisory Board, BRACE Alzheimer's charity

Member of UKRI BBSRC Ageing Across the Lifecourse Working Group

Member of editorial board for Scientific Reports (NPG)

Professional memberships

Society for Neuroscience (SfN)

Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS)

Organisation of Human Brain Mapping (OHBM)

International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM)























I lecture on the BSc Psychology Year 1 modules Introduction to Psychology (PS1016), the Year 3 module Memory Processes and Disorders (PS3208), and Topics in Psychology (PST720).

Research topics and related papers

Adaptive cognitive and motor training

Brain plasticity

Healthy and pathological ageing

Neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's disease, Lewy body disease, Huntington's disease)

Neuroglia models of ageing and neurodegeneration

Risk factors of dementia


Metzler-Baddeley, C (PI) (2022-2025) Development and feasibility randomised controlled pilot study of HD-DRUM – a novel motor sequence training app for people with Huntington’s disease. National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)/ Health Care and Research Wales (HCRW) Advanced Research Fellowship. £917,217.

Duckers, J et al (CoA) (2019) Cystic Fibrosis - Memory assessment and MRI screening. Health & Care Research Wales. £19,200.

Rosser, A, Busse, M & Metzler-Baddeley (2016) Exploring cognitive training as a non-pharmaceutical intervention for people with Huntington's disease. Jaque and Gloria Gossweiler Foundation. £94,714.

Metzler-Baddeley  C (PI) (2014) How do individual differences in midlife adiposity and APOE genotype as risk factors for dementia affect brain structure and cognition? A cross-sectional MRI study. Alzheimer’s Society and BRACE Fellowship. £305,161.

Metzler-Baddeley, C (PI), Jones, DK, Rosser AE. (2014) Effects of a novel intervention on white matter microstructure and cognition in Huntington’s disease. NISCHR and Welcome Trust ISSF project grant. £69,769.

Research group

Cognitive Neuroscience
Imaging Science

Research collaborators

  • Professor Derek Jones (Cardiff)
  • Professor David Linden (Cardiff)
  • Professor Anne Rosser (Cardiff)
  • Professor John Aggleton (Cardiff)
  • Dr Seralynne Vann (Cardiff)
  • Professor Monica Busse (Cardiff)
  • Dr John Evans (Cardiff)
  • Dr Rebecca Sims (Cardiff)
  • Dr Emma Kidd (Cardiff)
  • Fabrizio Fasano (Siemens)
  • Dr Elizabeth Coulthard (Bristol)
  • Dr Roland J Baddeley (Bristol)
  • Professor Karen Caeyenberghs (Deakin University, Australia)
  • Professor Michael O'Sullivan (University of Queensland, Australia)
  • Professor Fernando Maestu (University of Madrid, Spain)
  • Dr Michael Funke (University of Texas, USA)
  • Professor Derek Hamilton (University of New Mexico, USA)


  • What does CUBRIC mean to you?
  • Good evening Wales, BBC Radio Wales (11/12/2018)
  • ITV Wales (23/04/18).
  • BBC Wales,
  • Guardian  - (4/08/16)
  • Panorama programme “Living with Dementia – Chris’ story broadcasted on BBC One (2/06/16).
  • Pint of Science Event Cardiff on brain plasticity (11/05/18)
  • BBC documentation on Terry Pratchett Living with Alzheimer’s, broadcast February 2009
  • BBC Radio 4 Memory Experience.


Current PhD students: Chiara Casella, Lauren Revie, Fionnuala Rogers

Past projects

Co-supervision (50%) for Jilu P Mole - The white matter microstructure of the basal ganglia circuitry and its changes in Parkinson's disease, PhD Thesis, Cardiff University 2018.

Co-supervision (30%) for Kat Christiansen - An integrated analysis of the extended hippocampal system across species. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University 2017.