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Becoming an MRI researcher

Dr Richard Watts from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Canterbury talks about how he came to carry out MRI research looking at the brain.


Well I actually did a PhD in magnetic resonance of materials, so this is materials science looking at thin magnetic films and it was involved in producing materials for hard disks and the like. And I wanted to have a change at that point, and a job came up in MRI and I thought I’d give it a go for a year and so I moved to Cornell Medical College and I actually stayed there for five years. And it’s a wonderful field to be in. You go to conferences and you interact with such a wide range of people and you see the number of people who are really interested in this kind of research. And there’s a general public interest as well. I mean people are interested in what the brain is and how it works and how it’s injured, and how it recovers. And it’s just an area that’s absolutely fascinating, you got, maybe this is one of the things that we understand least in the world is how the brain works. It’s such a complicated machine, how do we do that.

I’m just amazed when I look at brains, and when you think about how complex this whole network that you have in your brain is, it’s amazing. And we are, we’re getting closer to understanding it but we’re still a very long, very long way away.


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