Dr Aneurin J Kennerley

Lecturer in Chemistry (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

+44 (0)1904 324230
Email: aneurin.kennerley@york.ac.uk
Twitter: @MagneticDR_K


My research concerns the application and development of novel multi-model biomedical imaging systems towards answering important and clinically relevant questions. I have a genuine passion for non-invasive imaging techniques that can be used across the entire patient age range. Once such method, MRI has found application across several medical research fields including Neuroimaging (including functional MRI), Oncology, Cardiovascular research, Musculoskeletal and Liver/Gastrointestinal imaging.  However in the majority of cases an in-depth understanding of the complex MRI signal source in terms of the underlying physics, chemistry and biology is lacking. As such, my research strategy endeavours to take a multi-model imaging approach; using data to parameterise biophysical models. In turn data from these models can feedback to the laboratory helping further develop and refine the biomedical imaging techniques. Together this can help develop the imaging techniques for both improved diagnostics and novel therapeutics.

Current Funding

  • Jul 2017-20: £492,000; CRUK: “Magnetic Resonance Targeting of novel oncolytic viruses to tumours: Investigating Efficacy & Modelling forces” – 30% FTE Co-Investigator
  • Jul 2017-20: £800,000; MRC Industry Asset Sharing: “MICA: Efficacy and safety evaluation of AZD1236 (Matrix metalloproteinase 9 & 12 inhibitor) in experimental stroke” – 5% FTE Co-Investigator
  • Dec 2016-17: £243,000; Industrial Partnership: “Longitudinal MR assessment of polycystic Kidney disease progression following Mironid infusion” – 10% FTE Co-Investigator
  • Mar 2015-18: £557,000; Medical Research Council: “Investigating the thermoregulatory role of neurovascular coupling and the anti-epileptogenic and neuroprotective effects of focal cerebral cooling” – 5% FTE Co-Investigator
  • Jan 2015-18: £1,317,00; EPSRC: “One-stop-shop microstructure-sensitive perfusion/diffusion MRI: Application to vascular cognitive impairment” – 15% FTE Co-Investigator

Neuroimaging Research

My research focuses on developing multi-modal imaging technology to investigate the underlying neural and haemodynamic mechanisms of the functional (f)MRI Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) signal (fig1a). The mechanisms of neurovascular coupling and not fully understood and therefore interpretation of BOLD fMRI signals is confounded; even in control conditions. My PhD thesis “Investigation of the haemodynamic response: fMRI techniques with concurrent optical measures of cerebral blood flow and volume” utilised different brain imaging methods, specifically fMRI, laser Doppler flowmetry and optical imaging spectroscopy in the animal model (Kennerley, A. J., et.al. (2005). Magn Reson Med. 54, 354-365; Kennerley, A.J., et.al. (2012) NeuroImage, 61 (1) , pp. 10-20). Evoked neural response data were acquired across different imaging modalities and data used to rigorously test published biophysical models and build/refine improved models of the BOLD fMRI signal. This included the development and parameterisation of Monte Carlo Simulations of MR signal attenuation to predict the BOLD fMRI signal changes from the underlying haemodynamics measured with optical imaging (Martindale, A. J., Kennerley, A. J., et.al., (2008). Magn Reson Med. 59(3)  p607-18). Upon implementation of this approach it became clear that the light transport through tissue models used for optical imaging spectroscopy were limited; often assuming the brain as a homogeneous turbid media. For the first time in this field I used the high resolution 3 dimensional MRI data to parameterise a heterogeneous tissue model (fig1b) for optical imaging spectroscopy algorithms.  This improved the accuracy of the resultant haemodynamic measures considerably (Kennerley, A. J., et.al.  (2009). NeuroImage. 47(4):p1608-19). This technique has since been used to investigate the signal source of negative BOLD signals (Boorman, L.W., Kennerley, A.J., et.al. (2010) Journal of Neuroscience. 30(12): 4285-94) which often occur alongside more common increases in brain activity and could represent neuronal inhibition. The quality of my research was acknowledged at the British chapter of ISMRM where I won the prestigious Astra Zeneca (2010) and Mansfield (2013) prizes for innovative in-vivo fMRI research.



