Professor Vanessa M. Ferreira
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SB MD DPhil FRCP(C) FSCMR FHEA
British Heart Foundation (BHF) Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine
- Deputy Clinical Director, Oxford Centre for Clinical Magnetic Resonance Research
- Honorary Consultant Cardiologist
- Fellow and Member of the Governing Body, Lady Margaret Hall
- Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (SCMR), Board of Trustees (2016-2019)
- Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) in Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Oxford
- Fellow, Royal College of Physicians of Canada (FRCPC)
- Doctor of Medicine (MD), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
- Bachelor of Science (SB), Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Professor Vanessa Ferreira has expertise in the study of heart disease using cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR). Her doctorate research in Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Oxford focused on CMR myocardial tissue characterisation, converging with MR physics technical development towards clinical translation of myocardial T1-mapping. Briefly, each tissue type in the body has a magnetic property called T1 relaxation time, which can be measured (in milliseconds) using MRI scans. The heart has a specific range of normal T1 values, deviation from which may be indicative of disease. T1-mapping generates a pixel-by-pixel T1-map of the heart, which can locate small areas of disease in a numerical manner. Thus, T1-mapping provides a quantitative way to examine the heart, does not require any injection of contrast agents or radiation, and produces coloured MRI images which give additional information compared to traditional MR images.
One of her goals is to advance CMR methods to gain more insight into heart disease in ways not previously possible, in a non-invasive way. Another is to minimise the need for injection of contrast agents for diagnostic images, allowing more patients to benefit from cardiac MRI, eliminating adverse reactions to contrast agents, and savings in time and cost.
Working with MR physicists, engineers, biomedical imaging experts and clinician-scientists from a range of specialties, Vanessa's research at the OCMR is highly collaborative and interdisciplinary. Vanessa also delivers CMR education, and supervises DPhil, MSc and medical students in CMR research at the OCMR, based at the John Radcliffe Hospital.