Our Team

STAFF

Professor Leigh Johnston

Professor Leigh Johnston is the Director of the Melbourne Brain Centre Imaging Unit and a member of the Department of Biomedical Engineering within the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering. Her primary research focus is medical imaging, in particular Magnetic Resonance Imaging. She holds an honorary appointment at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. She coordinates the Melbourne Brain Centre Imaging Unit, with research programs utilising the Siemens 7T and Siemens PET/CT clinical systems on the Parkville campus. Her expertise in MRI spans from acquisition sequences to image analysis and applications. Prior to her appointment at The University of Melbourne, Leigh was a postdoctoral researcher at the Howard Florey Institute (Melbourne), York University (Canada), and the Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium).

Dr Yasmin Blunck

Dr Yasmin Blunck is a Doreen Thomas Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Biomedical Engineering within the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering. She is affiliated with the Melbourne Brain Centre Imaging Unit where she develops new methods on the 7T research MRI. Her current research focus is on Sodium Imaging with a particular interest in image acquisition, i.e. sequence development, and reconstruction techniques.

Prior to her PhD at the University of Melbourne where she graduated in 2018, she received a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Applied Sciences Stralsund, Germany, and a Master of Science in Biomedical Computing from the Technical University of Munich, Germany.

During her academic degrees, she completed internships at the Montreal Neurological Institute, Fraunhofer Mevis, Siemens Healthineers and IBM research where she worked on various projects in biomedical imaging.

Dr Katie Davey

Dr. Katie (Catherine) Davey is a Lecturer in the Biomedical Engineering Department at the University of Melbourne. Katie's primary research areas are in functional MRI - the acquisition and analysis of a series of low resolution magnetic resonance images to understand brain function - and spike timing dependent synaptic plasticity (STDP) - the process by which connected neurons adapt connection strengths during learning. Katie's research uses advanced signal processing methods, in conjunction with simulation and modelling techniques, to mathematically and programmatically model cortical processes and gain insight into how we perceive and process sensory information.

Katie has additional collaborations, such as with Imperial College of London to investigate the encoding and storage of location information by place cells using calcium imaging, and with Florey Institute of Neurosciences in modelling the neural pathways for bowel disease.

Katie completed her doctoral research in functional MRI connectivity, which is a field of research that analyses a series of low resolution MRI images to identify how brain regions cooperate to achieve sensory and perception tasks. After completing her Ph.D. Katie worked at the Defence Science Technology Organisation, modelling pilot cognition and aircraft control. She then worked in finance, modelling and predicting the movement of stock prices on the S&P500.

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Rebecca Glarin

Rebecca Glarin is the Supervisor Radiographer who runs the 7T MRI Imaging services under a subcontract of Radiography services from the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Rebecca is a Grade 4 Radiographer with over 15 years clinical MRI experiences. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge regarding the safe use of MRI for research and clinical services.

Her position is responsible for assisting in protocol development and liaising with facility users to provide optimal imaging protocols specifically developed to address the group’s research aims. The role also contributes to policy development, education, process management and its application at both sites. This position acquires scans involving human participants on the 7T MRI system, and is responsible for the delivery and testing of MRI sequences for both human and phantom-based research projects involving the acquisition of high resolution anatomical MRI data, spectroscopy(MRS), and functional MRI (fMRI) data for researchers within the Australian neuroscience community. In addition, it is also responsible for data quality control, data curation and management of the MRI bookings system and DaRIS data distribution system, and responsible for the development of safe operating procedures at the facility.

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Associate Professor Brad Moffat

Associate Professor Brad Moffat is a medical imaging physicist and chemist with 19 years’ research experience in the Biomedical Imaging fields of MRI and Molecular Imaging.  Since graduating from his PhD in 2001 he has made an excellent contribution to this field.  He is currently a fellow for The University of Melbourne node of the National Imaging Facility. He has specific expertise in quantitative Ultra High Field (7 Tesla) MR imaging of human subjects and Molecular Imaging biomarker research, development and clinical translation (Royal Melbourne Hospital 2007-14). He has published significant journal articles on fMRI, diffusion MRI, functional diffusion mapping, MR perfusion, MRS, voxel based morphometry, PET and nano-theranostics. NIF fellow. Performs operations management for both 7T MRI and PET/CT.  His specific research interests are in the development of UHF MRI technology and molecular imaging analytics. More specifically he conducts research on UHF-MRI pulse sequences, MRI contrast agents, endogenous quantitative UHF MRI, MRI/PET/CT reconstruction techniques, image analytics in clinical trials and molecular imaging informatics.

Myrte Strik

Myrte Strik is a MBCIU Neuroscience Collaboration Fellow and is finishing up her jointly awarded PhD at the University of Melbourne and VU University Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

The aim of her PhD project is to investigate motor disability in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) using advanced MRI. She is specifically interested in investigating the subtle changes in movement, and the structural and functional neural substrates of these changes, in early stage MS using a network imaging approach. Prior to her PhD, Myrte completed a bachelor’s degree in Human Movement Sciences and a Master’s degree in Neuroscience at the VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

As a MBCIU neuroscience collaboration fellow, Myrte is a key liaison point between collaborators and MBCIU radiographers and medical physicists, and will advise and support brain imaging protocol development, data acquisition and analysis and the subsequent reporting of results in top international peer reviewed journals.