Figure 1 – Development of multi-modal fMRI and optical imaging; A) methods involved; B) using MCS to predict BOLD fMRI signal from the haemodynamics with a basic homogeneous tissue model and MRI parameterised heterogeneous tissue model. The latter shows a better fit to experimental data.

I am currently working on improvements to the optical recording from brain – implanting spatial frequency domain imaging to estimate changes in scattering which can be attributed to cellular swelling during activity. This imaging technique will be combined with diffusion weighted fMRI which is also related to microstructural changes in cell structure.

Oncology Research

In preclinical models I have utilised hyperpolarised 13C NMR spectroscopy at high field to parameterise kinetic models of tumour metabolism (Kazan, S., et.al. (2012) Mag Res Med). I will continue this research developing methods for hyperpolarized MRI using the SABRE method as part of the CHyM research group collaborating with researchers from Biology in breast tumor models. My research in the oncology field will build on my research experience in the area of novel drug delivery mechanisms. As part of a multi-million pound EPSRC project - Engineering virus-like nano-particles for targeting the central nervous system; I used medical imaging techniques to quantify and track nano-vesicles (made from Gd or Rhodamine tagged hydrophilic/phobic polymers) in-vivo as a novel drug delivery system. More recently I have been working with Dr Staniland from the department of Chemistry in Sheffield quantifying the MRI properties of nano-sized megnetopolymersomes. These particles have properties which can be exploited for enhanced diagnostics (with magnetic resonance imaging) and therapeutics using magnetic hyperthermia induction (J Bain, et.al. (2015) Nano Letters. Under Review). Novel drug delivery mechanisms are currently a hot topic; a recent successful multidisciplinary research project I was profoundly involved in used Iron tagged macrophages to carry anti-cancer drugs to tumour sites within the body. I have shown by in vitro and in vivo that by pulsing the magnetic field gradients on an MRI system we can steer these labelled macrophages in a given direction (Fig 2). Thus when gradient targeting is applied towards tumour sites there is an increased uptake of the macrophage cells (upwards of 800% increase) and so the drug for improved therapy (A J Kennerley*, M Muthana*, et.al. (2015). Nature Coms doi: 10.1038/ncomms9009).

Figure 2 – in-vitro demonstration of magnetic resonance targeting. The MR imaging gradients can be pulsed in a given direction to effectively ‘steer’ iron labelled particles in that direction. This can lead to a significant uptake of particles into a specific area – for example a tumour site to deliver therapy. 


  • 2nd January 2018: Aneurin officially joins the Department of Chemistry at the University of York
  • 6th December 2017: Aneurin presents a public lecture - “Divination 101: The science of foreseeing your decisions”, as part of Libraries Sheffield 'Harry Potter a History of Magic Exhibition', 20th October-22nd December. http://www.sheffieldnewsroom.co.uk/harrypotter2017/
  • 24th November 2017: Aneurin works alongside Dr Will Brackenbury, Department of Biology on a shortlisted CRUK proposal using preclinical 23-Na MR imaging for diagnostic and therapeutic benefits in breast cancer treatment
  • 22nd September 2017: Aneurin presents a public lecture - “This is cancer researcher 5 – Stay on Target”, as part of the Mobile University 2017. The talk details the latest research into using an MRI scanner to target iron labelled cells carrying anti-cancer drugs to tumour sites within the body for increased uptake


H-index = 16; i-10 index = 25 (as of 24th October 2017)

