Section menu

You are here

MR Advisory Group

The Magnetic Resonance Advisory Group (MRAG) was established in 2011. Please see below for terms of reference, a list of current members and minutes of the meetings.
If you are interested in becoming a member of this group, please contact Alex Lipton, Professional Support Officer MRI.      

MRAG Current Members

Chris Bilton

Carolyn Costigan

Cynthia Eccles

Helen Estall

Darren Hudson

Martin Mitchell

Denise Newsom

Martin Pickles

Rakesh Puni

Jacqueline Pursey

Rachel Watt

Chair - Christopher Wright

Vice Chairs - Caroline Costigan

Council Member - Ross McGhee

SoR Professional Officer - Alex Lipton

MRAG Member Profiles

Carolyn Costigan

Carolyn is Principal Research Radiographer and Manager of the Research & Development Imaging Support Unit at Nottingham University NHS Trust.

She qualified in Dublin as a diagnostic radiographer (DCR), specialised in MRI when she moved to the UK in 1995, and obtained an MSc in MRI in Lancaster in 2000. 

Carolyn subsequently moved to the Sir Peter Mansfield MR Centre at University of Nottingham to work in MR research.

Carolyn presently works in an NHS post, providing leadership for the clinical research activities of the Imaging R&D Support Unit, including organising trials within Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, assisting with the development of grant applications, conducting MRI research projects, assisting with the implementation of research findings into clinical practice at the MR and CT units and day-to-day managing the Unit’s task of authorizing research studies involving radiation and imaging.

She is responsible for promoting and developing research opportunities for the radiographers at NUH NHS Trust and does one clinical MR session weekly.

Carolyn started a PhD in translational research with the School of Medicine at Nottingham University in January 2014.

Rakesh Puni

Rakesh started his MRI career in 1993, at the Robert Steiner Unit, Hammersmith Hospital. He carried out MRI research and had the opportunity to work with many great MRI pioneers.

In 1997, he moved to Birmingham to commission a 1T MRI unit and, after working there for 6 years, he had an opportunity to work at the University California San Diego, again carrying out research on new pulse sequences.

After a short break, Rakesh returned to Birmingham to manage four MRI scanners in a large NHS Trust.  He also undertook an MRI reporting course and subsequently reported solo for seven years. He completed his Master’s in Clinical reporting.

Rakesh moved back to London in 2013, to run and commission the Cardiac MRI unit at Harefield Hospital, where he has gained extensive CMR experience.

Rachel Watt

Rachel is Lead MRI Superintendent for NHS Grampian, managing two scanners at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and Woodend.

After completing her BSc in Diagnostic Radiography at Robert Gordon's University, Aberdeen, she worked in Edinburgh before going 'Down-Under' to specialise in MRI and study at the University of Queensland, obtaining her MSc.

Rachel then returned to the UK to take up a Superintendent post to design and set up a new MRI service, before returning to Aberdeen to take up her present position.

Rachel has been an active member of the BAMRR Policy Board for several years and lectures on the University of Cumbria's postgraduate MRI course in Lancaster.

Her key interests are MRI education and training.

Chris Wright

Chris is Chair of the MRAG. He has research interests in image interpretation, post processing and display, with an MRI focus on prostate and breast.

He qualified as a diagnostic radiographer in 1981. Upon achieving the HDCR(R) in 1986 he began teaching in Lancaster before moving to Birmingham where he completed his Cert Ed and MSc.

In 1989 he began his 'industry period'; firstly with Philips, where he was instrumental in the commercialisation of short bore T5 MRI.

In 1994 he moved to General Electric (GE) again with a strong MRI initial focus, being involved with the development of the double doughnut inter-operative system, and phased array coil technology, before progressing on to numerous sales and marketing roles.

In 2005 he embarked on a PhD, which has provided the platform for his return to Higher Education. He lead the Postgraduate MRI course at The University of Cumbria and then at Sheffield Hallam University. 

In 2015 he became Associate Professor in Diagnostic Imaging at London South Bank University with professional lead responsibility. In August 2017 he moved to The University of Exeter medical school to focus on medical imaging research.

Jacqueline Pursey

Jacqueline is the MRI Practice Educator for Greater Glasgow & Clyde (GG&C) NHS Trust; this is a hybrid role combining the provision of formalised MRI education and a clinical role as a MRI Modality Lead Radiographer.

She qualified and worked in Glasgow before moving to Plymouth to specialise as the Superintendent Radiographer in the vascular suite.  A move to Leeds then followed with her husband’s job where she held the post of the Lead Vascular Radiographer at St James’s Hospital, Leeds. Whilst in this role she obtained a PgC in Health Service Management.

Jacqueline returned to the Glasgow area with a young family and worked in various part time roles specialising in CT scanning.  An opportunity then arose to move into a core MRI Radiographer in one of Glasgow’s large teaching hospitals.  Whilst in this role she obtained an MSc in Diagnostic Imaging Science (Distinction) in 2012. The post of MRI Practice Educator came into fruition in 2014 where she delivers a standardised MRI Induction programme to all new MRI staff within Scotland’s largest NHS trust. She also performs a clinical leadership role in MRI.

Jacqueline continues to collaborate in professional learning as a guest Lecturer for Glasgow Caledonian University at undergraduate and post graduate level and has published a number of articles including in the peer reviewed ‘Radiography’ journal.

