Damian Tyler

Additional Fellow and Tutor in Medicine; Professor of Physiological Metabolism; British Heart Foundation Senior Research Fellow; Director of MR Physics at the Oxford Centre for Clinical Magnetic Resonance Research (OCMR)

Based in Oxford since 2011, I am currently the Director of MR Physics at the Oxford Centre for Clinical Magnetic Resonance Research (OCMR), a British Heart Foundation Senior Research Fellow and an Additional Fellow at Somerville College.

Since arriving in Oxford in 2001, I have acquired more than 20 years’ experience in the development and application of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy (MRI/MRS). I gained my MSci in Medical Physics in 1998 and my doctorate in 2001, both from the University of Nottingham. I am an associate member of the Cardiac Metabolism Research Group (CMRG) and leads the Oxford Metabolic Imaging Group.

My research in Oxford has been based on the study of cardiac structure, function and metabolism in normal and diseased hearts using MRI/MRS. This has included developing techniques using high spatial and temporal resolution CINE imaging to assess heart function and localized phosphorus and carbon spectroscopy to monitor and investigate abnormalities of metabolism. More recently, I have been awarded a British Heart Foundation Senior Research Fellowship to develop the technique of hyperpolarized magnetic resonance imaging (HP-MRI) for application to the study of cardiac metabolism in the human heart. A fundamental limitation of magnetic resonance is its low sensitivity, but the recently developed technique of HP-MRI provides a practical method to gain up to 10,000-fold increases in sensitivity in molecules with an in vivo stability of approximately one minute.  This has enabled visualization of 13C-labelled cellular metabolites in vivo and, more importantly, their enzymatic transformation into other species. Using this novel approach, we have recently published the world’s first demonstration of the use of HP-MRI to assess metabolic changes in the diabetic (doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.119.316260) and ischaemic human heart (doi: 10.1016/j.jcmg.2020.12.023).


The cycling of acetyl-coenzyme A through acetylcarnitine buffers cardiac substrate supply: a hyperpolarized 13C magnetic resonance study.
Journal article
Schroeder MA. et al, (2012), Circ Cardiovasc Imaging, 5, 201 - 209

Hyperpolarized magnetic resonance: a novel technique for the in vivo assessment of cardiovascular disease.
Journal article
Schroeder MA. et al, (2011), Circulation, 124, 1580 - 1594

Role of pyruvate dehydrogenase inhibition in the development of hypertrophy in the hyperthyroid rat heart: a combined magnetic resonance imaging and hyperpolarized magnetic resonance spectroscopy study.
Journal article
Atherton HJ. et al, (2011), Circulation, 123, 2552 - 2561

Real-time assessment of Krebs cycle metabolism using hyperpolarized 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
Journal article
Schroeder MA. et al, (2009), FASEB J, 23, 2529 - 2538

In vivo assessment of pyruvate dehydrogenase flux in the heart using hyperpolarized carbon-13 magnetic resonance.
Journal article
Schroeder MA. et al, (2008), Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 105, 12051 - 12056

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