The Understanding MRI team 

The initial concept behind this project was developed by the Centre’s Physics Group  who wanted to explore better ways to connect with research volunteers and people visiting the centre around the basic principles of MR (magnetic resonance) physics  

MR physics underpins WCHN’s neuroscience research. However, sometimes a poor understanding of the technology can prompt uncertainty or anxiety and serve as a barrier to people participating in MRI studies.

The Physics Group reflected that they often receive lots of questions from research volunteers about MRI and how it works, and they wanted to find a meaningful way to answer these questions. They decided that creating a series of animations would be an effective technique to clearly explain complex ideas in a way that could be adapted to suit different topics, and shared widely.  

In order to develop the project, they collaborated with three research teams from across the Centre who regularly interact with research volunteers:  

  • The PLORAS team who have collectively scanned over 1000 stroke survivors 
  • The qMAP-PD team who have had over 200 people with Parkinsons take part in their research 
  • The Imaging Support team who provides the technical radiographic expertise to carry out all of the MRI scans that are integral to these studies.  

Due to the success of the first video, the team were successfully awarded a second Public Engagement grant to create two more videos, alongside research volunteers. The core team expanded to include more members from the above teams for the second stage of this project. The core team was also supported by a Working Group of researchers from across the Centre.

Core team

Dr Nadine Graedel

Research Fellow (Physics)

Kate Ledingham

Research Assistant & PhD Student (Language Group)

Megan Creasey

Megan Creasey

Head of Imaging Support

Headshot of Joanne Thomas

Joanne Thomas

Public Engagement Coordinator


Dr Barbara Dymerska

Research Fellow (Physics)

Sharon Geva

Dr Sharon Geva

Research Fellow (Language Group)

Charlotte Dore

Charlotte Dore

Research Assistant (qMAP-PD)

Bruna Centola

Senior MRI Research Radiographer

This first video was also supported by Nadege Corbin (Physics team), Nicky Smith (qMap-PD team) and Anisha Desai (PLORAS team).