Paul M. Matthews, UK


Paul Matthews, OBE, MD, DPhil, FRCP, FMedSci is Head of the Division of Brain Sciences in the Department of Medicine of Imperial College, London. He has recently been named as Director of the UK Dementia Research Institute at Imperial College.  

His early research addressed innovative translational applications of clinical imaging for the neurosciences.  This has developed with exploitation of the powerful synergies between the physical and quantitative sciences and medicine.  His was the founding Director of two internationally leading research imaging centres, the University of Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB) and, later, of GlaxoSmithKline’s Clinical Imaging Centre (now a public “spin out” as Imanova, Ltd). From 2005 - 2014 he was a Vice President  GlaxoSmithKline Medicines Discovery and Development.  With this experience, he became one of the small number of senior clinical academics in the UK with industry experience.

He has continued his interests in imaging in several ways, including as Chair of the Imaging Working Group for UK Biobank, which is pioneering an ambitious programme for very large population imaging as part of the UK Biiobank (Prof Sir Rory Collins, CEO). MRI scanning of the brain, heart and body, along with DEXA and 3D carotid ultrasound, was initiated in a dedicated imaging centre at UK Biobank's Cheadle (Manchester) site in May, 2014.  This has developed into a broader commitment to large data analytics through collaborative work with colleagues in the Imperial College Data Science Institute and the EPSRC Centre for Mathematics in Precision Healthcare, in which he is a co-investigator.

Led by a series of studies of glial dynamics in human disease using PET, his group recently has expanded work to elucidate roles of microglia and astrocytes in neurodegeneration in the context of both multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease.  A wide range of methods are being integrated with imaging, including 'omics strategies deployed minimally invasively in blood and in isolated brain tissue post mortem. 

Amongst many external commitments, Professor Matthews and is a member of the Executive Committee for the UK Dementias Platform, the Wellcome Trust Expert Review Panel for Neurosciences and Mental Health and jointly represents the UK for Euro-Bioimaging.  He is Chair of the Board of Management of the Charity Brain.

Professor Matthews was awarded an OBE in 2008 for services to neuroscience. He was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2014.