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The Neurovascular and Neuroimaging Research Group

Our group share a common aim in understanding how the brain's blood supply is regulated in accordance with the dynamically changing demands of brain tissue. 

We use a combination of optical, electrophysiological and magnetic resonance based techniques, in addition to pharmacological challenges and other manipulations to investigate neurovascular coupling in health and disease.

Dr Jason Berwick, Senior Research Fellow

Dr Clare Howarth, Vice Chancellors Advanced Fellow and (2015+) Sir Henry Dale Fellow

Dr Chris Martin, Royal Society University Research Fellow and Senior Research Fellow

Dr Myles Jones, Senior Lecturer

Dr Aneurin Kennerley, MR Physicist and 7T Preclinical MRI Facility Manager

Our group is based within the Department of Psychology and collaborates with academics across Sheffield Neuroscience. We are recognised as an international leader in the fields of neurovascular coupling and preclinical neuroimaging research, and have secured over £10M of research funding over the last 5 years (>£5M as PIs), whilst publishing in leading international journals. Our facilities and expertise enable us to investigate neurovascular function from the level of individual cells up to whole brain.

Healthy brain function is critically dependent upon the rapid, local and dynamic regulation of blood supply according to the metabolic demand of neurons. Whilst this ‘neurovascular coupling’ is well established as the mechanism underpinning non-invasive brain imaging techniques such as functional MRI, disruption of this mechanism is increasingly recognised as a key factor in many of the most prevalent neurological diseases.

Our joint research objectives are therefore threefold:

  1. Improve understanding of the neurophysiological mechanisms underpinning neurovascular function in the healthy brain.
  2. Investigate the changes that take place in neurovascular function in brain diseases and determine the roles of these changes in disease aetiology and progression as well as possibilities for improved diagnosis and treatment.
  3. Improve our understanding of the neurophysiological basis of non-invasive brain imaging signals such as BOLD fMRI and improve possibilities for using such tools for studying the brain in health and in disease.

Other related projects include: