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Derek Jones  BSc Nottingham MSc Leeds PhD Leicester Dip. IPSM

Professor Derek Jones BSc Nottingham MSc Leeds PhD Leicester Dip. IPSM

Professor, Director of CUBRIC

School of Psychology

+44 29208 79412
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre, Maindy Road, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ


The main aim of CUBRIC is to develop imaging methodology to improve characterisation of brain structure and function in health and disease. As Director of CUBRIC, my role is to oversee the scientific and strategic direction of the Centre.

My research focuses on maximising the amount of quantitative information that can be extracted about brain structure non-invasively using magnetic resonance imaging techniques. If the grey matter acts as the 'service stations' – then the white matter acts as the 'motorways' and hence forms an integral and fundamental part of brain networks.

My research has been primarily focussed on development of methods for diffusion magnetic resonance imaging and its application to both healthy and diseased states, but we are extending the range of imaging methods to include multi-component relaxometry and quantitative magnetisation transfer imaging, with the aim of providing a more complete multi-spectral characterisation of white matter. We are now combining these metrics with electrophysiological data derived from MEG.





























Book sections





Research topics and related papers

Optimal design of MR acquisition schemes for quantitative assessment of white matter.

Statistical methods for analysing individual and grouped DT-MRI data sets

Development of fiber tractography – algorithms and visualization techniques

Combination of rapid relaxometric measurements with diffusion imaging data.

Applications of DT-MRI tractography to the study of diseased populations

Integration of white matter structural assessment with other modalities (MEG, TMS, FMRI)


Wellcome Trust Investigator Award
Principal Investigator: Jones DK
Start Date: May 2012
Duration: 84 months
: The Wellcome Trust
Budget: £1 700 000

"Toward Robust Statistical Comparisons of White Matter Tracts in the Human Brain" (067437/Z/02/A)
Type: Advanced Training Fellowship
Principal Investigator: DK Jones
Start: 01/08/03
Duration: 36 months
Agency: Wellcome Trust, UK
Budget: £290,000

"Imaging the Deaf Brain: Functional and Structural Studies Using MRI" (GR068607MA)
Type: Project Grant
Principal Investigator: R Campbell
Co-Investigators: B Woll, MJ Brammer, AS David, M McSweeney, DK Jones
Start: 01/03/04
Duration: 36 months
Agency: Wellcome Trust, UK
Budget: £422,000.

"Brain Anatomy in Autism; a Multi-Centre Study" (G0400061)
Type: Strategic Grant
Principal Investigator: DGM Murphy
Co-Investigators: S Baron-Cohen, PF Bolton, M Brammer, E Bullmore, S Curran, FG Happé, P Jezzard, DK Jones, SCR Williams
Start: 01/06/05
Duration: 48 months
Agency: Medical Research Council, UK
Budget: £641,000.

"Brain Anatomy and Connectivity: an Endophenotype in Autism Spectrum Disorders"Type: Pilot Research Study
Principal Investigator: DGM Murphy
Co-Investigators: DK Jones DK, ET Bullmore,  FG Happé, FV Rijsdijk,  PF Bolton, M Catani, S Baron-Cohen, S Curran, SCR Williams
Start: 10/02/06
Duration: 24 months
Agency: Cure Autism Now Foundation (now merged with Autism Speaks, with head office here:  Autism Speaks, 2 Park Avenue, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10016, USA)
Budget: $120,000.

"The Genetic and Environmental Determinants of Brain Development and Social Function: a Twin Study of Autistic Spectrum Disorder"
Type: Pilot Research Study
Principal Investigator: DGM Murphy
Co-Investigators: DK Jones, ET Bullmore, FG Happé, FV Rijsdijk, PF Bolton, M Catani, S Baron-Cohen, S Curran, SCR Williams
Start: 01/03/06
Duration: 24 months
Agency: Autism Speaks
Budget: £60,000.

"Cerebral Mechanisms Underlying Cognitive Dysfunction in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis" (WT083477AIA) 
Type: Project Grant
Principal Investigator: Goldstein L
Co-Investigators: Jones DK, Landau S, Catani M, Leigh PN, Williams SCR
Start: 01/03/08
Duration: 36 months
Agency: Wellcome Trust, UK
Budget: £212,246.

"Imaging the Maternal Brain Following Pregnancy"Type: Pilot Grant
Principal Investigator: Jones DK. 
Duration: 12 months
Start Date: 01/08/08
Agency: The Waterloo Foundation, UK
Budget: £29,012

"CONNECT: Consortium of Neuroimagers for Non-Invasive Exploration of Connectivity and Tracts"Type: FP7 - FET Grant
Duration: 24 months
Start Date: 01/10/09
Agency: The European Council, FP7, UK
Budget: Î2,500,000.

"Cerebral small vessel disease, blunted perfusion responses and adaptation to early Alzheimer's disease'Type: Pilot Grant
Principal Investigator: O'Sullivan M
Co-Investigators: Wise, RG, Bayer A, Jones DK
18 months
Start Date: 01/08/09
Agency: Alzheimer's Research Trust;  UK
Budget: £26,950

"The role of white matter microstructure in normal cognition"Type: Project Grant
Principal Investigator: Jones DK
Co-Investigator: Assaf Y
Start Date: 01/11/09
Duration: 12 months
Agency: The British Council
Budget: £29,951

"Characterizing the functional and anatomical integrity of visual attention-related processing in Alzheimer's disease and vascular cognitive impairment using magnetoencephalography (MEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) techniques."Type: Project Grant
Principal Investigator: Tales A
Co-Investigators: Bayer T, Singh K, Jones DK, O'Sullivan M
Start Date: tbc
Duration: 24 months
Agency: BRACE
Budget: £164, 702

"Integrated Brain Imaging and Stimulation Project (IBIS)"Type: Collaborative Industrial Research Project (CIRP)
Principal Investigator: Chambers C
Co-Investigators: Singh K,Jones DK, Wise RG, Jiles D
Start Date: tbc
Agency: Welsh Assembly Government
Budget: £477, 101.

"Advanced neuroimaging in BECCTS"Type: Project Grant
Principal Investigator: Hamandi K
Co-Investigators: Jones DK, Singh K, Wise RG, McGonigle DM, Muthukumaraswamy S
Start Date: 01/12/09
Duration: 24 months
Agency: The Waterloo Foundation
Budget: £110, 000.

"Structural brain correlates of an operationally defined high-risk phenotype for schizophrenia: a population based study"Type: Project Grant
Principal Investigator: David A
Co-Investigators: Blair P, Jones DK, Jones PB, Lewis G, McGuire P, Reichenberg A, Zammit S
Start Date: 01/04/10
Duration: 36 months
Agency: Medical Research Council, UK
Budget: £1,090,153

Cardiff University International Distinguished Visitor Award, £1,880


In the University, I teach formally on lecture course PS3209 – 'Structural and Functional Neuroimaging', which introduces the range of techniques that are used for mapping the structure and function of the human brain. My part of the course focuses on mapping brain structure, and includes methods for analysis of standard structural MRI data, as well as of diffusion MRI data.

I also teach at the postgraduate level on the use of diffusion MRI. Formal courses are held throughout the year and cover both theoretical aspects of diffusion MRI as well as practical 'hands on' sessions with software developed in CUBRIC.

Finally, I am a regular lecturer at international brain imaging conferences (notably the International Society for Magnetic Resonance In Medicine, and the ESMRMB Lectures on Diffusion).


Undergraduate education

1993:  B.Sc. (Hons) in Physics, (First Class). University of Nottingham, UK

MBA - Fulchester

Postgraduate education

1995:  M.Sc. in Medical Physics. University of Leeds, UK

1995: Post Graduate Diploma of the Institute of Physical Sciences in Medicine

1998: Ph.D., "Diffusion Tensor Magnetic Resonance Imaging in the Human Central Nervous System", University of Leicester, UK

Honours and awards

ISMRM Outstanding Teacher Award, 2009.

ISMRM Outstanding Teacher Award, 2008.

