Dr Steven Sourbron
- Position: Lecturer in medical physics
- Areas of expertise: Biomedical imaging; imaging biomarkers; quantitative imaging; perfusion; function; microstructure; kidney disease; liver disease; drug development; imaging endpoints.
- Email: S.Sourbron@leeds.ac.uk
- Phone: +44(0)113 343 8003
- Location: 6.35 LIGHT labs
- Website: Imaging Biomarkers Profile | LinkedIn | Googlescholar | Researchgate
I am a medical physicist with core experise in quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). I currently lead the Leeds Imaging Biomarkers Group which focuses on the development of imaging biomarkers and applications thereof in clinical studies, drug development and basic research. Our main aim is to improve our basic understanding of human disease (in particular those aspects that do not translate well from animal models such as multi-morbidity, chronic disease, treatment effects & toxicity) as well as development of novel treatments and personalised patient management through better non-invasive characterisation of earlier and more subtle effects of disease in body tissue - before this is detectable as gross anatomical abnormalities on conventional radiology, or as downstream markers in body fluids. We do this by developing and applying advanced medical imaging techniques that provide a more accurate and more biologically specific assessment of tissue perfusion, function, microstructure and composition. Often this involves a combination of novel image acquisition procedures with advanced computational modelling of the biophysics of MRI signal formation to bridge the gap between directly observable and hidden tissue properties, and improve the speed and accuracy of the measurement by maximally exploiting prior information.
Examples of current work include the development of novel methods for liver function mapping and applications in prediction of drug toxicity, staging of cirrhosis and risk prediction of liver surgery; extensive imaging-based phenotyping of chronic renal disease with applications in prediction of disease progression in diabetic kidney disease and patient stratification of revascularise in renal artery stenosis; optimisation of novel cancer treatments (eg. immunotherapy) by early detection of treatment effects, characterisation of ischemia and the effect of intervention (mechanical thrombectomy) by combining circulating and imaging biomarkers of blood-brain-barrier leakage. Our work covers all stages of the imaging biomarker development pipeline, from identification and development of novel biomarkers, over technical development of improved assays (faster, more accurate), analytical validation of accuracy and precision through experimental travelling volunteer studies and computational modelling, proof of mechanism and link to biology, demonstration of clinical utlity through explorative and multi-centre clinical trials, and investment in scaleability for instance by automating analysis pipelines. We are also developing a service model to offer those tools as endpoints in clinical trials by third parties, and I am active in national and international research coordination and stakeholder engagement as a means of maximising reproducibility and reusability of research, and societal impact.
Prior to Leeds I worked as a post-doc in the Radiology department of LMU Munich (2005-2010), as PhD student in the radiology department of the VUB Brussels (200-2005), and as a research assistant in the department of mathematics of the VUB (1999-2000).
- Group lead
Principal Investigator projects
- 09/2019 – 09/2022. Multi-phase Computational Fluid Dynamics modelling of biological tissue flow with applications in liver surgery planning. EPSRC-CASE PhD studentship co-funded by Bayer-Schering.
- 09/2018 – 09/2021. UK Renal Imaging Network (UKRIN): enabling clinical translation of functional MRI for kidney disease, Medical Research Council, Partnership Grant.
- 03/2017 - 03/2020. ML-BEAt: Machine Learning Methods for multi-parametric renal MRI segmentation. Funder: Boehringer-Ingelheim & IMI.
- 01/2018 - 01/2021. Reducing the risk of post-hepatectomy liver failure using a novel MRI method to predict post-operative function, Medical Research Council.
- 04/2017 – 04/2021. PARENCHIMA – Magnetic Resonance Imaging Biomarkers for Chronic Kidney Disease. COST – European Cooperation in Science and Technology.
- 01/2017 - 01/2022. TRISTAN – Translational Imaging Methods in Drug Safety Assessment. Innovative Medicines Initiative.
- 09/2016 – 09/2021. BEAt-DKD - Biomarker Enterprise to Attack Diabetic Kidney Disease. Innovative Medicines Initiative.
- 10/2016 – 10/2019. Functional magnetic resonance imaging to determine severity of cirrhosis in individuals with chronic liver disease. Leeds Anniversary Research Scholarship.
- 07/2013 – 12/2017. Optimisation and validation of single-kidney GFR measurement with dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI. Kidney Research UK.
- 12/2012 - 12/2016. Measuring renal function with dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI: tracer-kinetic model-driven image registration. EPSRC-GSK CASE PhD studentship.
- 06/2012 – 06/2014. Measuring liver function and perfusion with DCE-MRI: validation and application to chemoembolization of hepatocellular carcinoma (£5k). Great-Britain Sasakawa Foundation.
- 01/01/2019 – 01/01/2022. Targeting β-cell failure in lean patients with type 2 diabetes; Diabetes UK, CoI (Eylem Levelt, Sven Plein, Steven Sourbron, Ramzi Ajjan, Mark Kearney, Richard Cubbon).
- 06/2017 – 06/2020. A framework for efficient synergistic spatiotemporal reconstruction of PET-MR dynamic data; EPSRC.
- 01/2017 – 01/2021. Flow-based interpretation of dynamic contrast imaging data, FRINATEK – Norwegian Research Council.
- 07/2016 - 07/2017. HARNESS - Harmonising neuroimaging methods for vascular contributions to neurodegeneration. EU Joint Programme Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND), Working Group for Method Harmonisation.
- PhD in Physics, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 2005
- BSc/MSc in Physics, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 1999
- BSc/MSc in Product Development, Universiteit Antwerpen, 1995
- International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
- Scientific Advisory Board of the European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research
- European Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology
Module leadership on Research Projects Module on the Intercalated BSc in Medical Imaging
MSc/BSc research project supervision
PhD supervision (currently 6 PhD students)
Teaching on Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Image Analysis
Research groups and institutes
- Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine