Our Team

ACADEMIC STAFF


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Associate Professor Leigh Johnston

A/Prof Johnston is the Interim 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, where she is Head of the Animal MRI facility. 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).

Professor Roger Ordidge

Professor Ordidge is the Director of the Melbourne Brain Centre Imaging Unit (MBCIU), and also the Chair for Imaging Science in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, at the University of Melbourne. Having held numerous senior research positions in both industry and academia, Prof Roger Ordidge is a pioneer in MRI technology. He has over 35 years of research expertise in the development and clinical application of Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Prof Ordidge and the University of Melbourne Node joined NIF in 2011, housing a Siemens combined PET/CT scanner, and a Siemens 7T Tesla whole body MRI (operational in 2014).

Professor Ordidge performs research on MRI sequence design to overcome the non-uniform image intensity and contrast associated with ultra-high field MRI. Also recruits research collaborators, orders equipment, manages platform and assists with research contracts.

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Associate Professor Brad Moffat

A/Prof 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 deputy director of the Melbourne Brain Imaging Capability, 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.

Yasmin Blunck

Yasmin Blunck is a Research 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.

Warda Syeda

Warda Syeda is an electrical engineer and research fellow at The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. As a member of the Melbourne Brain Centre Imaging Unit, she designs signal processing methods for preclinical and human MRI.  Her research focus is diffusion and sodium MRI, with emphasis on signal modelling, acquisition and analysis. She is also currently developing MRI methods to study stroke in rodent brain.

She completed a PhD from the Biomedical Engineering department, and a Masters degree from the Electrical and Electronic Engineering department at The University of Melbourne. She received a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from The National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan.

During her academic career spanning over a decade, she has worked as a Research assistant at The National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan, lecturer at Sukkur Institute of Business Administration University, Pakistan, Research Community Coordinator at Research Platforms, The University of Melbourne, along with completing an internship at IBM Research Australia.

PROFESSIONAL STAFF


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.

Rebecca Glarin

Rebecca Glarin is the Supervisor Radiographer who runs the 7T MRI Imaging services with backup provided by Braden Thai 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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Braden Thai

Braden Thai is an 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 has a Bachelor's degree in Medical Radiations and a Master's in Health Science Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

Yicheng Zhang

Yicheng completed a Bachelor of Biomedicine degree and graduated from Master of Engineering (Biomedical) in 2018. Teamed with Chengchuan Wu they completed their final year research project on Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping (QSM), an emerging MRI image post-processing technique. Together they received the best project award from the Department of Biomedical Engineering during the University’s Endeavour event. He is currently using QSM to process MRI images for other projects.

PhD CANDIDATES


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Frederique Boonstra

Frederique completed her research master Neurosciences at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2015. After coming to Melbourne for an internship during her masters, she got the opportunity to stay for a PhD. She has a great love for playing tennis since she was 4 years old and in her spare time can be found playing herself or organising tennis hit-ups for other people in Melbourne.

Myrte Strik

Myrte Strik is doing a jointly awarded PhD at the University of Melbourne and VU University Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Originally, she is from Amsterdam, and previously completed a bachelor’s degree in Human Movement Sciences and a Master’s degree in Neuroscience at the VU University Amsterdam. She did an internship and worked as a research assistant in Melbourne, travelled the world and is currently doing a PhD project researching motor disability in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.

The aim of her PhD project is to integrate gait biomechanics and 7 Tesla MRI to monitor and predict the progression of gait dysfunction in MS patients. She is specifically interested in investigating the subtle changes in walking, and the structural and functional neural substrates of these changes, in early stage MS using a network imaging approach.

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Sanuji Gajamange

Sanuji is a PhD student 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. Prior to her PhD Sanuji completed a Master of Science degree at the University of Melbourne, where she looked at improving pre-surgical planning of temporal lobe epilepsy using diffusion-based tractography.

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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.

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.

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.

HONORARY MEMBER


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.