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  • Stefan Piechnik, Vanessa Ferreira, Stefan Neubauer, Iulia Popescu, Konrad Werys, Qiang Zhang

about the research

We lead the CMR cardiac tissue characterisation research in the particular field called T1 mapping. The techniques pioneered in OCMR brought a wide range of publications on technical aspects and clinical application with regard to many yet unexplained relations between novel clinical and imaging biomarkers. We actively engage in big biomedical data aspects, and move the field from the current gold standard, manual and semi-automatic heart analysis, towards fully automated approaches with particular attention to the strict quality control appropriate for clinical applications. All research projects in our environment aim for immediate clinical application, expecting impacts capable of changing clinical practice.

training opportunities

New members joining this multidisciplinary group are usually experts in either technical or bio-medical science. We provide compatible hands on training and advice to complement specific set of skills required for their chosen research topic. Needs are assessed termly on individual basis, making use of excellent selection of courses organised internally and externally to the Oxford University. 

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.


S.K. Piechnik, V.M. Ferreira, E.Dall'Armellina, L.E. Cochlin, S. Neubauer, M.D.Robson. Shortened Modified Look-Locker Inversion recovery clinical myocardial T1-mapping at 1.5 and 3 T within a 9 heartbeat breathhold. Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance 2010, 12:69

Ferreira VM, Piechnik SK, Dall'Armellina E, Karamitsos TD, Francis JM, Ntusi N, Holloway C, Choudhury RP, Kardos A, Robson MD, Friedrich MG, Neubauer S. 2014. Native T1-mapping detects the location, extent and patterns of acute myocarditis without the need for gadolinium contrast agents.J Cardiovasc Magn Reson,  16pp. 36. -

Piechnik SK, Ferreira VM, Lewandowski AJ, Ntusi NA, Banerjee R, Holloway C, Hofman MB, Sado DM, Maestrini V, White SK, Lazdam M, Karamitsos T, Moon JC, Neubauer S, Leeson P, Robson MD. 2013. Normal variation of magnetic resonance T1 relaxation times in the human population at 1.5 T using ShMOLLI.J Cardiovasc Magn Reson,  15pp. 13. -

Piechnik SK, Neubauer S, Ferreira VM. “State-of-the-Art Review: Stress T1-mapping - Technical considerations, Pitfalls and Emerging Clinical Applications “. Magnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine, 1-11, 2017

Piechnik SK, Jerosch-Herold M. State-of-the-art review: stress T1 mapping-technical considerations, pitfalls and emerging clinical applications. The international journal of cardiovascular imaging. 28 Aug 2017