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Prof Xavier Golay
UCL Institute of Neurology
8-11, Queen Square, Box 65
Prof Xavier Golay profile picture
  • Chair of Magnetic Resonance Physics and Translational Neuroscience
  • Brain Repair & Rehabilitation
  • UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences

Xavier Golay is a Professor of MR Neurophysics and Translational Neuroscience at the UCL Institute of Neurology in Queen Square, London, UK.  Professor Golay received a Master of Science Degree in Physics from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne (EPFL) in 1994.  He then moved to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Zurich (ETHZ), where he worked as a research assistant in the group of Professor Peter Boesiger towards his Ph.D. on Functional MRI. After completion of his Ph.D. in 1998, Professor Golay stayed in Zurich for an additional year as a post-doctoral fellow and pioneered the use of SENSE parallel imaging technique in fMRI.  

In 1999, he moved to Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, as a post-doctoral fellow, working with Professor Peter van Zijl on many projects in neuroimaging and spectroscopy.  He became a Research Associate at the Department of Radiology at John Hopkins School of Medicine as well as Staff Scientist at FM Kirby Research Center for Functional Brain Imaging at Kennedy Krieger Institute.  In 2002 he was promoted to Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. 

Dr. Golay left a year later for Singapore, where he worked for 2 years at the National Neuroscience Institute developing clinically relevant arterial spin labeling techniques, for which his student Esben Petersen received the ISMRM’s I.I. Rabi Young investigator Award in Miami in 2005.  The same year he took up the position of Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Imaging at the Singapore Bioimaging Consortium, a program, headed by Professor Sir George Radda, from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) of Singapore, and stayed in this position for 3 years. 

In October 2008, he moved back to Europe to take up the newly-created Chair of MR Neurophysics and Translational Neuroscience at the UCL Institute of Neurology in London.  His research interests include the development of MRI as a translational tool for neurological diseases, measuring identical image-based biomarkers from mouse to human, and from the laboratory to the clinical settings. 

In May 2012, Professor Golay was promoted to the position of Head of the Department of Brain Repair and Rehabilitation at the UCL Institute of Neurology, a post he occupied until September 2016, date at which he became Vice-Dean for Innovation & Enterprise within the Faculty of Brain Sciences. He stepped down from that position in March 2018, to concentrate more on his Spinout company: http://www.goldstandardphantoms.com/.  

After successfully, charing a European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action from 2011 to 2015 to coordinate the development of arterial spin labelling as a biomarker in dementia in 18 European countries, Prof Golay managed to get and coordinate an EC H2020 grant (€6.5M) to develop and move the GlucoCEST technique from bench to bedside.

Prof. Golay is the author or co-author of over 130 scientific articles and 15 review articles / book chapters on MRI, and member of the Editorial boards of Magnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Medicine and Biology (MAGMA) and NMR in Biomedicine.  He is also a frequently invited lecturer and teacher at major international and national conferences.

Professor Golay was elected as President-Elect of the European Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology in June 2012, and is finally leaving this board in June 2018, after a successful 6 years at the helm of this society. 

Research Summary

Professor Golay’s research interests lie at the intersection of many disciplines, such as NMR physics, chemistry, physiology and neuroscience.  They include the development of MRI as a translational tool for neurological diseases, measuring identical image-based biomarkers from mouse to human, and from the laboratory to the clinical settings.  As translation has many meanings, parts of his most important research interests include the development of MRI techniques to be used as image-based outcome measures or biomarkers in the same way in animal model of diseases or in human patients. His hope is to reduce the cycle of drug development in neurological diseases by allowing academic or pharmaceutical institutions to use similar tests across species.

Dementia, Metabolism, Perfusion, Cerebral Blood Flow, Arterial Spin Labelling, Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer, GlucoCEST

Alzheimer's disease, Brain tumours, Dementia - frontotemporal, Dementia - Lewy Body, Dementia - subcortical, Dementia - vascular, Motor neuron disease, Multiple sclerosis, Neurodegenerative diseases, Stroke, Cancer

Arterial Spin Labelling (ASL), Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer (CEST)

Research Interests
MRI, Methodology Developments, Clinical Neuroscience, Cancer Research, Translational Research, High Field Imaging.

Academic Background
1998   Doctor of Philosophy Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule Zurich
1994   Master of Science Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne
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