Professor Steven Sourbron



I am a medical physicist with core expertise in quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Since november 2019, I am visiting professor in the University of Leeds and Professor in Medical Imaging in the University of Sheffield (profile). Prior to that I was Lecturer in Magnetic Resonance Imaging in the University of Leeds (2010-2019) and post-doctoral researcher in the Radiology department of the Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich (2005-2010). I obtained a PhD in the radiology department of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 2005, and Bachelor and Master degree also at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 1999.

Current responsibilities

Research interests

My main interest is in the development of imaging biomarkers and applications thereof in clinical studies, drug development and basic research. 

Ongoing research covers all stages of the imaging biomarker development pipeline: (1) identification and development of novel biomarkers; (2) technical development of improved assays; (3) analytical validation of accuracy and precision through experimental travelling volunteer studies and computational modelling; (4) proof of mechanism and link to biology; (5) demonstration of clinical utlity through explorative and multi-centre clinical trials; (6) scaleability for instance by automating analysis pipelines. I am also active in national and international research coordination and stakeholder engagement as a means of maximising reproducibility and reusability of research, and societal impact.

Examples of current work include: (1) 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; (2) extensive imaging-based phenotyping of chronic renal disease, with applications in prediction of diabetic kidney disease progression and patient stratification for revascularisation treatment in renal artery stenosis; (3) characterisation of ischemia and the effect of intervention (mechanical thrombectomy) by combining circulating and imaging biomarkers of blood-brain-barrier leakage. 

Ongoing projects in Leeds (PI)

Ongoing projects in Leeds (CoI)

Past projects in Leeds (PI)

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • PhD in Physics, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 2005
  • BSc/MSc in Physics, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 1999
  • BSc/MSc in Product Development, Universiteit Antwerpen, 1995

Professional memberships

  • 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

Student education

I am currently supervising 6 PhD/MD students.

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine
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