Find out who makes up the complementary therapy team
Position: Group Leader - Consultant Clinical Scientist
Graduated with a 1st class Hons BSc in Physics from The University of Manchester in 1976 and joined the Diagnostic Radiology and Radiation Protection group in The North West Regional Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering (now Christie Medical Physics and Engineering, CMPE). There he developed an interest in digital imaging and gained an MSc in Computational Physics from the University of Salford in 1982. He completed a PhD in Computed Tomography (CT) image encoding at The University of Manchester in 1988 after joining the Radiotherapy Physics Group.
Between 1982 and 1987, as a Senior Physicist, he worked on digital image processing when The Christie introduced CT scanning for radiotherapy applications and designed one of the first computerised CT image assisted intra-cavitary dosimetric treatment planning systems, featuring 3D dose volume and dose surface displays. As a Principal Physicist he worked in radiotherapy physics until 1995, researching and developing image-assisted 3D treatment planning for conformal external beam radiotherapy delivery systems. This included driving prototype, configurable multi-leaf X-ray collimators via direct network prescription transfer to the host linear accelerator treatment control system. These deliverables were used routinely until the turn of the millennium, successfully treating thousands of patients.
In 1995, he became a Consultant Clinical Scientist then in 2009 leader of the new Developing Technologies Group, focusing on image guided radiotherapy and in-treatment patient dynamics. During this period his activities extended naturally into structural and shape analysis in reconstructive imaging, and the quantification of post-radiotherapy disruption to patients’ endocrine systems and speech.
Since 1996 he has led or been a co-investigator in 12 grants funded variously by European Frameworks, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Medical Research Council and National Institute for Health Research (see group description). He is a member of the EPSRC Peer Review College and an EU Expert Assessor. Until 2015 he was a member of the NCRI CTRad Workstream-1 (Science Base) through which he continues to advise on advanced preclinical irradiation. He has authored or co-authored over 100 publications & currently holds an honorary chair in physics applied to medicine at The University of Manchester.
Within The Christie Hospital his role is to help the CMPE Director to develop the division’s research portfolio, and represent CMPE via membership of the Clinical & Research Effectiveness, Informatics, Proton Therapy Outcomes and Radiotherapy Related Research committees. His current interests include harnessing large data for clinical outcomes analysis with the role of PET combined with image guided radiotherapy data a particular focus. Emerging interests are the development of small scale configurable diamond dosimeter arrays for use in printed preclinical zoomorphic irradiation phantoms, actively controlled and delivered clinical photon and proton therapies.
Position: Principal Clinical Scientist
Has an MSc in Physics from Nottingham University and a PhD in experimental X-ray astronomy from Leicester University. At Leicester he worked on the ESA phase-A study for the LOBSTER International Space Station All Sky Monitor and X-ray spectrometer proposals for the ESA BepiColombo mission to Mercury. Subsequently he worked at the Space Research Centre, Leicester University as a post-doctoral scientist responsible for technology transfer and a novel Imaging X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer. Gareth joined the Developing technologies section in February 2004 to become the research scientist where he gained extensive experience in multiple research council, charity, and industry funded projects. In 2012 he became a state registered clinical research scientist
Recently, he led the development of a real-time patient position and motion monitoring optical sensor system for use in adaptive radiotherapy, and is currently chief investigator in a clinical trial evaluating its efficacy in lung cancer patients. He successfully held an NIHR fellowship pursuing real world applications of deformable image and surface registration, focussing on verification, to complement previous work in which he developed evidence driven medical image delineation tools.
His current research interests aim to combine such image guidance techniques with patients’ clinical and treatment planning information to predict their radiotherapy outcome, in terms of both survival and toxicity. In 2014 he led the technical development of the joint CMPE & Manchester Cancer Research Centre’s ‘theragnostics’ pilot project ukCAT, in close collaboration with the Maastro Clinic (Maastricht, NL). This is now a major research theme in conjunction with the CRUK Major Centre in Manchester. As well as implementing and improving the ‘big data’ informatics systems and techniques for the interrogation of complex high dimensional radiotherapy data, he has invested significant time in establishing the information governance and ethical basis for the project. He has also initiated and been integral to the development of EU H2020, RCUK, and PhD project proposals aiming to build upon this programme of work and deliver a validated decision support system for routine clinical use.