  • Jason Berwick, Ian Devonshire, John Martindale, David Johnston, Ying Zheng, Aneurin Kennerley, Paul Overton, John Mayhew. (2005) “Cocaine Administration Produces a Protracted Decoupling of Neural and Haemodynamic Responses to Intense Sensory Stimuli”. Neuroscience. 132(2) p361-74. 
  • Kennerley, A. J., Berwick, J., Martindale, J., Johnston, D., Papadakis, N. and Mayhew, J., (2005). “Concurrent fMRI and Optical Measures for the Investigation of the Haemodynamic Response Function”. Magn Reson Med. 54, 354-365.
  • J Berwick, D Johnston, C Martin, J Martindale, AJ Kennerley, M Jones, JEW Mayhew (2008) “Fine detail of neurovascular coupling revealed by spatiotemporal analysis of the hemodynamic response to single whisker stimulation in rat barrel cortex”. J Neuro. Phys. 99(2) p787-98
  • Martindale, A. J., Kennerley, A. J., Johnston, D., Zheng, Y. and Mayhew, J., (2008). “Theory and generalization of Monte Carlo models of the BOLD signal source”. Magn Reson Med. 59(3)  p607-18.
  • Bonesi, M., Matcher, S., Kennerley, A.J., Meglinski, I. (2009) “Application of Doppler optical coherence tomography in rheological studies” J Inno Opt Hlth Sci. 2(4) p431–440
  • Kennerley, A. J., Berwick, J., Martindale, J., Johnston, D., Zheng, Y.,. and Mayhew, J., (2009). Refinement of Optical Imaging Spectroscopy Algorithms using Concurrent BOLD and CBV fMRI. NeuroImage. 47(4):p1608-19
  • Martin, C.J., Berwick, J., Kennerley, A.J., Zheng, Y., Mayhew, J.E. (2009) Spatiotemporal complexity in the haemodynamic response to somatosensory stimulation in the unanaesthetised rat. J Cereb. Blood. Flow. Metab. 29: S105.
  • Martin, C.J., Kennerley, A.J., Berwick, J., Sibson, N., Mayhew, J.E. (2009) Functional magnetic resonance imaging in unanaesthetised rats using a chronically implanted surface coil. J Cereb. Blood. Flow. Metab. 29: S606-7.
  • Zheng, Y., Pan, Y., Harris, S., Billings, S., Coca, D., Berwick, J., Kennerley, A.J., Johnston, D., Mayhew, J.E. (2010) A mathematical model of neurovascular coupling suggesting both vasodilation and vasoconstriction. J Cereb. Blood. Flow. Metab. 29: S19-20.
  • Boorman, L.W., Kennerley, A.J., Johnston, D., Jones, M., Martin, C.J., Zheng, Y., Mayhew, J.E., Berwick, J. (2010) Negative Blood Oxygen Level Dependence in the rat: A model for investigating the role of suppression in neurovascular coupling. Journal of Neuroscience. 30(12): 4285-94
  • Kennerley, A.J., Mayhew, J.E., Berwick, J. (2010) Vascular Weightings of BOLD and CBV fMRI signals: A direct comparison of statistical mapping and histological sections. The Open NeuroImaging Journal. 4:1-8
  • Zheng, Y., Pan, Y., Harris, S., Billings, S., Coca, D., Berwick, J., Jones, M., Kennerley, A.J., Johnston, D., Martin, C., Devonshire, I.M., Mayhew, J.E. (2010) A dynamic model of neurovascular coupling: implications for blood vessel dilation and constriction. NeuroImage 52:p1135–1147
  • Lawrie, A., Hameed, A.G., Chamberlain, J., Kennerley, A.J., Arnold, N., Crossman, D., Francis, S. (2011) Paigen diet-fed apolipoprotein E knockout mice develop severe pulmonary hypertension in an interleukin-1-dependent manner. Am J Path, 179(4):1693-705.
  • Mead, R.J., Bennett, E.J., Kennerley, A.J., Sharp, P., Sunyach, C., Kasher, P., Berwick, J., Pettmann, B., Battaglia, G., Azzouz, M., Grierson, A., Shaw, P.J. (2011) Optimised and Rapid Pre-clinical Screening in the SOD1G93A Transgenic Mouse Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). PLoS ONE 6(8): e23244
