Professor Jim Wild, PhD

Professor of Magnetic Resonance Physics
NIHR Research Professor in Pulmonary Imaging

Department of Infection, Immunity & Cardiovascular Disease
University of Sheffield
C Floor
Royal Hallamshire Hospital
S10 2JF

Telephone: +44 (0) 114 215 9141
Fax: +44 (0) 114 271 1714


I joined the University of Sheffield in 2000 to set up the technology for Hyperpolarised gas lung Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Prior to that I spent two years postdoctoral research at the NMR group of Peter Allen at the University of Alberta (1998-2000) working on high field strength imaging and spectroscopy methods. My PhD was in 1H MR spectroscopy at the University of Edinburgh (1995-1998) with Ian Marshall. I have an MSc in Medical Physics from the University of Sheffield (1994), an undergraduate Masters degree in Physics and Theoretical Physics from the University of Cambridge (1989-1992). Former pupil of Abbeydale Grange Comprehensive School, Sheffield.

Research Interests:

My research focus is the physics and engineering and clinical applications of MR imaging of hyperpolarised gases (3He and 129Xe) and protons in the lungs and pulmonary vasculature.

Physics and engineering projects include:

  • rapid acquisition methods for imaging of inhaled hyperpolarised gases using compressed sensing, steady state free precession and parallel imaging.
  • Techniques for simultaneous imaging of 1H, 3He and 129Xe in the lungs.
  • RF coil hardware engineering for 3He and 129Xe lung MRI.
  • 3He and 129Xe MRI at different magnetic field strengths.
  • Spin exchange optical pumping physics for polarisation of 3He and 129Xe.
  • Measuring and modelling gas flow and diffusion in the lungs; physiological models of alveolar geometry and gas exchange.

These technical developments have made a clinical impact, we have performed the first clinical studies in the UK with hyperpolarised 3He and 129Xe gas MRI. Our research has demonstrated the role of these pulmonary MRI methods in Asthma, COPD, Cystic Fibrosis, Interstitial Lung Disease, Lung cancer and Pulmonary Hypertension. Using hyperpolarised gas and proton lung MRI as markers we are evaluating novel pulmonary therapies in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies. Our lung imaging methods and models are the basis of patient specific models of lung disease and exacerbation within the EU Virtual Physiological Human Project - Airprom. Our pulmonary methods have made a clinical impact on NHS radiological practice in the diagnosis and management of patients from the Sheffield Pulmonary Vascular Disease Unit. We are now a national and international referral centre for Clinical Pulmonary Imaging.

Current Research Projects and Grants:

Teaching Interests:

I am heavily involved in postgraduate and undergraduate research training and teaching, I currently supervise a group of 7 PhD students, MD students and BMedSci students. I am an undergraduate personal tutor for 10 students. I am involved in international teaching in MR physics and pulmonary imaging:

Professional Activiites:

  • NIHR Research Professor 2013.
  • EPSRC Advanced Research Fellow 2006-2011.
  • EPSRC peer review college member.
  • Medical Futures Award for Translational Respiratory Innovation 2011.
  • Chairman (2008-2011) and Secretary (2005-2008) of the BRSG the Magnetic Resonance Group of the Institute of Physics.
  • 2008-2009 Chairman ISMRM study group of hyperpolarised MRI.
  • 2011-2014 Chair of the European Society of Thoracic Imaging Research Committee.
  • Member of European Respiratory Society Imaging workgroup.
  • MHRA QP licence holder for manufacture of hyperpolarised contrast agents (3He and 129Xe).
  • Honorary Chair in MR Physics at the University of Oxford.


For key publications see below. For a full list of publications click here.

Journal articles