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Stuart Clare

MRI Physicist

My research is about how to take the best quality pictures inside the human brain, using Magnetic Resonance Imaging – MRI.  I’m really privileged to work with some amazing doctors, psychologists, and biological scientists to help them get the very best quality pictures of the what the brain looks like, and how it functions.

At school I was not really interested in biology – it was maths and physics that interested me much more.  I went to Nottingham University to study physics.  It was there that I realised that there are many uses of physics within medicine and biology and I really liked the idea of using my technical skills to directly impact people’s health.  I was fortunate to work on some of the very first functional MRI (fMRI) experiment to be performed.  I remember the thrill of the first time I saw the pictures from inside the brain of the person I was scanning pop up on the screen in front of me.  Since moving to Oxford I have learn a huge amount of the biology and physiology that I missed out on in school.

I love working in such a varied team.  A single MRI experiment can bring together experts in physics, maths, statistics and computing, with specialists in psychology, neurology and physiology.   I also love talking to the public, especially in schools, about the variety of skills needed in a modern neuroscience team.