Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre

UK Renal Imaging Network (UKRIN): MRI Acquisition and Processing Standardisation (MAPS)


This Medical Research Council Partnership grant aims to enable clinical translation of functional MRI for kidney disease and specifically will address:

- Sharing of expertise and building capacity in renal MRI

- Development of harmonized approaches in renal MRI across MR field strengths (1.5 and 3 T) and MR vendors (GE, Philips, Siemens)

- Repeatability data in a healthy subject cohort

- Development of data sharing and data analysis methods

- Acceleration of new technological advances and realising the clinical potential of renal MRI



The Partnership brings together 13 existing UKRIN sites (Cambridge, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Kings College London, University College London, Manchester-Salford, Newcastle, Nottingham-Derby, Sheffield, UCL) whose expertise spans MR physics and engineering, radiology, and clinical specialities. 

Four sites are applicants of the Partnership to lead on the harmonisation of MR sequences across MR vendor platforms (GE: Cambridge, Philips: Nottingham, Siemens: University College London) and development of data analysis and statistical support (Leeds).




UK Renal Imaging Network (UKRIN): Enabling clinical translation of functional MRI for kidney disease

Objectives are:

1) To engage with the wider community of researchers in the UK who develop and apply MR methods, thus maximising opportunities for clinical exploitation of renal MRI.

2) To build capacity and enhance the UK's expertise base in renal MRI by training postdoctoral researchers, sharing the expertise and know-how developed at UK sites across the three main MR vendor platforms, and delivery of a programme of network activities including training workshops.

3) To define a series of optimised protocols for renal imaging that can be deployed across all UKRIN sites. We will harmonise multiparametric renal MR protocols across the three main MR vendor platforms at clinical field strengths of 1.5 and 3 Tesla. Protocols to be developed comprise of BOLD R2*, diffusion weighted imaging, T1 and T2-weighted images, angiography and phase contrast MRI, T1 mapping and arterial spin labelling.

4) To set up a Data Analysis Centre (DAC) to support future clinical studies that collect renal MRI in study design and setup, and in image quality assurance and processing. We will develop and validate a software framework for processing multi-parametric renal MRI data, based on functionality provided by UKRIN partners. This open source framework can be viewed on GitHub.

5) To form a normative data set of subjects across MR vendors (GE, Philips, Siemens) and field strengths (1.5 and 3 Tesla) to establish reproducibility and biological variance of MR biomarkers for future clinical multi-centre trials..

Key Information 

Principal Investigator 



Value:  £795,786

Start date:

September 2018 – September 2021 

 Useful Links

Gateway to Research: Project information

Twitter link

3rd International Symposium on Functional Renal Imaging