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Project leader: Dr George Harston, Clinical Lecturer 

My research focusses on acute neuroimaging in stroke and global brain dysfunction. I have a particular interest in non-contrast metabolic and perfusion imaging, including chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) techniques and arterial spin labelling.

The research projects on which I work involve recruiting patients directly from the Emergency Department and hospital wards into imaging studies based in the Acute Vascular Imaging Centre. My ongoing studies are in stroke and hepatic encephalopathy. I work closely with colleagues in the Oxford Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain (FMRIB) and the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBME) to develop novel MRI techniques and the tools for their analysis and interpretation.

I aim to develop novel imaging biomarkers in order to improve the understanding of pathophysiology of acute neurological dysfunction in patients. My previous and ongoing work includes pH-weighted imaging and serial measures of cerebral blood flow to better understand the processes leading to ischaemic injury (see Harston et al. 2015 and Harston et al. 2016). I am developing image processing frameworks with which to better understand tissue death, and secondary injury following stroke (see Harston et al. 2017). I also have an interest in functional connectivity in acute neurological dysfunction and how this relates to recovery.

Amide proton transfer image of a brain showing normal tissue in green and tissue affected by stroke in yellow/orange.

Figure:  APT image of a brain for a patient with a stroke

September 2017