Dr Donnie Cameron is a physicist who specialises in developing and applying new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS) methods. He obtained a Bachelor’s in Physical Sciences and a Master’s in Medical Physics from the University of Aberdeen—an institution fundamental to the development of MRI—and he received his Doctorate in Medical Imaging from that same centre in 2013. During his Ph.D. studies he spent a summer with the MRS Group at ETH Zurich, and this led to fruitful collaborations on proton MRS in the heart. After his Ph.D. he joined the Longitudinal Studies Section at the National Institute on Aging in the US, where his remit was to develop new MRI and MRS methods for studying skeletal muscle changes in a large ageing cohort. He returned to the UK in 2016 as a Senior Research Associate at the University of East Anglia (UEA), and was ultimately promoted to Lecturer in Clinical Magnetic Resonance Physics in 2017. He later left the UK to join Dr Hermien Kan at Leiden University Medical Centre, where he investigated new methods for quantifying skeletal muscle physiology and fibre architecture in muscular dystrophies. Donnie is now based at the Department of Medical Imaging at Radboud UMC, Nijmegen, where he is developing a new imaging research programme for studying neuromuscular disorders in general.
Donnie has received grant funding from numerous sources: Prinses Beatrix Spierfonds is supporting his continuing work on muscle fibre size and permeability imaging in Becker muscular dystrophy, and Action Arthritis and the Gwen Fish Orthopaedic Trust have funded studies on musculoskeletal changes in rheumatoid arthritis.
23/12/2013 – “Quantitative T1 Magnetic Resonance Imaging in the Myocardium: Development and Clinical Applications”
Abstract of PhD research: Qualitative MRI methods, such as T2-weighted (T2W) imaging, are used to study cardiac tissue in numerous pathologies, but these methods are sensitive to artefacts, and results can be unreliable. Modified Look-Locker inversion recovery (MOLLI) provides robust, quantitative T1 estimates in the myocardium, but limitations include: dependence on heart rate; banding artefacts; and lengthy breath-holds. In this work, I developed new MOLLI variants to mitigate these problems and applied MOLLI to two different patient groups for comparison with conventional methods. The MOLLI variants used alternative k-space trajectories, readouts, startup preparations, and sampling schemes, and were tested in silico and in vitro, and in vivo in healthy volunteers. In patients, MOLLI was compared to T2W-SPAIR for oedema detection in acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TCM). Development work showed that a linear sweep up (skipped pulse pair) startup preparation improved T1 measurements, while a truncated MOLLI scheme performed similarly to conventional MOLLI, permitting shorter breath holds. Different k-space trajectories did not significantly affect T1 measurement accuracy, but precision varied: possibly due to artefacts. In patients, MOLLI performed significantly better than T2W-SPAIR in STEMI, while the two were comparable in TCM. In all patients, remote myocardium showed an elevated T1 versus healthy volunteers, suggesting remote inflammation. In conclusion, MOLLI T1 mapping can delineate oedema in acute STEMI and TCM, producing measurements more robust and reproducible than those made with T2W SPAIR. Several improvements were suggested here, but there is still substantial scope for developing MOLLI T1 mapping in future.