  • Devonshire, I.M., Papadakis, N.G., Port, M., Berwick, J., Kennerley, A.J., Mayhew, J.E.W., Overton, P.G. (2012) Neuro-vascular coupling is brain region-dependent. Neuroimage 59(3):1997-2006
  • Kazan, S., Reynolds, S., Bluff, J., Kennerley, A.J., Wholey, E., Berwick, J., Cunningham, V., Paley, M. Tozer, G., (2012) Kinetic modeling of hyperpolarized 13C Pyruvate pyruvate and Lactate lactate metabolism in tumours using a measured arterial input function. Mag Res Med. DOI: 10.1002/mrm.24546.
  • Kennerley, A.J., Harris, S., Bruyns-Haylett, M., Boorman,L., Zheng, Y., Berwick, J. (2012) Early and late hemodynamic responses provide insight into the neurogenic nature of neurovascular coupling. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism, 32, 468–480
  • Kennerley, A.J., Boorman, L., Johnston,D., Port, M., Zheng, Y., Mayhew, J.E., Berwick, J. (2012) Concurrent high field (7T) fMRI with 2D Optical Imaging Spectroscopy: Investigation of the haemodynamics underlying the BOLD signal. NeuroImage, 61 (1) , pp. 10-20
  • Zheng, Y., Luo, J., Harris, S., Kennerley, A., Berwick, J., Billings, S., Mayhew, J.E. (2012) Balanced excitation and inhibition: model based analysis of local field potentials. NeuroImage. 63(1). Pg. 81-94
  • Harris, S., Boorman, L., Kennerley, A., Bruyns-Haylett, M., Overton, P.G., Ma, H., Zhao, M., Schwartz, T.H., Berwick, J. (2013) Linear coupling between synchronized gamma oscillations and cerebral blood volume during recurrent focal neocortical seizures. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism. 33:1595-604.
  • Kennerley, A.J. (2013) Understanding Neurovascular Coupling: Are you BOLD enough? Proceedings in British Journal of Neurosurgery, 27(3) pg 287
  • Martin, C.J., Kennerley, A.J., Berwick, J., Mayhew, J.E.W. (2013) Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging in conscious rats using a chronically implanted surface coil. J Mag Res Im 38(3) 739-44.
  • RA Grant, P Sharp, AJ Kennerley, J Berwick, A Grierson, T Ramesh, TJ Prescott (2014) Abnormalities in whisking behaviour are associated with lesions in brain stem nuclei in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Behavioural Brain Research 259. 274-83
  • S Harris, L Boorman, Y Zheng, A Kennerley, M Bruyns-Haylett, P.G. Overton, H. Ma, M. Zhao2, T.H. Schwartz, J Berwick (2014) Coupling between gamma-band power and cerebral blood volume during recurrent acute neocortical seizures. NeuroImage (97) 62-70
  • S Harris, L Boorman, M Bruyns-Haylett, A Kennerley, H. Ma, M. Zhao, P.G. Overton, T.H. Schwartz, J Berwick (2014) Contralateral dissociation between neural activity and cerebral blood volume during recurrent acute focal neocortical seizures. Epilepsia 55(9) 1423-30
  • L Huber, J Goense, A Kennerley, D Ivanov, S N. Krieger, J Lepsien, R Trampel, R Turner, and H. E. Möller (2014) Investigation of the neurovascular coupling in positive and negative BOLD responses in human brain at 7T. NeuroImage 97: 349-62
  • AJ Kennerley, L Boorman, S Harris, J Berwick (2014) Simultaneous Functional Magnetic Resonance and Two-Dimensional Optical Imaging Spectroscopy. Neurovascular Coupling Methods, Springer New York 3-20
  • E.E. Vidal-Rosas, S.A. Billings, Y Zheng, J.E.W. Mayhew, D Johnston, A Kennerley, D. Coca (2014) Reduced order modelling of light transport in tissue for real-time monitoring of brain haemodynamics using diffuse optical tomography. Journal of Biomedical Optics. 19(2) 026008
