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16 December 2022

Dr Sarah McElroy awarded King's Outstanding Thesis Award 2022

Dr Sarah McElroy has been awarded a King’s Outstanding Thesis Award 2022 for her thesis on the development of novel techniques for cardiac MR perfusion imaging

Dr Karl P Kunze, Senior Cardiac MR Scientist, Siemens Healthineers; Dr Radhouene Neji, Head of Collaborations Magnetic Resonance GB&I, Siemens Healthineers; Dr Sarah McElroy, MRI Scientist, Siemens Healthineers; Professor Amedeo Chiribiri, Head of Cardiovascular Imaging, School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences & Dr Sébastien Roujol, Reader in Medical Imaging, School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences

Dr Sarah McElroy has been awarded a King’s Outstanding Thesis Award 2022 for her thesis on the development of novel techniques for cardiac MR perfusion imaging.

Cardiac MR perfusion imaging is a dynamic imaging technique used to image blood flow to the heart muscle using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

Image quality of conventional cardiac MR perfusion imaging is limited by the need to trade off spatial resolution, temporal resolution, spatial coverage of the heart and image corruption due to breathing motion.

Dr McElroy’s thesis presents a number of developments that can help to overcome these limitations, resulting in improved diagnostic information from these scans.

Quantitative metrics of myocardial blood flow can also be retrieved from cardiac MR perfusion scans and a further contribution of the thesis is to improve the accuracy and precision of this quantification.

Dr McElroy’s thesis was supervised academically by Dr Sébastien Roujol and Professor Amedeo Chiribiri from King’s as well as by Dr Karl P Kunze and Dr Radhouene Neji from Siemens Healthineers as industry Partners, making it a great example for successful collaborations between academia and industry at King’s.

I am very grateful to receive the award and to have had the opportunity to undertake a PhD on the CDT program at the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences. My academic, clinical and industry supervisors provided strong support throughout the project, which helped to shape the direction of the project and maximize the impact. Furthermore, I found the hospital setting provided the ideal environment for efficient translation of developments into clinical practice.

Dr Sarah McElroy, MRI Scientist, Siemens Healthineers

Sarah is an excellent student and her work showcases the benefit of working very closely with industry and in a clinical setting as there is a clear focus on the applications. The aim of this work is to make a difference to the patient and Sarah’s work has already paved the way to very real and tangible patient benefits.

Professor Amedeo Chiribiri, Professor in Cardiovascular Imaging, Consultant Cardiologist & Head of the Department of Cardiovascular Imaging

Congratulations to Sarah for her fantastic achievements. Her work has unlocked new doors for myocardial perfusion MRI, especially by enabling high resolution myocardial perfusion with full ventricular coverage, improved myocardial blood flow quantification, and improved robustness again breathing motion. In addition to being an outstanding researcher, Sarah has also been a great team player and it has been a real pleasure to have her in our group at King’s. Undoubtedly she will continue to push the boundaries of MRI. Many congratulations Sarah!

Dr Sébastien Roujol, Reader in Medical Imaging, Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences

Dr McElroy’s research outputs include 5 first author papers, one patent, and several conference abstracts for which she received two competitive prizes/awards (“Highlight of SCMR in Basic Sciences (Top 7 abstracts)” and “ISMRM Merit Award: Magna Cum Laude”). Her work has also been integrated into a Siemens Work-In-Progress (WIP) package and serves as basis of further developments and clinical studies.

Dr McElroy is now working as an MRI Scientist at Siemens Healthineers.

Each year, hundreds of King's postgraduate research students complete their degrees and graduate with a doctorate, going on to become leaders in academia, research, industry, and beyond. 2022 saw just 33 winners.

To recognise and celebrate the outstanding talent and innovation of our PGR students, we award the King's Outstanding Thesis Prize and the Tadion Radial Prize annually.

These prizes are nominated by the external examiners who assess research theses and are judged by a panel consisting of the Director of Research Talent and the Chair of the Research Degrees Examinations Board.

There is a limited number of prizes to award across the year and each successful candidate receives £250.

Congratulations to Dr McElroy on this prestigious university achievement, highlighting the excellent environment seeing industry and academia join forces here at our School. Her output is key to unlocking critical insights into MR science, and further strengthening our industry partnerships.

Professor Seb Ourselin FREng, Head of School, School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences

In this story


Professor in Cardiovascular Imaging and Consultant Cardiologist

Professor Sebastien Ourselin FREng

Professor of Healthcare Engineering


Reader in Medical Imaging