Dr Mina Kim, Senior Research Associate at University College London and the National Cancer Imaging Translational Accelerator (NCITA), has been awarded a £2.1 million Career Development Award from the Medical Research Council to support her innovative work in advancing lung functional MRI for various chronic lung diseases (CLDs). Additionally, with support from a Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Trust Venture and Innovation Award grant, the studies will be extended to monitor changes in lung function over time in people with CF.

The main aim of Mina’s research programme is to pioneer new MRI measurements that can accurately identify and track CLDs using novel oxygen-enhanced MRI methods which are safe and practical for use in clinical settings. To achieve this, she will collaborate with leading experts from prestigious institutions including the UCL Centre for Medical Imaging, UCL Respiratory Medicine, University of Iowa, University of Pennsylvania, University of Sheffield, UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Royal Brompton Hospital. Additionally, she will collaborate with industry partners Philips UK and Bioxydyn, and will engage with patient representative groups from two charities, CF Trust and Breathing Matters, ensuring the seamless integration of patient needs into the research studies.

Dr Mina Kim commented:

 “I’m delighted to have received the fellowship and I’m looking forward to developing sensitive MRI biomarkers for subtle functional changes in the lungs, both in healthy ageing and chronic lung diseases. My team of multi-disciplinary and international collaborators will focus on technical method development and rigorous evaluation of its efficacy using preclinical and clinical models. Our ultimate goal is to translate these advancements into clinical practice, benefiting the millions worldwide affected by chronic lung diseases. We hope that this innovative MRI method will improve healthcare by facilitating more precise treatment timing and personalised therapy plans tailored to individual patients.”