Paul Matthews, OBE, MD, DPhil, FRCP, FMedSci is Head of the new Division of Brain Sciences in the Department of Medicine of Imperial College, London. His research is noted for innovative translational applications of clinical imaging for the neurosciences. This has developed with exploitation of the powerful synergies between the physical and quantitative sciences and medicine. His was the founding Director of two internationally leading research imaging centres, the University of Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB) and, later, of GlaxoSmithKline’s Clinical Imaging Centre (now a public “spin out” as Imanova, Ltd). From 2005 - 2014 he was a Vice President GlaxoSmithKline edicines Discovery and Development. He is one of the small number of senior clinical academics in the UK with industry experience.
Professor Matthews’ research has addressed related themes. He has extended applications of advanced imaging methods to answer a new range of clinical research questions. He collaborated closely with Oxford colleagues (especially Professor S. Smith) in applications developments for advanced structural and functional brain imaging incorporated into the open access FSL software distributed by the FMRIB Centre, now one of the two most widely used image analysis software “toolboxes” worldwide. While at Imperial and GSK, his group (then including Professor T. Nichols, now at the University of Warwick) piloted approaches extending these methods for the first properly controlled, prospectively designed imaging genetics studies. Over the last 5 years, he has been Chair of the Imaging Working Group for UK Biobank, which is pioneering an ambitious programme for very large population imaging as part of the UK Biiobank (Prof Sir Rory Collins, CEO). MRI scanning of the brain, heart and body, along with DEXA and 3D carotid ultrasound, was initiated in a dedicated imaging centre at UK Biobank's Cheadle (Manchester) site in May, 2014.
Professor Matthews’ work to develop the underpinning methods has focused on applications in drug development and disease outcomes monitoring. His former, GSK-based, research group harnessed the tools particularly for experimental clinical neuroscience drug development. Their approach linked physiology pharmacology and involved introducing and validating new PET radioligands and integrated PET/fMRI pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies with more more conventional early phase clinical development outcomes.
An overarching application has been to address the challenge of neurodegeneration in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and enhancing intrinsic brain repair and plasticity for functional recovery.More recent collaborative work with Imanova Ltd. builds on studies of the genetics and pharmacology of the latest generation of PET microglial imaging agents to relate microglial activation and neurodegeneration in vivo.
Amongst many external commitments, Professor Matthews has served two terms on the MRC Neuroscience and Mental Health Board and remains active on several committees; is a member of the HEFCE REF Neuroscience Subcommittee for assessment of Neurosciences, Psychology and related areas; and is a member of the Steering Committee for the UK Dementias Platform.
Professor Matthews was awarded an OBE in 2008 for services to neuroscience. He was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2014.
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