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  • Michael Pavlides


The liver group at the Oxford Centre for Clinical Magnetic Resonance Research (OCMR) is developing and validating non-invasive magnetic resonance (MR) tests that can be used in the evaluation of people living with chronic liver disease. We are conducting a range of studies, from small proof-of-concept studies testing new techniques, to large multi-centre trials for biomarkers validation. Investigators from the group are leading the imaging work package in the LITMUS consortium ( where they are conducting the LITMUS Imaging Study ( The LITMUS Imaging Study is the largest study of its kind globally, evaluating how magnetic resonance techniques can be used to assess people with metabolic dysfunction associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD; previously known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, NAFLD). During the LITMUS project the group has also developed considerable expertise in performing systematic reviews and meta-analyses and the statistical methods that underpin these types of analyses. As part of this effort, we have compiled the largest ever dataset from individual participants with MASLD to include baseline liver biopsy and simple non-invasive tests based on serum measurements and elastography as well as outcome data on a significant proportion of cases. 

This DPhil project will aim to expand on the work already completed within LITMUS to evaluate how biomarkers change over time and the relationship between this change and clinical outcomes. We will utilise a variety of datasets for this project, including existing local databases of MR images and linked clinical data, the LITMUS imaging database and individual participant data compiled for our previous systematic review. Additional data will be generated during the project or identified if needed from the local metabolic liver disease clinic, from the UK Biobank or from further literature reviews and collaborations. There will be opportunities to develop methods to automate the analyses of MR biomarkers or develop and test new biomarkers. There will also be opportunities to apply machine learning techniques to large datasets to assess if this improves performance over clinically established biomarkers. 

The group has additional interests in quantitative assessment of liver histology slides with access to a library of digital histology images and linked clinical data. This resource could be further developed and utilised depending on the interests of the student. 

Additional supervision may be provided by Dr Ferenc Mózes.



MR data acquisition including MRI and MR elastography

Analysis of MR images for biomarkers of liver disease

Advanced statistical methods for systematic review and meta-analysis and individual participant data meta-analysis

Students are encouraged to attend the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine DPhil Course, which takes place in the autumn of their first year. Running over several days, this course helps students to develop basic research and presentation skills, as well as introducing them to a wide-range of scientific techniques and principles, ensuring that students have the opportunity to build a broad-based understanding of differing research methodologies.

Generic skills training is offered through the Medical Sciences Division's Skills Training Programme. This programme offers a comprehensive range of courses covering many important areas of researcher development: knowledge and intellectual abilities, personal effectiveness, research governance and organisation, and engagement, influence and impact. Students are actively encouraged to take advantage of the training opportunities available to them.

As well as the specific training detailed above, students will have access to a wide-range of seminars and training opportunities through the many research institutes and centres based in Oxford.

The Department has a successful mentoring scheme, open to graduate students, which provides an additional possible channel for personal and professional development outside the regular supervisory framework. We hold an Athena SWAN Silver Award in recognition of our efforts to build a happy and rewarding environment where all staff and students are supported to achieve their full potential.



FE Mózes, et al. Performance of non-invasive tests and histology for the prediction of clinical outcomes in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: an individual participant data meta-analysis. The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology


FE Mózes et al. Diagnostic accuracy of non-invasive tests for advanced fibrosis in patients with NAFLD: an individual patient data meta-analysis. Gut 71 (5), 1006-1019


EA Selvaraj et al. Diagnostic accuracy of elastography and magnetic resonance imaging in patients with NAFLD: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of hepatology 75 (4), 770-785


ANA Jayaswal et al. Prognostic value of multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging, transient elastography and blood‐based fibrosis markers in patients with chronic liver disease. Liver International 40 (12), 3071-3082


M Pavlides et al. Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging for the assessment of non‐alcoholic fatty liver disease severity. Liver International 37 (7), 1065-1073


M Pavlides et al.  Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging predicts clinical outcomes in patients with chronic liver disease. Journal of hepatology 64 (2), 308-315