​United Kingdom

University College London

University College London (UCL) has a global reputation for excellence in research and is committed to delivering impact and innovations that enhance the lives of people in the UK, across Europe and around the world.

The GLINT project builds on the resources of two different Departments of UCL, the Institute of Neurology and its attached Hospital the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN), and the Centre for Medical Imaging sits within the Division of Medicine. The Institute has a staff of around 500, an annual turnover of £53 million and occupies around 12,000 sq m of laboratory and office space.

UCL/UCLH is home to leading clinical translational MR research. The Centre for Medical Imaging provides the ideal multidisciplinary environment led by 5 principal investigators covering academic physics, clinical translation of novel experimental techniques to large multi-centre diagnostic imaging studies. The expertise and staffing and hardware infrastructure available within the Centre is critical to successful completion of WP7.

Key Staff

Prof. Xavier Golay, Scientific Coordinator of the GLINT project, is a professor of MR Neurophysics and Translational Neuroscience at the UCL Institute of Neurology. As the original inventor of the GlucoCEST method and the senior author on the original paper published on the subject, Prof Golay has an in-depth knowledge of this particular subfield of MRI. As such, he is particularly well-positioned to lead the GLINT Consortium.

Professor Golay’s research interests lie at the intersection of many disciplines, such as NMR physics, chemistry, physiology and neuroscience. They include the development of MRI as a translational tool for neurological diseases, measuring identical image-based biomarkers from mouse to human, and from the laboratory to the clinical settings. As translation has many meanings, parts of his most important research interests include the development of MRI techniques to be used as image-based outcome measures or biomarkers in the same way in animal model of diseases or in human patients. His hope is to reduce the cycle of drug development in neurological diseases by allowing academic or pharmaceutical institutions to use similar tests across species.

Dr. Shonit Punwani leads the MR cancer programme at University College London and has published 50 peer-reviewed publications relating to translational MRI within the last 4 years (since date of appointment). He heads the multi-disciplinary cancer translational MRI group at UCL, which undertakes three research programmes: (i) Development of metabolic imaging with MRI; (ii) Translation multi-parametric and novel MRI biomarkers into clinical practice; (iii) Application and development of whole-body MRI for cancer staging. Specific clinical application, publication and on-going grant funding focuses on prostate cancer, head and neck cancer, paediatric and adult lymphoma, multiple myeloma, lung cancer, colon cancer and sarcoma.

Within GLINT, Dr. Punwani leads WP7. The Centre for Medical Imaging team based at University College London Hospital, will work together with their colleagues at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery to ensure the clinical translation and initial evaluation of Gluco-CEST using the current standard clinical MRI scanners.

Natalie Nestorowicz is a project manager at UCL’s European Research and Innovation Office and responsible for the management of contractual and financial matters for GLINT.