King’s College London is one of the top thirty universities in the world (2012/2013 QS international world rankings), the Sunday Times ‘University of the Year 2010/11’ and the fourth oldest in England. A research-led university based in the heart of London, it has more than 24,000 students (of whom nearly 10,000 are graduate students) from 150 countries, and more than 6,100 employees. KCL has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise for British universities, 23 departments were ranked in the top quartile of British universities; over half of its academic staff work in departments that are in the top 10 percent in the UK in their field and can thus be classed as world leading. The College is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of nearly £525 million. KCL has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, the sciences (including a wide range of health areas such as psychiatry, medicine, nursing and dentistry) and social sciences including international affairs.
It has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA and research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe: no university has more Medical Research Council Centres.
KCL and Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts are part of King’s Health Partners. King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering global collaboration between one of the world's leading research-led universities and three of London's most successful NHS Foundation Trusts, including leading teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services.
Contributions to the project
Our research team, formerly based at l’Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), has a long-standing expertise in the domain of MR-Elastography and in particular its application to the human brain. The feasibility to measure non-invasively the viscoelastic properties of brain parenchymal tissue has been demonstrated in collaboration with Lynne Bilston (Green, NMRBiomed 2008). A very recent publication of our team (Schregel, PNAS 2012) demonstrates in a MS mouse model the scientific interest in assessing the biomechanical properties of the corpus callosum because they appear to be sensitive and specific to demyelination effects. A translation to humans and dementia is imminent and could represent a breakthrough in the non-invasive follow-up of therapeutic interventions in that domain. We will contribute to this project:
Development of a patient friendly and mechanically stable setup for performing MR-Elastography in
humans and in particular in patients (since they have often specific conditions);
• Development of an MR-elastography acquisition protocol which fits into at most 10 mins and provides wave data at various mechanical frequencies;
• Provision of detailed viscoelastic and poroelastic maps (resolution ~1 mm3) of the human brain. The developed software will be provided to the partners of the consortium.
• Provision of typical biomechanical values for the various anatomical regions in the brain in normal volunteers.