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Damian Tyler

Associate Professor of Biomedical Science


I am currently a British Heart Foundation Senior Research Fellow and a Tutorial Fellow in Medicine at Somerville College.

I have been based in Oxford since 2001 and have 15 years experience in the development and application of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy (MRI/MRS). I gained my MSci in Medical Physics in 1998 and my doctorate in 2001, both from the University of Nottingham. I am an associate member of the Cardiac Metabolism Research Group (CMRG) and leads the Oxford Metabolic Imaging Group.

My research in Oxford has been based on the study of cardiac structure, function and metabolism in normal and diseased hearts using MRI/MRS. This has included developing techniques using high spatial and temporal resolution CINE imaging to assess heart function and localized phosphorus and carbon spectroscopy to monitor and investigate abnormalities of metabolism. I have recently been awarded a British Heart Foundation Senior Research Fellowship to further develop the technique of Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP) for application to the study of cardiac metabolism in the human heart. A fundamental limitation of magnetic resonance is its low sensitivity, but the recently developed technique of DNP provides a practical method to gain up to 10,000-fold increases in sensitivity in molecules with an in vivo stability of approximately one minute.  This has enabled visualization of 13C-labelled cellular metabolites in vivo and, more importantly, their enzymatic transformation into other species. This is an important development that could revolutionize spectroscopy using MR.