Franklyn Howe is a Professor of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) with a research focus on developing automated analysis of multimodal MRI that aids diagnosis of brain tumours.
He uses a variety of MRI methods, including perfusion and diffusion imaging, to obtain structural and functional information of brain tissue and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to provide biochemical information.
Professor Howe is interested in applying pattern recognition techniques that can be used to optimally combine data from different MRI methods. With multimodal MRI, he aims to develop biomarkers that can aid in diagnosis, assessing patient prognosis and monitoring the response to treatment. For glial brain tumours he aims to develop software that can more accurately delineate the tumour and its heterogeneity in tissue type, as well as indicate its aggressiveness.
Professor Howe collaborates with scientists and clinicians in St George's to apply advanced MRI acquisition and analysis methods to a wide variety of diseases. These include brain tumours, dementia, Tourette syndrome, cerebrovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lupus, lymphœdema, osteoarthritis and normal ageing. Information gleaned from MRI can aid in understanding the mechanisms of the disease and enable development of biomarkers that can be translated into clinical practice for improved patient management.
Professor Howe is currently head of the Neurosciences Research Centre in the Molecular and Clinical Sciences Research Institute at St George's. He has a research focus on brain tumours using 1H MRS with multimodal MRI and pattern recognition methods to aid automated tumour delineation, classification and diagnosis. He collaborates within St George’s in a wide range of clinical research studies using MRI and MRS, which have included cancer, cerebrovascular disease, lupus, muscle bioenergetics, normal aging and osteoarthritis.
Professor Howe was involved in the development of MR Neurography at St George's in 1992, a non-invasive method used to obtain detailed images of nerves that can be used to help diagnose nerve-related disorders. He joined St George's in 1988, as a member of the Cancer Research UK Biomedical Magnetic Resonance (MR) Research Group, developing MR imaging and spectroscopy (MRI and MRS) techniques to monitor treatment response in pre-clinical cancer and from 1992 helped develop clinical MR projects at St George’s. In 2007 he was appointed Senior Lecturer and joined the Stroke and Dementia Research Centre and he was appointed Professor in 2014.
His first degree was in Physics (BA [Oxon]) and he obtained a DPhil on 'Magnetisation and microwave absorption in rare earth metal alloys' from the University of Oxford in 1984. He undertook postdoctoral research evaluating MRI contrast agents at St Bartholomew's Hospital and in MR image analysis at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School (now part of Imperial College School of Medicine) before moving to St George's.
Professor Howe is a longstanding member of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) and has been chair of the ISMRM MRS Study Group and co-founder and chair of the Paediatric MR Study Group.
Soltaninejad M, Yang G, Lambrou T, Allinson N, Jones TL, Barrick TR, Howe FA, Ye X. Automated Brain Tumour Detection and Segmentation using Superpixel-based Extremely Randomized Trees in FLAIR MRI. Accepted for IJCARS August 2016
Papaevangelou E, Whitley GStJ, Johnstone A, Robinson SP, Howe FA. Investigating the role of tumour cell derived iNOS on tumour growth and vasculature in vivo using a tetracycline regulated expression system. Int J Cancer 138:2678-87; 2016
Jones TL, Byrnes TJ, Yang G, Howe FA, Bell BA, Barrick TR. Brain tumour classification using the diffusion tensor image segmentation (D-SEG) technique. Neuro Oncol. 2015;17:466-76.
Yang G, Jones TL, Howe FA, Barrick TR. A Morphometric Model for Discrimination between Glioblastoma Multiforme and Solitary Metastasis using 3D Shape Analysis. NMR Biomed 27:1103-11; 2014
Grech-Sollars M, Hales PW, Keiko Miyazaki K, Raschke F Rodriguez D, Wilson M, Gill SK, Banks T, Saunders DE, Clayden DJ, Gwilliam MN, Barrick TR, Morgan PS, Davies NP, Rossiter J, Auer DP, Grundy R, Leach MO, Howe FA, Peet AC, Clark CA. . NMR Biomedicine 28:468-85; 2015.
Julià-Sapé M, Majós C, Camins A, Samitier A, Baquero M, Serrallonga M, Doménech S, Grivé E, Howe FA, Opstad, Calvar J, Aguilera C, Arús C. Multicentre evaluation of the INTERPRET decision-support system 2.0 for brain tumour classification. NMR in Biomedicine 27(9):1009-18; 2014
Raschke F, Wright AJ, Fellows G and Howe FA. 1H 2D MRSI tissue type analysis of gliomas. Raschke F, Wright AJ, Fellows G and Howe FA. Magn Reson Med 73:1381-9; 2015.
FA Howe, SJ Barton, SA Cudlip, M Stubbs, DE Saunders, M Murphy, P Wilkins, KS Opstad, VL Doyle, MA McLean, BA Bell, JR Griffiths. Metabolic profiles of human brain tumors using quantitative in vivo 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Magn Reson Med, 2003, 49:223-32.
FA Howe, AG Filler, BA Bell & JR Griffiths. Magnetic resonance neurography. Magn Reson Med, 1992, 28:328-338.
Owen Williams (PhD student) is analysing brain tumour MRI data.
Mohani-Preet Bajaj (PhD student) is analysing MRS data in COPD.
Dr Xujiong Ye (University of Lincoln): applying pattern recognition methods to MRI data for automating brain tumour segmentation.
Dr Felix Raschke (Technische Universität Dresden): developing multimodal methods for brain tumour tissue type imaging.
Professor Andrew Peet (University of Birmingham): the use of 1H MRS in pediatric brain tumours.
Dr Tom Barrick: investigating how diffusion MRI measurements of brain tissue structure can be combined with MRS to improve diagnosis in brain tumours.
Dr Atticus Hainsworth: using MRI methods to assess cerebrovascular changes in the aging population.
Professors Paul Jones and Emma Baker: using 1H MRS to assess brain metabolic changes in COPD.
Dr Nidhi Sofat: developing functional and biochemical MR methods to investigate pain perception in knee and hand osteoarthritis
Professors Sahar Mansour and Peter Mortimer: developing MR lymphangiography methods to study patients with lymphedema.
Dr Phil Rich (Neuroradiology, St George's Hospital NHS Trust) and Mr Timothy Jones (Neurosurgery, St George's Hospital NHS Trust): applying advanced MRI methods to help diagnosis in brain tumour patients.
Blood-Derived Dendritic Cells and Brain Metabolism in Tourette Syndrome
D Martino, FA Howe, I Dumitriu, MJ Edwards, J Stern.
IMMUNITÄT UND SEELE, 2016-2018.
MRI biomarkers of low grade glioma growth and infiltration
Awarded to FA Howe, TR Barrick, T Jones and BA Bell
CANCER RESEARCH UK, 2012- 2017.
Professor Howe is co-organiser of the Clinical Neuroscience module offered to medical students who opt to undertake an intercalated BSc course.
He lectures undergraduates about the clinical applications of magnetic resonance imaging, contributing to Anatomy, Biology of Cancer and Clinical Neuroscience modules for MBBS and BSc courses.
He supervises lab-based MRes and BSc student research projects and library-based Special Study Courses on the Biomedical Applications of Magnetic Resonance.