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Braden Thai

Braden Thai is a MRI Radiographer working with Rebecca Glarin under a subcontract of imaging services from the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Braden is an acting Grade 4 Radiographer with 10 years of experience. Braden holds a Bachelor's degree in Medical Radiations and a Master's in Health Science Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

Rob Williams

Mr Rob Williams is the National Imaging Facility Fellow (PET) Chief Research Technologist (PET) at the Melbourne Brain Centre Imaging Unit. Rob has had a diverse range of international experience in the world of nuclear medicine. Rob is also a presenter and the producer of the Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Medicine Podcast. The Podcast is the world’s longest running medical podcast, the highest ranked and most listened to podcast in the field of Nuclear Medicine and PET

http://nuccast.com/

Rob has worked as principle Molecular Medicine Technologist at the time, the largest hospital in Europe. He has worked as an applications specialist and development advisor to imaging companies and has trained technologists and medical registrars in Europe, Australia and India. And has worked to develop training via the international atomic energy agency, the Indo-European educational forum and the European Association of nuclear medicine, he is the current CPD chair for the Australian society of nuclear medicine. And is a lecturer at RMIT for nuclear medicine undergraduates. He has been instrumental in developing many research projects and is passionate about improving PET and SPECT reconstruction having been involved in its early development. While not “nuc medding” he loves the beach and is an active surf lifesaver and scuba diver.

PhD CANDIDATES

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Edward Green

Edward Green is a PhD student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He did his Bachelor of Biomedicine and Masters of Biomedical Engineering here at University of Melbourne.He is working on RF pulse design for 7T MRI. He is working to overcome the effects of the inhomogeneous RF transmit field that is seen in the human head at 7T. In his spare time he likes riding his bike and going for walks with his dog.

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Chengchuan Wu

Chengchuan is doing a joint PhD between the University of Melbourne and the Jülich Research Centre, Germany. His research focuses on sodium MRI of the human brain at ultra-high field. Prior to his PhD, Chengchuan got a Master of Engineering degree from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Biomedical Engineering degree from Sun Yat-sen University, China.

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Didi Chi

Didi Chi is a PhD student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. She did her Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Her current research project is related to machine learning and fMRI.

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Gihan Ruwanpathirana

Gihan Ruwanpathirana is a PhD student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.  He focuses on reconstruction algorithms in PET imaging and machine learning in medical imaging. Prior to PhD, He completed his bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka and worked as a research engineer in automating the detection of heart arrhythmias using the ECG signals.

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Negin Yaghmaie

Negin Yaghmaie is a PhD student in the department of Biomedical Engineering. She received her Bachelor in Electrical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran in 2019 and moved to Melbourne to start her PhD. She is Currently working on MRI phase imaging and processing for Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping (QSM).

Mengmeng Wang

Mengmeng Wang is a PhD student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. She completed her Bachelor’s degree from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (China) and her Master’s degree at University of Bristol (UK), both in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. She is currently working on resting-state connectivity in functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS).

Madeleine Bullock

Madeleine Bullock is a PhD student in the Florey Department of Neuroscience and Mental Health at the University of Melbourne. They have a Bachelor of Biomedical Engineering (Honours) from RMIT University and a Bachelor of Medical Science from Flinders University in Adelaide. Madeleine’s PhD project investigates artefacts in both EEG and fMRI modalities.

MBCIU Alumni

Professor Roger Ordidge

Professor Ordidge has held numerous senior research positions in both industry and academia and is a pioneer in MRI technology. He is the past Director of the Melbourne Brain Centre Imaging Unit. He has over 35 years of research expertise in the development and clinical application of Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Professor Ordidge performs research on MRI sequence design to overcome the non-uniform image intensity and contrast associated with ultra-high field MRI.

Dr Warda Syeda

Dr Warda Syeda is an electrical engineer and research fellow at Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre at the University of Melbourne.  Her research focus is with emphasis on signal modelling, acquisition and analysis.

Dr Jon Cleary

McKenzie Research Fellow. Dr. Jon Cleary is a clinician-scientist and a University of Melbourne McKenzie Fellow with an interest in the use of high-field imaging to characterise neurological disease. His current work involves the application of advanced MRI techniques to multiple sclerosis including quantitative susceptibility mapping and sodium imaging.

Dr Scott Kolbe

Dr Scott Kolbe is a Neuroimaging scientist leading applied neuroimaging research and collaborations.  His primary expertise is in quantitative imaging of MS, however he is also involved in collaborations on applying quantitative MRI to the role of iron in AD, UHF-fMRI of decision making, and imaging of Traumatic Brain Injury.

Dr Sanuji Gajamange

Sanuji completed her PhD in the Department of Medicine and Radiology. She was awarded a prestigious postgraduate scholarship by Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia for her project. Her PhD project is focused on examining structural and functional brain changes in people recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis using advanced MRI.