NI welcomes world leader to head new Centre
World recognised authority on Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) Professor Carolyn Mountford is bringing her expertise to the Hunter, establishing the new Centre for Magnetic Resonance in Health (cMRIh) at the University of Newcastle with the support of Newcastle Innovation.
Professor Mountford has spent the past several decades working with scientists, physicians, surgeons, mathematicians and pathologists developing MRS as a new diagnostic tool as an adjunct to, and in some cases a replacement for, histopathology.
Her work began in the 1980s when she was convinced she could detect changes in the chemistry of human cells as they became cancerous by studying them inside a strong magnetic field. The technique she developed - MRS - successfully identified cancer in its early stages without the need for invasive surgery.
Professor Mountford has since led and been part of research across a range of human diseases including cancer diagnosis and prognosis, neurodegenerative diseases such as those associated with chronic pain and brain injury and more recently begun to focus on metabolic syndrome and obesity. All aspects of the research are multidisciplinary.
"MRS is very helpful at looking at the chemistry of the human body and is often referred to as a 'virtual biopsy' as it provides pathological information without the need for biopsy," Professor Mountford said.
"MRS can often diagnose disease at a very early stage, before it is even visible by other means. In some cases it can make a diagnosis of disease that cannot otherwise be made until after death."
In establishing the cMRIh, Professor Mountford will be harnessing University expertise across radiology, surgery, pathology, neurology, psychology, MR spectroscopy and Informatics to advance the early detection of disease to improve patient outcomes.
A long established partnership with Siemens Healthcare, the providers of the MRS technology, aims to facilitate the global roll out of this revolutionary diagnostic tool. Newcastle Innovation is pleased to be providing commercialisation support to Professor Mountford and the cMRIh team.
Dr Carolyn Mountford is Professor of Radiology at the University of Newcastle and Harvard Medical School. She is the founding Director of the Centre for Clinical Spectroscopy in the Department of Radiology at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston USA, and was the Director and Founder of the Institute for Magnetic Resonance Research in Sydney AUS.