ISMRM Outstanding Teacher Award, 2007.

ISMRM Art and Artefacts Award, 3rd place, 2007.

ISMRM Outstanding Teacher Award, 2006.

ISMRM Outstanding Teacher Award, 2005.

Finalist in the ISMRM Young Investigator Awards (3 scientists in final), 2004.

Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE), National Institutes of Health, 2003.

Student Travel Award, ISMRM, (1998, 2002).

Professional memberships


Wellcome Trust Neuroscience and Mental Health Board Funding Committee 2008 –

Board of Trustees of International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 2008 –

Chair of Publications Committee, ISMRM, 2010 –

Chair of ISMRM Diffusion/Perfusion Study Group 2008-

Chair of Audit Committee, ISMRM, 2008 –

Committee of British Chapter of the ISMRM, 2008 –

Executive Board for ISMRM White Matter Study Group 2008-

Editorial Board MAGMA, 2009-

Editorial Board of NeuroImage, 2005-2008.

ISMRM Scientific Program and Education Committee, 2005-2008.

ISMRM Educational Coordinator for Diffusion, Perfusion and FMRI, 2006-2008.

Chair of ISMRM Diffusion/Perfusion Study Group 2005-2006 (640+ members).

ISMRM Study Group Review Committee, 2005-2007.

EPSRC Peer Review College Member, 2003 –

Chair Elect for ISMRM Diffusion/Perfusion Study Group 2004-2005.

Review Panel for International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 2002-

ISMRM Teaching Faculty, 2002-

Chair of Organizing Committee for British Chapter of the ISMRM (2009)

Chair of Organizing Committee for ESMRMB 'Lectures on Diffusion', Cardiff (2008)

Organizing committee for ISMRM workshop on 'Quantitative Diffusion MRI in the Human Brain', Chateau Lake Louise, Banff, Canada, March 2005.

Organizer of ISMRM 2006 Weekend Educational Course on Diffusion/Perfusion MRI.

Originator/Co-ordinator of UK Diffusion Methods Interest Group, (50+ attendees).

Initiated, obtained funding for, and organized a Bi-National Workshop on "MRI of Brain Connectivity and Microstructure" under the SNDS scheme of the Office of Science and Technology and Israeli Ministry of Science.

Academic positions

2006 - present: Full Professor and Director of MRI, CUBRIC, Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre, School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK.

2003 – 2006: Senior Lecturer and Wellcome Advanced Fellow, Neuroimaging Research Dept., Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, UK

2002 – 2004: Visiting Research Fellow, National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

2001 – 2002: Research Physicist, Neuroimaging Research Dept., Kings College, London, UK

1999 – 2001: Research Worker, Old Age Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK

1995 – 1998: Research Assistant, Medical Physics Department, University of Leicester, UK

1993 – 1995: Medical Physicist, Division of Medical Physics, Leicester Royal Infirmary, UK


Postgraduate research interests

My research is focussed on imaging of brain structure both at the macro- and  micro-structural level. I am interested in how we may predict brain function from quantitative assessment of brain structure, particularly of the white matter which forms the connections between different brain regions. Without a  detailed understanding of the connections and connectivity of the brain, we cannot fully understand how the brain functions. Yet this is an area largely overlooked in cognitive neuroscience. My research looks to fill these gaps in our knowledge. I employ a range of techniques including diffusion tensor imaging, relaxometry, volumetry and magnetization transfer imaging and combine these measures with assessment of brain function using both traditional cognitive tests and state-of-the-art neuroimaging methods to assess brain function, including functional MRI, magnetoencephalography (MEG) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

Opportunities for research cover all parts of the spectrum from basic methods development (suited to the more technically oriented), through to pure   applications-driven research applying these methods to the study of the healthy and diseased brain.

If you are interested in applying for a PhD, or for further information regarding my postgraduate research, please contact me directly (contact details available on the 'Overview' page), or submit a formal application.

Current students

Sonya Bells
Marco Catani (Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London)
Miriam Cooper
Luke Dustan
Greg Parker
Jess Steventon