Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineNational Heart & Lung Institute

Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer



+44 (0)20 7351 8807p.gatehouse




MRISydney StreetRoyal Brompton Campus





Thanks for looking. Current interests flow imaging and respiratory motion handling. The text below is obsolete but I left it there for the history of this field, as most people who built MRI machinery here have now retired and that expertise no longer exists in clinical CMR centres like this.

I began in cardiac MRI around 1990 when it had an almost comically random quality and slowness, except so serious for some patients. It’s improved a bit since. I can’t honestly say that had anything to do with me. A strength of the Royal Brompton Hospital cardiac MRI centre is that it does only cardiac MRI, whereas many centres try a few cardiac scans a week and might not build up enough expertise among the clinical staff needed. The almost piratical leadership of Professor Longmore who established this centre was inspiring. Another strength was essential in the earlier days: we modified the hardware of the old MRI scanners to improve their speed, flexibility and sensitivity for cardiac uses. This led to a dedicated cardiac MRI lab built in an old double-decker coach (avoiding planning permission for a new building). It ended up in some distant branch of the Science Museum,

The physics of MRI is amazingly flexible (even beautiful) if the electronics and software of the scanner is sufficiently open to modifications. On modern MRI systems we can re-program how the images are acquired, to detect a range of different tissue properties. I remain most interested in the crazier forms of cardiac MRI (echo-planar imaging (EPI), spirals, locally selective imaging, hyperpolarized imaging) even if most busy clinicians understandably have no time for them. Otherwise I work on blood flow imaging. This is now a standard SIemens CMR site although we are very fortunate to have limited access to the scanner software under a research agreement with Erlangen, Germany.

 Unfortunately the possibly questionable (as vendor-profit-led) push to buy higher main field (3T) makes long-k-space paths more difficult, and obstructs B1 too, and so tends to limit interesting methods. Some centres are developing low-field magnets with fast gradient performance (a bit like our old 1992 "bus" CMR machine) and these are a very interesting topic for a young physicist - go find one of those (except Maxwell gradients may do them in).  This department contains many other projects, for example in imaging the structure of myocardial muscle using diffusion tensor imaging but is mainly a busy clinical cardiac MRI service.

We always seek interested students e.g. for vacation or gap-year projects, please contact the appropriate head of section (Physics/MachineLearning/ASI  Dr Sonia Nielles-Vallespin, or Cardiology Prof Dudley Pennell, or Lung MRI Prof Simon Padley).  If you receive no reply, please accept our apologies and do send a reminder. Places fill early.




Roehl M, Conway M, Ghonim S, et al., 2024, STEAM-SASHA: A novel approach for blood and fat suppressed native T1 measurement in the right ventricular myocardium, Magnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine, ISSN:0968-5243

Gatehouse PD, Captur G, Nielles-Vallespin S, et al., 2023, Field camera input to virtual phantom (ViP) scanner acquisitions for quality assurance of derived MRI quantities: first implementation and proof-of-principle., Magma

Pan Y, Varghese J, Tong MS, et al., 2023, Two-center validation of Pilot Tone based cardiac triggering of a comprehensive cardiovascular magnetic resonance examination., Int J Cardiovasc Imaging

Xing X, Del Ser J, Wu Y, et al., 2023, HDL: hybrid deep learning for the synthesis of myocardial velocity maps in digital twins for cardiac analysis, Ieee Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, Vol:27, ISSN:2168-2194, Pages:5134-5142

Allen JJ, Keegan J, Mathew G, et al., 2023, Fully-modelled blood-focused variable inversion times for 3D late gadolinium-enhanced imaging, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Vol:98, ISSN:0730-725X, Pages:44-54

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