  • J Bain, L Ruiz-Perez, AJ Kennerley, S Muench, R Thompson, G Battaglia, SS Staniland (2015) In situ formation of magnetopolymersomes via electroporation for MRI. Nano Letters. Scientific Reports 5.
  • L Boorman, S Harris, M Bruyns-Haylett, A Kennerley, M Jones, Y Zheng, P Redgrave, J Berwick (2015) Long-latency reductions in gamma power predict negative hemodynamics that underlie the negative BOLD signal. Journal of Neuroscience. 35(11) 4641-56
  • L Huber, J Goense, A Kennerley, R Trampel, M Guidi, E Reimer, D Ivanov, N Neef, C.J. Gauthier, R Turner, and H. E. Möller (2015) Cortical lamina-dependent blood volume changes in human brain at 7T. NeuroImage 107, 23-33
  • A J Kennerley*, M Muthana*, R Hughes, E Fagnano, J Richardson, M Paul, C Murdoch, F Wright, C Payne, M Lythgoe, N Farrow, J Dobson, J Conner, J M Wild, C Lewis (2015) Directing Cell Therapy to Anatomic Target Sites in-vivo with Magnetic Resonance Targeting. Nature Coms 6.
  • M Muthana, A J Kennerley, E Murphy, R Hughes, J Conner, F Wright, M Lythgoe, J Dobson, J M Wild, C Lewis (2015) Use of Magnetic Resonance Targeting to Steer OV-Loaded Cell Based Therapies to Tumour Sites in-vivo. Journal of immunotherapy of cancer 3(2) 1.
  • Sharp, P., Kennerley, A.J., Boorman, L., Harris, S., Azzouz, M., Berwick, J. (2015) The Importance of macroscale optical imaging spectroscopy in a mouse model of neurovascular coupling.  Scientific Reports 5.
  • Dall’Ara, E., Boudiffa, M., Taylor, C., Schug, D., Fiegle, E., Kennerley, A.J., Damianou, C., Tozer, G.M., Kiessling, F., Muller, R. (2016) Longitudinal imaging of the aging mouse. Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, 160, 93-116.
  • Kazan, SM., Mohammadi, S., Callaghan, MF., Flandin, G., Huber, L., Leech, R., Kennerley, A., Windischberger, C., Weiskopf, N. (2016) Vascular Autocalibration of fMRI (VasA fMRI) Improved Sensitvity of Population Studies: A Pilot Study. NeuroImage 124, 794-805
  • Slack, R., Boorman, L., Patel, P., Harris, S., Bruyns-Haylett, M., Kennerley, A.J., Jones, M., Berwick, J. (2016) A novel method for classifying cortical state to identify the accompanying changes in cerebral hemodynamics, Journal of Neuroscience methods, 267, 21-34
  • Bruyns-Haylett, M., Luo, J., Kennerley, A.J., Harris, S., Boorman,L., Milne, E., Vautrelle, N., Hayashi, Y., Whalley, B.J., Jones, M., Berwick, J., Riera, J., Zheng, Y. (2017) The neurogenesis of P1 and N1: A concurrent EEG/LFP study, NeuroImage 146, 575-88.
  • Dounavi, M.E., Selvarajah, D., Tesfaye, S., Martin, C., Kennerley, A.J., Wilkinson, I.D. (2017) Evaluation of cerebral perfusion in Type 2 diabetes using magnetic resonance imaging. Diabetic Medicine, 34. 48-9.
  • Harris, S., Boorman, L., Kennerley, A.J., Sharp, P., Martin, S., Redgrave, P. Schwartz, T., Berwick, J. (2017) Seizure epicenter depth and translaminar field potential synchrony underlie complex variations in tissue oxygenation during ictal initiation. bioRxiv, 172148.
  • Harris, S., Boorman, L., Das, D., Kennerley, A.J., Sharp, P., Martin, S., Redgrave, P. Schwartz, T., Berwick, J. (2017) Physiological and pathological brain activation in the anesthetized rat produces hemodynamic-dependent cortical temperature increases that can confound the BOLD fMRI signal. bioRxiv, 205609.
  • Hewitt, B., Yap, MH., Hodson-Tole, EF., Kennerley, AJ., Sharp, PS., Grant, RA. (2017) A novel automated rodent tracker (ART), demonstrated in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Journal of Neuroscience methods; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneumeth.2017.04.006.



