Professor Steven Sourbron

Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine and Population Health

Professor in Medical Imaging Physics

Professor Steven Sourbron
Professor Steven Sourbron
Profile picture of Professor Steven Sourbron
+44 114 215 9155

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Professor Steven Sourbron
Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine and Population Health
18 Claremont Crescent
S10 2TA

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I am a medical physicist with expertise in quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Since November 2019, I am Professor in Medical Imaging in the University of Sheffield. Prior to that I was Lecturer in Magnetic Resonance Imaging in the University of Leeds (2010-2019) and post-doctoral researcher in the Radiology department of the Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich (2005-2010). I obtained a PhD in the radiology department of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 2005, and Bachelor and Master degree also at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 1999. 

Research interests

My main research interest is in the development of quantitative imaging biomarkers (QIBs) and applications thereof in clinical studies, drug development and basic research. QIBs are measurements extracted from medical images that can be used as indicators of normal biological processes, disease progression or treatment response. Unlike other sources of biomarkers such as biological fluids (blood, urine, …), QIBs can track these processes in-vivo and in-situ, which can significantly impact on future clinical practice.

QIB development in MRI is a highly interdisciplinary area and sits on the interface between (bio)physics, engineering, computation, biology and medicine. An example of current work is the development and validation of QIBs that measure liver function, and using these to identify patients that are likely to suffer from toxic side effects of drugs Another application is in predicting which patients can tolerate surgery for liver cancer, which may in future allow us to offer this life-saving treatment to more patients (HEPARIM project).

We are also very active in Chronic Kidney Disease, where we are looking at larger panels of QIBs to identify patients that are at risk of progression and therefore are in need of more aggressive management Beyond liver and kidney, we are working on other application areas such as predicting outcomes of mechanical thrombectomy in acute stroke, studying mechanisms neurodegenerative disease progression in the spinal cord, or evaluating the effect of cancer treatment on the heart. QIBs promise to become essential tools in future medical practice just as blood- and urine tests today.

Realising this potential however is an enormous undertaking that requires a highly interdisciplinary and coordinated approach to research. I am therefore increasingly active in national and international networks aiming to improve reproducibility of research and societal impact. An example is the EU-wide networking project PARENCHIMA, the open-source project OSIPI, and the UK-wide partnership project of the UK Renal Imaging Network (UKRIN-MAPS).

Sheffield medical imaging research strands:

  • Abdominal imaging (lead)
  • Imaging biomarkers (lead)
  • Cardiovascular imaging (member)

Current projects:


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Research group

Post-doctoral fellows

  • Kanishka Sharma (BEAt-DKD)
  • Susmita Basak (HEPARIM)

Software engineers

  • Joao de Souza (UKRIN-MAPS)
  • Steve Shillitoe (TRISTAN)

PhD/MD students

  • Eve Shalom (CFD in liver)
  • Eve Lennie (spinal cord PET/MRI)
  • Bashair al-Hummiany (CKD biomarkers)
  • Fotis Tagkalakis (Motion correction)
  • Mohamed El-Sharif (HEPARIM)
  • Meaad Almusined (mechanical thrombectomy)
Professional activities and memberships