Prof. Neil Roberts

Neurological Science

Professor Neil Roberts BSc, MSc, PhD



1969 1971 Ashlyns School, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire

1971 1976 Whitchurch High School, Cardiff

GCE 'A' levels 1976: Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry



1976-1979B.Sc. Hons. Physics with Geophysics, Class 1 University of Liverpool President of University of Liverpool Geophysical Society, 1978-79

1979-1982Ph.D. 'The Behaviour of Earth's Magnetic Field During Polarity Reversal' University College, Cardiff

1987-1988 M.Sc. in Medical Physics University of Aberdeen

Employment Record

2008 to present Edinburgh University

Chair of Medical Physics and Imaging Science CRIC/Medical Physics Section Division of Medical and Radiological Sciences School of Clinical Sciences and Community Health College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine ?The Queen's Medical Research Institute

2001 to 2008 Personal Chair,

Director, Magnetic Resonance and Image Analysis Research Centre (MARIARC), University of Liverpool, Liverpool, L69 3GE. Tel: 0151-794-5632 FAX: 0151-794-5635 e-mail: 

2000-2001 Reader and Director of MARIARC University of Liverpool

1998-2000Senior Lecturer and Director of Research, MARIARC University of Liverpool

1994 1998 Lecturer, Department of Medicine University of Liverpool

1988 1994 Shell Research Fellow Magnetic Resonance Research Centre (MRRC), University of Liverpool

1985 1987 Personal Fellowship, Natural Environment Research Council Department of Earth Sciences, University of Liverpool

1984 1985Research Associate Department of Geological Sciences, University of California at Santa Barbara, USA

1982 1983Lecturer Department of Geological Science, University of Durham


Research Interests

My early research (1980-1987) as a geophysicist, supported by award of a Personal Fellowship from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), during which I led field trips to Australia, USA, Iceland and Lesotho, concerned the remote sensing of the Earth, and in particular Earth’s magnetic field. This is of relevance to my subsequent studies (1988 to present) in ‘remote sensing’ of the human body, and in particular the brain, which focus on the acquisition and quantitative analysis of multi-parametric (i.e. anatomical, functional and chemical), 3-dimensional Magnetic Resonance (MR) data. The studies that I direct at MARIARC are concerned with technique development, quantification and application to support basic science research and its clinical application.

In particular, through work with fellow applicants on two MRC Programme Grants (Mayes and Chadwick, and Crow) I have provided robust quantitative brain imaging methods for scientists developing theories of cognition and for clinicians seeking to improve diagnosis and measure treatment response. With collaborators, principally in the Departments of Psychology, Psychiatry and Neurological Science, my involvement in basic and clinical science includes:

i)investigation of the neural bases of knowledge based behaviour (e.g. attention, perception, sensory-motor function, memory, language, emotion and social cognition),

ii)brain development, structure and function in psychosis,

iii)measurement of asymmetry in cerebral structure and lateralisation of brain function,

iv)quantitative in-vivo study of changes in the composition, integrity and function of the tissues of the human body, and especially the brain, across the life span,

v)evaluation of treatment response (e.g. cerebral gliomas, multiple sclerosis),

vi)analysis of body composition and metabolism in relation to diet and exercise in health and disease.