Mr Paolo R Dicarolo – Meyer Children’s Hospital, Florence.


For current PhD opportunities, see main York Chemistry pages.

Applications from self-funded PhD/PDRA level researchers and Erasmus students are welcomed; contact Aneurin directly for advice and details of current projects (aneurin.kennerley@york.ac.uk).


Aneurin is a keen advocate of public engagement in research. He has previously secured over £18,500 to develop a public engagement programs around neuro-imaging research.

His motivation stems from research by the Institute of Physics which showed that the uptake of Physics in higher education is on the increase (~5% per year with only a corresponding 0.6% increase in UK population). However, it is still viewed by many as a stereotypically dry subject for 'geeks' - perhaps an imprudent impression that leads to the worryingly high gender gap for the subject (23:87 female to male ratio http://www.iop.org/news/12/aug/page_56802.html). Topics within physics include electromagnetism, quantum theory, nuclear and particle physics; all 'theoretically heavy' subjects. With the current shortage of specialist physics teachers, it can be difficult to inspire students onto the next level - with many finding physics dull/boring and without real application.

Aneurin aims to dispel the myth that physics is dreary through fun and interactive workshop demonstrations of real-life applications of these complex physical ideas. He does this through the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology. MRI not only spans complex physical topics (e.g. Electromagnetism, Quantum theory ad nuclear spin physics) but when applied to brain imaging it bridges the scientific disciplines. Physics helps us understand 'how' the brain is imaged; Mathematics helps us interpret the data; chemistry/biology/psychology help us to understand the brain; and ultimately engineering helps design and build the systems to allow all this to happen.

Aneurin’s unique twist to pique interest and help introduce the science behind brain imaging involves pitting a mind-reader against functional (f)MRI technology. Mind-reading, perhaps through modern mentalists such as Derren Brown, has remained ever popular and intriguing.  However, is mind reading really possible?  Although science is yet to prove the ability of the brain to gain information about an object, person, or location through means other than the known senses, research using fMRI has provided demonstrations of thought identification; in some sense, mind reading.  My events include live feats of mind reading performed on members of the public (old and young) to garner interest. Using this as a springboard, the science behind thought identification with fMRI is explained with interactive props (including a portable Earth Field MRI scanner), thus giving the audience a picture of how physics and engineering can help understand how the brain works and inspiring them to continue an education involving physics and engineering.


  • Dec - “Divination 101: The science of foreseeing your decisions” Harry Potter: A History of Magic Exhibition – Sheffield Libraries
  • Sep - “This is Cancer Researcher 5. Stay on Target” Mobile University, Sheffield City Centre
  • May - Academic Lead for Sheffield Pint of Science Festival
  • Mar - Four School Talks in Sheffield as part of British Science Week
  • Mar - “Mind Matters: Can Science Help Turn You into Mind Readers?” University of Sheffield


  • Nov - “Breaking Thru Visual Impairment” ADAD conference @ MAC Birmingham
  • Sep - “An Evening of Mind Reading, Mentalism and the Occasional Scientific Explanation” @ Researchers Night 2016, Festival of the Mind
  • Sep - “Theatres of the Mind” a week-long event @ Millennium Galleries, Festival of the Mind 2016
  • Aug - “Morning Mindreading Madness” @ Sunday Assembly, DINA, Sheffield
  • May - “Derren Brown-Ale – Can Science Predict Your Next Drink?” @ Harrisons bar for Pint of Science UK
  • Feb - Regional & National finals of FameLab @ Museum of Science & Industry, Manchester


  • Dec - “An Evening of Mind Reading, Magic and the Occasional Scientific Explanation” @ Ignite Academy, Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
  • Nov - “Racing Thoughts” @ KREBS FEST, Sheffield
  • Oct - “An Evening of Mind Reading, Magic and the Occasional Scientific Explanation” @ Sheffield & District SMEE
  • March - Mind Reading: Man Vs Machine 2 @ Festival of Science and Engineering, University of Sheffield
  • March - Discovery Night @ Festival of Science and Engineering, University of Sheffield: “Understanding the Brain: from proton to problem solving”
  • Feb - Discover STEM outreach demonstration @ University of Sheffield “Mind Reading: Man Vs Machine”


  • Sept - Festival of Mind @ The Spiegel Tent, Sheffield City Centre: “Mind Reading: Man Vs Machine” – 2 performances
  • Sept - Researchers Night @ The Festival of Mind, University of Sheffield: “Inside the Science of Mind Reading”
  • March - Discovery Night @ Festival of Science and Engineering, University of Sheffield: “Understanding the Brain: from proton to problem solving”


  • Oct - Outreach talk & activity session @Royd Nursery & Infant School, Sheffield: “All about my Brain!”
  • Aug - Institute for Life Long Learning @ Sheffield Fayre, Norfolk Heritage Park, Sheffield: “Control a ball with the power of your mind”
  • July - I am International @ Tramlines, Sheffield City Centre: “Mind Tricks”
  • July - Discover STEM outreach demonstration @ University of Sheffield “Inside Science”
  • July - Discover STEM outreach day lecture @ University of Sheffield “The physics behind MRI”
  • June - Science Evening @ Royd Nursery & Infant School, Sheffield: “Fun with Magnets”
  • March - Discovery Night @ Festival of Science and Engineering, University of Sheffield: “Understanding the Brain: from proton to problem solving”


