Prof Gareth J Barker
Professor Barker has worked in Magnetic Resonance Imaging research as applied to neurological and psychological disorders for over 25 years.
In the neurological field, his particular interests are in multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and neurodegenerative disorder; in psychiatry, he has interests in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression.
In parallel, his work also involves healthy controls, and has applications in the more fundamental questions of brain structure and function.
Much of his work has been on technique development, both for image acquisition and processing, and on the optimisation of protocols that make these techniques applicable to patient populations.
He currently holds an ethical approval for the development and optimisation of such scanning techniques in normal controls, along with a separate approval to allow the further optimisation sometimes required to make the techniques acceptable to clinical patients.
He has a particular interest in quantitative MRI techniques; these include relaxation time measurements (which can probe the molecular environment of water within tissue (and in certain circumstances can reveal information such as the myelin water fraction)); magnetization transfer (another marker of myelination), perfusion (quantitatively and non-invasively measuring blood perfusion) and diffusion tensor imaging (providing a probe of the structure and integrity of neuronal tissue)