His role also includes academic teaching (undergraduate lecturing and PhD supervision), examination and peer review. He sits on several departmental committees, and helps formulate research direction. He also oversees and administers many aspects of the department’s high performance scientific computing infrastructure, including our version control and documentation strategy, and robust storage of clinical data
Position: Senior Clinical Scientist
After completing a PhD in particle physics at Manchester and CERN in France/Switzerland in 2001, Dr Marchant trained in medical physics at The Christie and began work in the Developing Technologies (DT) research group in 2003. In this post he played a key role in image guided RT (IGRT), particularly working and liaising with industrial partners Elekta Oncology Systems (Crawley UK) on the aptly named ‘Synergy’ CBCT project. The prototype reconstructive CBCT system installed at the Christie, one of only four in an international consortium with partners in Canada, The Netherlands and USA, led the way for the sole European manufacturer of this technology to take a solid lead over the American industrial competitor, and establish a widespread presence in RT clinics around the world. Dr Marchant’s subsequent work has included development of tools for use of CBCT images in treatment planning, development of quality control procedures for CBCT imaging, development of methods for dose assessment in CBCT and correction of CBCT grey values for RT dose calculation in support of directly re-planned adaptive treatment (patented).
Dr Marchant’s research focus over the last 10 years has been the development and implementation of image-guided RT. He played a key role in the translation of on-treatment CBCT imaging from prototype to routine clinical use, and has authored 16 journal papers and over 50 conference presentations in this area. He subsequently worked as co-investigator on collaborative UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) grants. He is now the Principal Investigator on a current UK Medical Research Council (MRC) project that seeks to extend CBCT gray scale correction to lung images where respiratory dynamics impact both conventional and motion phase sorted reconstructive imaging.
In 2014 he played a key role in helping to implement radiotherapy treatment data throughput from the Radiotherapy Physics Group to Developing Technologies pilot predictive outcome modelling system ukCAT. In 2015 he expanded his involvement in advanced treatment planning & assumed responsibility for the implementation of a new cross-group R&D Phillips Pinnacle Pro system. This provides a platform for advanced planning studies and retrospective analyses by clinical and academic scientific researchers. He is also leading the technical specification and evaluation of potential platforms for proton therapy outcomes data acquisition reviewing visualisation and analysis (DARVA) at The Christie and UCLH national proton centres, which are now under construction.
Position: Research Scientist
Kiran completed a PhD in the Particle Physics group of the University of Manchester. During his time there, he became a member of the ATLAS collaboration and spent 2 years based at CERN, analysing Top quarks and assisting in the discovery of the Higgs boson. He was awarded the John G Rutherglen Memorial Prize for outstanding work in experimental High Energy Physics, and his thesis was published by Springer as part of the Springer Thesis Awards series.
After working as a particle physics Post Doc for a short time, Kiran joined the Developing Technologies research group in October 2014 to work on the MRC-funded CSC-ART project. The project aims are to produce robust and high-performance software that is able to improve the quality of Cone Beam CT (CBCT) images. The software incorporates sophisticated image registration and segmentation techniques, as well as a wide range of image processing methods, some of which have been implemented from scratch and optimised for increased speed. The corrected CBCT images can be used for direct dose recalculations, and will facilitate an adaptive radiotherapy workflow in a clinical environment.
The project also includes the Monte Carlo modelling and simulation of the Elekta XVI CBCT imaging system, using the Geant4-based GATE framework. The simulations are being used to investigate CBCT imaging dose, and will enable further investigations and improvements to CBCT image quality.
Position: Specialist Computer Engineer
Joined the DT Group following the migration of administrative computing to the Christie IT Division and the clinical hospital network, which was followed by the setting up of a dedicated Scientific System network and computing facilities for CMPE
He is responsible for liaising across CMPE groups and directly with University of Manchester IT, specifying and constructing bespoke, state of the art clients and servers that are suitable operational platforms for physics and mathematical software packages & advanced scientific devices, including those created in-house. He provides ongoing assistance for long term departmental studies and short term externally funded research projects.
He currently supports CMPE Monte Carlo computing facilities for radiological and radiotherapy simulations using MCNP, GEANT and GATE on conventional PC-clusters and Opteron systems; specifically for photon/proton dosimetry and X-ray image reconstruction projects. Numerous operating systems, programming and data mining languages/libraries are provided on the Scientific Systems facility.
Ian has played a key role in the piloting and development of large-data projects such as ukCAT, including scripting for helping to automate the transfer of treatment planning data from Pinnacle. His interests now extend to developing the systematic collection of proton treatment data from NHS England’s overseas programme for future comparison with outcome data.