  • Sept - Researchers Night @ Festival of Mind, University of Sheffield: “Inside Science”


Aneurin is originally from Wolverhampton in the West Midlands (UK). He studied experimental Physics (MPhys) at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne specialising in particle physics. In 2002, he moved to the University of Sheffield to undertake a PhD in Neuroimaging under the supervision of Professor John Mayhew. His research involved the combination of MRI with optical imaging to investigate and model the heamodynamic response underlying the BOLD (his mom still thinks he works for a washing powder company) fMRI signal. He stayed in Sheffield to complete post-doctoral training before being appointed as a research fellow in charge of a multi-million-pound high field pre-clinical MRI facility at the University of Sheffield. His current research interest involves the application of imaging technologies to help answer burning bio-chemical questions. 

He lives in South Yorkshire with his wife Natalie and their two sons Noah and Aled. Outside of his research Aneurin is an avid strategy board-gamer and painter. He set up and ran a city wide gaming club in Sheffield. He is also a sci-fi nerd and occasional moonlights as a mind reader. Ask him to read your mind!

Invited seminars


  • New Horizons in Pre-clinical MRI, Cambridge Neuroscience Interdisiplinary Workshop, University of Cambridge. “Ultra High Field MRI: What can it do for Neuroscience?” (April)
  • Champalimaud Foundation, Lisbon. “Why so Negative? Long Latency Reductions in Gamma Band Neuronal Activity told me to be – a multimodal neuro-imaging journey.” (January)
  • York NeuroImaging Centre & Centre for Hyperpolarisation in Magnetic Resonance, University of York, UK “Why so Negative? Long Latency Reductions in Gamma Band Neuronal Activity told me to be – a multimodal neuro-imaging journey. (January)


  • BC-ISMRM Pre-Clinical imaging workshop, UCL, UK. “Pre-Clinical Imaging @ The University of Sheffield”(September)
  • University of Liverpool, UK. “MRI applications in biomedical science from neuroimaging to novel cancer therapies” (February)


  • University of Birmingham, UK. “High Field pre-clinical MR applications @ Sheffield” (November)


  • Ultra MRI Workshop, Champalimaud Foundation, Lisbon. “Future of Ultra High Field Small Animal Magnetic Resonance Technology.” (November)
  • Molecular MRI workshop, University of York. “Applications of Molecular MRI. Is data acquisition the easy part with Nuclear Polarisation?” (September)
  • Nottingham Hearing BRU, Nottingham.  “Using concurrent fMRI data to parameterise tissue models for optical imaging spectroscopy: Is it possible to extract cortical depth information from traditionally 2D optical method.” (July)
  • London Research Institute, London. “High Field (7T) Pre-Clinical Magnetic Resonance Imaging at the University of Sheffield. Functional Brain Imaging and Beyond” (May)
  • Society of British Neurological Surgeons, Hallam University, Sheffield – “Understanding Neurovascular Coupling: Are you BOLD enough?” (May)


  • 2nd Biennial Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy Conference, UCL, London. “Is it possible to extract cortical depth information from traditionally 2D optical imaging spectroscopy using concurrent fMRI data?” (October)
  • Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive & Brain Sciences, Dept. of Neurophysics. “Concurrent 7T fMRI and 2D Optical Imaging Spectroscopy” (May)
  • Yale School of Medicine Scientific Workshop: fMRI – From Cortical Layers to Networks, Whistler, Canada: “Multimodal Neuroimaging Reveals the Deep Layer Cortical Origin of the Negative BOLD Response.” (February)


  • Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Centre, University of Nottingham: “Optical Imaging spectroscopy to compliment fMRI measurements” (September)
  • York Neuro-Imaging Centre, University of York: “Concurrent 7T fMRI and 2D Optical Imaging Spectroscopy: Towards building a forward model between neuronal activity and the BOLD signal” (August)
  • Astra-Zeneca, UK: “in vivo MRI & fMRI Research at the University of Sheffield” (January)