Chair in The Institute for Education in Medical and Dental Sciences
Professor Welch graduated from the University of Southampton with a first class honours degree in Physics in 1987 and went on to obtain a PhD in Medical Physics at the University of London (Royal Marsden Hospital) in 1990. After a brief spell in industry (working as a systems analyst for an oil company) he returned to academia, taking up a postdoctoral position and then a faculty position at the University of Utah. In 1997 he returned to the UK, as a lecturer, senior lecturer then Professor at the University of Aberdeen.
My research has focussed on the tomographic radiotracer imaging techniques of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) as well as Computed Tomography (CT) in general. I am particularly interested in the development of novel hardware and software to address specific applications. These include clinical applications, preclinical applications and applications in engineering and geosciences.
Developing PET methods to detect changes in brain function. This includes the use of Statistical Parametric Mapping and other statistical tools to detect changes in brain metabolism as measured with FDG-PET.
Measuring changes in cardiac metabolism with PET. This includes developing methods to measure glucose, oxidative and fatty acid metabolism.
Using medical CT scanners to study spontaneous imbibition in rocks. Applications include enhanced oil recovery.
Developing novel tomographic radiotracer imaging techniques to study fluid flow in porous and fractured rocks. Applications may include: enhanced oil recovery, carbon capture and storage and shale gas recovery. Current work uses Monte Carlo simulation techniques to compare PET and SPECT and to develop the optimum hardware and software for the task.