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Professor Joanna Collingwood

Academic profile photograph

Professor Joanna Collingwood

Head of the Trace Metals in Medicine Laboratory

J dot F dot Collingwood at warwick dot ac dot uk
+44 (0) 24 7652 3152


Joanna trained in Physics at the Universities of York (MPhys) and Warwick (PhD), and subsequently specialized in the areas of trace metals analysis, high resolution imaging, and neurodegenerative disorders. After a period at Keele University (UK) and University of Florida (UK), during which she held research fellowships from the Alzheimer's Society, Dunhill Medical Trust, EPSRC, and RCUK, she was appointed to a lectureship in the School of Engineering at University of Warwick, and is a Professor in the Systems and Information stream.

She has established links at international facilities including the Argonne National Laboratories (USA), the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (USA), and the Diamond Light Source synchrotron (Oxford, UK) where she chaired the synchrotron user committee from its formation, and served as the UK representative for the European Synchrotron Users Organization.

Joanna formerly founded and co-led the Warwick Medical Imaging Network, and served on the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Advisory Panel for Public Engagement and the Alzheimer’s Society Biomedical Grant Advisory Board. Currently she is a review panel member for the SOLEIL synchrotron.

Below is a photo of the Trace Metals in Medicine group, November 2017.

Group photo

Research Interests

Research Overview: Mapping Trace Metals in Brain Disease

  • Our primary focus is on the imaging and quantification of transition metal ion distribution in the human brain, with particular application to identifying changes in neurodegenerative disorders (e.g. Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Multiple System Atrophy, and others).

  • We measure the effects of regional brain iron changes on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to explore biomarker potential.

  • We use a variety of analytical techniques, including high resolution MRI, synchrotron X-ray spectromicroscopy, electron microscopy and magnetometry to characterize the distribution and form of trace metals in tissues and disease-related protein aggregates.

Warwick Medical Imaging Network (W-MIN)

Teaching Interests

  • ES97D & ES3H5 Biomedical Imaging and Medical Devices (Module leader)

  • ES101 ED&I

Selected Publications

Projects and Grants



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Our group participated in the Big Bang Fair in 2012, as part of the Institute of Physics 'Visualising the invisible' exhibit, and formerly in the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition at the Southbank Centre in 2010, as part of the Diamond Light Source exhibit. These were fantastic chances to introduce the research we do to the general public - and to meet some very familiar faces too!

Synchrotron News

Synchrotrons are large experimental facilities that provide an extremely intense source of light (primarily X-rays) that can be used for a very wide range of scientific investigations. In the UK, we currently have one synchrotron (Diamond), and there is a shared facility - the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France. There are now many facilities around the world, including a large synchrotron (Advanced Photon Source) at the Argonne National Laboratory in the USA that our group uses for some of its work. Click on the logos below to learn more about each source, and visit the Light Sources page for an international perspective.Synchrotron




ESUO (European Synchrotron Users Organisation)

The ESUO was founded in February 2010 at a meeting in Lisbon, and draws together representatives from countries throughout Europe to represent synchrotron X-ray facility users.

Joanna chaired the Diamond User Committee from 2009 - 2011, and subsequently represented the Spectroscopy Village of users at Diamond.


  • March 2021: Congratulations to Jake on gaining his PhD!
  • January 2021: Congratulations to Surya on gaining her PhD!
  • October 2019: Welcome to Jane Donnelly, Fulbright Scholar joining us for a year while she studies for an MRes.
  • July 2019: Many congratulations to Vindy on her PhD graduation!
  • 19th July 2016: many congratulations to our project student Peter Johnson for winning the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Project Award Medal at his MEng graduation today!
  • 15th July 2016: congratulations to our postdoc James Everett for winning the Royal Society of Chemistry-sponsored poster prize at the "Molecular Imaging 2016" meeting.
  • July 2014: We are pleased to welcome our long-standing collaborator, Dr Keith White, University of Florida, as a visitor to our group. Keith will be giving a seminar during his visit: details are on the W-MIN website.
  • January 2014: We are pleased to welcome Dr Simon Mitchell as a visitor to our group to work on a model of brain iron regulation in health and disease. Simon will be giving a seminar during his visit: details are at
  • October 2013: We have been funded to set up a Warwick Medical Imaging Network (W-MIN) as a Science and Technology for Health GRP Network of Excellence. There will be monthly seminars and other activities throughout the year; email me if you want to join the mailing list, and keep an eye on the W-MIN website for details of events.
  • March 2012: we are exhibiting our synchrotron research as part of the IOP stand, 'Visualising the invisible', at the Big Bang Fair, NEC, Birmingham.