Darren Hudson

Having worked within MRI for over 15years, my current role is MRI Clinical Lead for InHealth, an Independent Sector provider of Diagnostic and Healthcare solutions within the UK. I work within the Clinical Quality team for the organisation and provide professional leadership for the MRI Radiographers we employ. My role encompasses many aspects of MRI across the business, from quality and governance to education and training.

I was MRI Safety Certified by the American MRI Safety Board in 2016 which helps support my role as MRI Safety Officer in collaboration with our MRSE. As well as safety, I am passionate about patient experience within MRI and continue to drive this forward internally. I also have an interest in training and education with our internal training courses all approved or endorsed by the College of Radiographers.

I am ISAS assessor trained and a SpA for the CQC which support my drive for quality and standards in MRI. I have my Masters in Health Science, a Post Graduate Certificate in Health and Social Care Management, and am working towards completion of a Post Graduate Certificate in Clinical Education. I am keen on promoting evidence based practice and have an active publication portfolio.

Denise Newsom

Denise Newsom, owner of Eden Learning delivers national CT/MRI training courses in addition to bespoke tailored classroom training and specialises in MRI Safety.  

With over twenty five years of clinical CT and MRI experience, Denise maintains her clinical skills by working in the medical and veterinary fields.


Helen Estall

Helen is the Lead Superintendent Radiographer for CT and MRI at the University Hospitals of Leicester and has worked mainly in MRI since 1992. She completed a MSc in MRI reporting at Canterbury Christ Church University in 2014 and reports on MRI brains and spines.

Helen is on the BAMRR policy board and has lectured on various UK post graduate MRI courses and has also lectured internationally. She is currently training to become a Technical Assessor for UKAS.


Cynthia Eccles
Cynthia has recently joined the Christie as Consultant Research Radiographer in radiotherapy developments to working with clinical, academic and industrial partners to advance radiotherapy and deliver research outputs of the Biomedical Research Council research grant.  Collaborating closely with the Radiotherapy Related Research Group at the University of Manchester, to ensure the translation of research findings into clinical practice, Cynthia’s research focuses MR based treatment planning, motion management for photon and proton radiotherapy, proton image guidance & verification, and MR Linac implementation.

Canadian trained therapy radiographer, duo-qualified in diagnostic MRI.  Prior to relocating to the UK, Cynthia worked at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, from 1999-2009; first in external beam radiotherapy, then brachytherapy, and from 2003 in a joint scanning/planning/research role investigating imaging, motion management & RT planning for liver SABR.  In 2015 she successfully defended her DPhil (Oxon) in radiobiology (imaging hemi-thoracic radiation toxicity in mice), under the supervision of Professors KA Vallis and WG McKenna.  Following just over six years as Radiotherapy Lead Research Radiographer and DPhil Student in Oxford, Cynthia relocated to Sutton in 2016, to work as the MR-Linac Lead Research Radiographer and then Superintendent the RMH-NHS Foundation Trust.

Chris Bilton

Chris is the MRI Service Lead at the United Lincolnshire NHS Trust, managing three, soon to be fivr, scanners and various outsourcing in one of the UK’s largest geographical Trusts.

He had been working with MRI since qualifying in 1993 from Hull.  He has worked in both the NHS and private institutions across the country.  This has given him a wide knowledge of differing MRI practices.  After completing a BSc in Physics, he set up a Spectroscopy service whilst working in London.  He also provided applications for Philips along the way.

He moved up to Grantham Hospital as Superintendent and installed the first cardiac MRI service in a DGH, which is BSCMR accredited. Whilst there, he did a PgD in Management of Health and Social Care.

Chris is heavily involved at CCG level, and helps dictate local commissioning and service level agreements for Lincolnshire, offering pathways for primary care and cancer access.  Chris attained an MBA at Lincoln University in 2012.

Chris sits on the Radiographer Prescribing SIG, and has a special interest in MRI governance.


Martin Mitchell

Martin works part time as an Advanced Practitioner MRI Reporting Radiographer based at the Medway Maritime Hospital in Kent.  He has worked in MRI for over 18 years and has undertaken a PgD in clinical reporting of MRI examinations at Canterbury Christchurch University. Currently Martin reports MRI Spine, Knee, Brain and IAMs examinations on a regular basis and has been reporting MRI for over 12 years.

Martin is also a lecturer in diagnostic Radiography at Canterbury Christ Church University where he leads the MRI Clinical Reporting post graduate modules as well as some undergraduate image interpretation modules.  Martin firmly believes that the skills and knowledge Radiographers gain from preliminary clinical evaluation of their daily work enhances both their own personal professionalism as well as having the potential to improve patient experience and outcomes; he believes that this should be an essential part of a Radiographers role.

Martin Pickles

Graduated as a Diagnostic Radiographer from the University of Leeds in 1996 before practising as a general radiographer. Martin subsequently began a career in MR when he moved to a private mobile MR provider in 1998, this was the beginnings of over 20 years of experience in this field.

In 2003, Martin switched from a purely clinical role to an academic position and in 2006 he was awarded a Doctorate in Medicine following a programme of research entitled “Prediction of Response of Patients with Breast Cancer to Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy using Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging”.  He has authored various publications, undertaken conference presentations at international level, peer reviews for professional journals, and advised MR manufacturers on future product developments.

Following this academic phase Martin returned to a clinical role in 2017, currently he practices as a Lead MRI Radiographer within Hull University Teaching Hospital NHS Trust.  He maintains a keen interest in current professional issues and is a passionate advocator of MR education.




Content tools

Accessibility controls

Text size