Dr James Ross
PhD, CPhys, MInstP, MIPEM
Biomedical Physics Building
School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition
University of Aberdeen
Dr Ross graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2009 with an MPhys(Hons) in Theoretical Physics. He then completed an MSc in Medical Physics at Aberdeen University in 2011 before completing a PhD in Medical Physics under the supervision of Professor David Lurie.
He joined Prof Lurie's team as a Research Assistant in 2015 on the EPSRC funded "Zero-Field MRI" project. He was appointed Research Fellow in 2016 on the EU Horizon-2020 funded "IDentIFY" project where he worked on developing Fast Field-Cycling MRI (FFC-MRI) techniques for biomedical and clinical applications.
He was appointed Lecturer in 2020 and joined the team of Professor Dana Dawson where he is currently leading the development of 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy techniques for non-invasively probing cardiac energetics at 3T while continuing to work on new applications for FFC-MRI in heart, brain and breast imaging.
- MPhys Theoretical Physics2009 - University of St Andrews
- MSc Medical Physics2011 - University of Aberdeen
- PhD Medical Physics2016 - University of Aberdeen
Dr Ross’s main research interests are in novel MRI hardware and pulse sequences. He is currently a member of the Field-Cycling Imaging (FCI) research group where he leads the development of new imaging sequences designed to extract in-vivo T1 dispersion information while still maintaining acceptable scan durations. To date his sequences have been used to achieve quantitative Field-Cycling Imaging in the brain, breast, knee and heart.
More recently he has joined the cardiology team led by Professor Dana Dawson where he is leading the development of 1H and 31P cardiac spectroscopy techniques at 3T aimed at revealing new information about poorly understood conditions like takotsubo cardiomyopathy.
Dr Ross also has an interest in exploring new MR relaxation mechanisms – in particular T1rho which allows low-field phenomena similar to T1 dispersion to be probed using high field scanners and could yield unique image contrast which is distinct from that seen in traditional high-field T1 and T2 imaging. As Aberdeen is one of the only sites in the world to have access to both a clinical 3T scanner as well as a research FCI scanner able to access ultra-low magnetic fields, this represents a unique research opportunity to investigate the entire spectrum of MR relaxation.
Applied Health SciencesSupervising
I am currently working on the development of phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy (31P-MRS) techniques in the heart at 3T. Unlike conventional 1H techniques, 31P MRS allows the direct detection of metabolites involved in energy metabolism (for example PCr and ATP) which could make it a valuable tool in characterising conditions where there is impaired cardiac function.
Owing to the comparatively lower concentrations of phosphorus in-vivo, the lower gyromagnetic ratio and the added complications of respiratory and cardiac motion, cardiac 31P-MRS is a particuarly challenging technique which requires particular care in the choice of pulse sequence and acquisition parameters.
I reguarly take part in public engagement events aimed at explaining concepts in medical physics and electromagnetism to the wider community. Some past events include:
2019: Cell Block Science - an initiative started by St Andrews University aimed at educating inmates at prisons on ongoing research at local universities. In this event Prof David Lurie and I spent the day at HMP Grampian where we talked about the history of magnetic resonance imaging development at Aberdeen and demonstrated some of the fundamental physics that makes MRI possible.
2016, 2018, 2019: Doors Open Day is an event where usually closed buildings in Aberdeen are open to the public. This gives us an opportunity to show off what goes on in our labs at Aberdeen University. For the past few years I have given tours of the FFC-MRI labs to the public and hosted stalls in the IMS to talk about my research.
2019: I presented our work on FFC-MRI at the Scottish Parliament as part of the European Researcher's Night "Explorathon" event.
2018: I gave a public lecture on the history of MRI for MENSA Scotland.
Funding and Grants
British Heart Foundation: The Next Leap in Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Cycling the Field; D Dawson, D Lurie, L Broche, J Ross, H Abbas: , 2020-2023, £278k
SINAPSE Innovation Partnership: Towards a Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Protocol for Fast Field-Cycling MRI; J Ross, D Dawson, D Lurie, A Mezincescu: 2020-2021, £10k
Northwood Trust PhD Scholarship: Detecting Cardiac Fibrosis using T1 rho Magnetic Resonance Imaging; J Ross, D Dawson: 2022-2026, £70k
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Rapid Field-Cycling MRI using Fast Spin-Echo8th Conference on Field-Cycling NMR RelaxometryContributions to Conferences: Abstracts
Rapid Field-Cycling Relaxometric Imaging using Fast Spin-EchoChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Conference Proceedings
Rapid Field-Cycling Relaxometric Imaging using Fast Spin-Echo21st Annual Meeting, International Society for Magnetic Resonance in MedicineContributions to Conferences: Abstracts
Human relaxometry and MRI using fast field-cyclingAMPERE NMR School (2012), pp. 22Contributions to Conferences: Abstracts