Prof. Clare Mackay

My research focuses on using neuroimaging to understand risk for psychiatric and neurodegenerative disease.

By the time conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease are clinically diagnosed, much of the damage in the brain is already done. My group focuses on understanding mechanisms of risk, i.e. investigating how factors such as particular genes change brain structure and function before people are suffering from the symptoms of disease. We hope that, when neuroprotective agents become available, we will be able to identify individuals in whom these agents will be most effective.

My interest in brain imaging began at the Magnetic Resonance and Image Analysis Research Centre (MARIARC) at the University of Liverpool. I moved to Oxford as a post-doc in 2000, and alongside developing an independent research career I managed the neuroimaging ‘half’ of the Oxford Centre for Clinical Magnetic Resonance Research (OCMR). I lead the Translational Neuroimaging Group and am Associate Director of the Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity (OHBA), which is part of the new Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging. I lead the Older Adults & Dementia Theme for the NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre, and the Imaging Informatics programme for the MRC Dementias Platform UK. I am also imaging lead for the Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre (OPDC), and the Whitehall II imaging study.