Flora Kennedy Mcconnell

Beacon Early Career Research Fellow in Precision Imaging



Flora research is focused on the development of analysis methods for arterial spin labelling (ASL) perfusion MRI with the aim of improving its value in detecting perfusion abnormalities in individual patients. 


ASL is a harmless imaging technique with the potential to be used widely in research studies and clinical practice. Flora’s current research is in developing modelling methods to remove anatomical confounds from ASL data with the hypothesis that this will enhance ASL’s sensitivity to detect meaningful disease-related changes in blood delivery to brain tissue. Flora is lead developer of the ASL analysis pipeline for the Human Connectome Project's Lifespan Aging and Development Extensions. She is also involved with the Open-Source Initiative in Perfusion Imaging (OSIPI) endorsed by the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine’s (ISMRM) Perfusion Study Group. She is part of an OSIPI taskforce developing community challenges to benchmark ASL analysis software and establish best analysis practice.

During her PhD at the University of Oxford, Flora investigated the impact of structural variations in the circle of Willis on individuals’ risk of ischaemic stroke and developed a model-based method to measure arterial blood flow rates from ASL angiography imaging data. In her postdoctoral role, prior to joining the Imaging Beacon, Flora investigated the influence of partial volume correction on the repeatability and sensitivity of ASL measures of brain tissue perfusion. She was also involved in developing, and providing user support for, FSL's 'BASIL' perfusion analysis tools.

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