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What we do
On this page you will find more information about the services we provide as a department.
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Departmental news
Find out about our departmental news, including training courses and work experience.
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Careers in healthcare sciences
On these pages you will find out about careers in healhcare sciences and opportunities for work experience.
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Meet the team

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Head of BIRCH - Dr Margaret Saunders, consultant clinical scientist

As the group head for BIRCH, my role combines strategic development, administration, and management with on-going research and development.  Each day is different and brings with it a host of opportunities and challenges - it's never dull around here! 

Areas of interest include: nanotoxicology, nanomedicine, project management, placental transport and function, in vitro assays, 3D model development, environmental health effects in the areas of fetal exposure, cellular immunology, cellular transport, function and toxicity, cytotoxicity assays, telemedicine, 3D printing.

Contact details - Margaret.Saunders@UHBristol.nhs.uk; 0117 342 5685

Permanent staff

Mr Ron Hartley-Davies - clinical scientist, MR safety expert

Areas of interest include: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) including Sequence Development, Scientific Computing and Medical Image Analysis. Responsible for routine acceptance testing/quality assurance of MR equipment at CRICBristol, UH Bristol and North Bristol NHS Trusts. Support for clinical research projects at CRICBristol and the Bristol Heart Institute. 

Contact Details - R.Hartley-Davies@bristol.ac.uk 

Dr Sian Curtis - clinical scientist

My role involves providing support for clinical users of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound (US) such as procurement of equipment, acceptance and quality assurance (QA) testing, scientific safety advice, image/data analysis, education/training and research and development.
 
I enjoy the challenge of translating research into clinical practice or working with other institutions in developing new technologies. Recent research projects include 'The Bristol Dose Painting Study', '3D vs 2D Transcranial Ultrasound in NICU' and 'phase insensitive Ultrasound Computed Tomography' (in collaboration with the National Physical Laboratory).
 
I also contribute to education/training in MRI and US for trainees enrolled on the National School of Healthcare Sciences Scientific Training Programme and the Fellows of the Royal College of Radiologists (FRCR).
 
Attending meetings, conferences and networking with other ultrasound professionals enables me to keep up to date with the current scientific, technological and safety developments in the field. I am currently a corresponding member of the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine's Magnetic Resonance Special Interest Group (IPEM MR SIG), a British Medical Ultrasound Society (BMUS) council member and the BMUS representative on the IPEM Ultrasound and Non-Ionising Radiation SIG (IPEM UNIR SIG).
 
I love that each day in my job can be different, bringing with it both opportunities and challenges!

Areas of interest include: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Ultrasound (US/US equipment, scientific and data analysis support for clinicians, research and development (evaluating novel technologies, translating research into clinical practice) and teaching/training (Modernising Scientific Careers students/Medical Physics run training courses)

Mr Jonathon Delve - clinical scientist

The majority of my role is split between UH Bristol and North Bristol NHS Trusts, supporting the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) service, and also external centres for whom BIRCH provides MRI safety expertise. Much of the remainder is spent on the computing hardware and code base which enables our routine work. This results in a varied schedule and interaction with a wide range of other clinical services and professionals, translating and liaising between specialist groups and swiftly familiarising oneself with previously unmet facets of healthcare and science.

Areas of interest include: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Ultrasound (US/US equipment, scientific and data analysis support for clinicians, research and development (evaluating novel technologies, translating research into clinical practice) and teaching/training (Modernising Scientific Careers students/Medical Physics run training courses)

Dr Holly Elbert - clinical scientist

I joined BIRCH as a clinical scientist in September 2019 after a two year training placement in the department  as part of the Scientist Training Programme. I'm primarily involved in supporting MRI and Ultrasound imaging along with the rest of BIRCH. My role covers a range of activities including quality assurance testing of equipment, optimising images for different applications, advising on MRI and Ultrasound safety, and providing support for new and advanced techniques such as functional MRI. Alongside this, I provide teaching in the physics aspects of MRI and Ultrasound to other staff groups, and help to train new healthcare scientists in Medical Physics. I am also a departmental wellbeing advocate.

Areas of interest include: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Ultrasound (US/US equipment, scientific and data analysis support for clinicians, research and development (evaluating novel technologies, translating research into clinical practice) and teaching/training (Modernising Scientific Careers students/Medical Physics run training courses)