by Stefanie Rudrich
Head of Marketing (Brain Products)
On February 6, 2020, the “UCL-CNT Early Career Investigator Award in Neuroimaging Techniques 2019” was presented to Dr. Tim Tierney. Tim received the award at the University College London’s (UCL) Center for Neuroimaging Techniques (CNT) “Annual Lecture on EEG” given this year by invited speaker, Prof. Nikos Logothetis (Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tuebingen, Germany).
Initiated in 2007, this annual award aims to acknowledge an exceptional contribution by a UCL student or staff member in the early stages of their career in the field of Neuroimaging. Brain Products and Brain Products UK are proud to sponsor the award, which includes a trophy, a certificate and a cheque for £1000.
Prof. Louis Lemieux, the UCL-CNT chair, presented this year’s winner, Dr. Tim Tierney, the award for his groundbreaking work on wearable Optically Pumped Magnetoencephalography (OPM) for basic and clinical neuroscience.
About Dr. Tim Tierney
Tim, a Research Associate in Prof. Gareth Barnes’ MEG group at UCL since 2017, truly pioneered the development of wearable OPM at all levels. Not only did he formulate the theoretical background and develop novel acquisition and analysis software, he also constructed hardware to null static background fields (incl. developing controllers necessary to actively cancel interference from underground trains, that run nearby UCL).
In the interests of open science, he also made all software publicly available through SPM (Statistical Parametric Mapping). The acquisition system output is in a standardized (BIDS) format, accessible to everyone and encouraging the sharing of OPM data.
No surprise then that Tim’s supervisor, Prof. Barnes, says ” … Tim is the reason we have a working OPM system at UCL. He has shown leadership, innovation and dedication at all levels: from the atomic physics, to the construction and wiring of the system to the clinical application”.
According to Tim himself, his postdoctoral work has built on the foundations established by his PhD work at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. There he developed an artefact reduction toolbox for SPM, which is now used routinely for clinical fMRI, increasing robustness and avoiding scan failures using MRI. This work has given him a clear insight into the clinical application of neuroimaging and has proven to be instrumental for him in the translation of OPMs from a research tool to clinical practice.
On behalf of the whole Brain Products and Brain Products UK team, congratulations Tim on winning this award. We will for sure continue to follow your research work and wish you all the best for your future!!