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Investigating the brain’s white matter

07 November 2011

CUBRIC-Rhodri WebProfessor Derek Jones demonstrating CUBRIC’s MRI scanner to former First Minister of Wales Rhodri Morgan

Pioneering brain research at Cardiff has received a major boost with the winning of the University’s first prestigious Investigator Award from the Wellcome Trust.

Professor Derek Jones, Director of Cardiff University Brain Repair Imaging Centre (CUBRIC), has received the Award to develop the new discipline of Tractometry.

Tractometry is the name Professor Jones gives to a non-invasive approach to quantifying specific attributes of the microstructure of the brain’s white matter– the connections that convey information between different parts of the brain. Professor Jones’ vision is that Tractometry will provide unprecedented insights not only into the brain in development, neurological and psychiatric disorders – but also into understanding individual differences in cognition and electrophysiology in the normal healthy brain. He believes that in time Tractometry will be as commonplace as functional MRI in the study of the brain.

The Wellcome Trust Award, provides funding of approximately £1.7m for seven years. The Award includes provision for a team of four postdoctoral research associates for its duration.

Professor Jones is MRI director at the unique CUBRIC facility in the School of Psychology. He said: "I am particularly proud that this is the first time such an Award has been made to the University – and for it to be housed in CUBRIC, in the School of Psychology. This Award is directly in keeping with the central aims of CUBRIC and the Imaging Sciences Group – which is to develop and deploy cutting edge multi-modal neuroimaging methods for understanding the brain."

Related Link

CUBRIC

Neuroscience & Mental Health Research Institute