Commending her appointment; Gerd Materlik, Chief Executive of Diamond Light Source said: “As one of a growing band of top research scientists and engineers who are now using Diamond Light Source to develop their research, Joanna is in a unique position to be the voice of users in the wider science community and the interface between users and Diamond. Her role will be vital in helping activities at Diamond to accurately meet the needs of the user community.”
Accepting the new position, Dr Collingwood said: “The Diamond User Committee has been formed to present the views, concerns and advice of Users in order to support their research at Diamond, and to help Diamond be a world class user facility for Synchrotron Radiation. I am honoured to have been elected to chair this Committee.”
Diamond is already making a huge scientific impact. In the 12 months to April 2009 alone, Diamond allocated 2,817 experimental shifts to users and has in doing so had a positive effect on many fields of science. Additionally, over 350 journal papers have been produced by users and staff since the start of operations.
Dr Collingwood comments: “These large facilities provide opportunities for an incredibly diverse range of fundamental and applied research, and with the latest Nobel Prize in Chemistry having been awarded to three synchrotron users, we have again evidence that facilities like Diamond can provide the key to scientific breakthroughs at the highest level.”
Dr Joanna Collingwood – Assistant Professor, Engineering, University of Warwick
Her group's primary interest is in the storage and utilization of iron and other metals in the human brain, with particular emphasis on altered metal-ion metabolism in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The group uses a variety of analytical techniques, including synchrotron X-ray microfocus spectroscopy, to characterize the distribution and form of trace metals in tissues and protein aggregates. They are currently measuring the effects of regional brain iron changes on MRI relaxation parameters to explore biomarker potential, and this work includes a clinical imaging study of Parkinson's disease patients, and research on changes in Alzheimer’s brain tissues supported by the Alzheimer’s Society. Dr Collingwood’s research background includes work on the magnetic characterization of materials, and she has broad interests in biomagnetism and in biomedical imaging techniques.
Dr Collingwood originally trained in physics at the University of York, and her doctoral study at University of Warwick was on the properties of magnetic materials. She subsequently worked in a cross-disciplinary area at postdoctoral level with the support of a research fellowship from the Alzheimer’s Society and the Dunhill Medical Trust, and held subsequent fellowships from EPSRC and RCUK at Keele University prior to taking up a recent appointment in Engineering at the University of Warwick. Dr Collingwood has strong collaborative links with colleagues at Keele University and University of Florida, and has been involved in the development of microfocus synchrotron radiation techniques to study metal ion accumulations in human brain tissue, working at both the UK DIAMOND synchrotron and the Advanced Photon Source at the Argonne National Laboratories in Chicago, USA.
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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