About Dr Roger Bourne

I love the exploration and unpredictability of research, and I also love the autonomy – the potential to pursue ideas that excite me and to get involved with the ideas of my collaborators. Medicine and biology are full of unexplored niches and unsolved problems, and we now have some incredible technology available for our investigations. I promise to supervise my students, not direct them – to help and guide them in the pursuit of their own ideas.

My research experience spans from clinical studies of cancer to basic biophysics. I use medical imaging, especially MRI, to understand how the body works, and why it sometimes doesn’t work. Magnetic resonance is a fantastic phenomenon because it lets us look at biological systems without disrupting their structure or function. This includes in-vivo MRI of people and high resolution MRI of tissue samples.

Dr Roger Bourne has been a Lecturer in the Discipline of Medical Radiation Sciences, Faculty of Heath Sciences, University of Sydney since 2007.  In 2010 he was awarded the Faculty of Health Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award.Dr Bourne completed his PhD in 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy of yeasts at the Department of Microbiology, University of Queensland.

In 1990-93 he was a postdoctoral fellow at the private laboratory of Nobel Laureate Peter Mitchell in Cornwall, UK, where he studied the sodium-motive NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase of Vibrio alginolyticus. He successfully developed a method for purification of this membrane protein complex that enabled the first N-terminal sequencing of the subunits.

In 1993-94 he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biochemistry, University of Sydney, developing MR spectroscopy methods for microorganisms and erythrocytes as part of the Cooperative Research Centre for Membrane Biosensors.

From 1995-1999 he was a Senior Scientist for FungiGulp Research Group P/L - a private company formed to commercialize waste treatment technology developed at the University of Queensland.

From 1999-2006 Dr Bourne was a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Magnetic Resonance Research (IMRR), University of Sydney, where he was Director of Prostate Research and later Melanoma Research. Research at this institute was focused on cancer detection by magnetic resonance spectroscopy - an exceedingly difficult technical challenge. Dr Bourne was primary author of a successful NHMRC grant for MRI and MRS investigations of prostate cancer. His standing in the field of in-vivo spectroscopy was recognized in an invited speaker presentation to the International Union of Pure and Applied Biophysics biannual conference. In 2007 he was an invited speaker at a national symposium on MR diffusion. Whilst the IMRR did not succeed in development of MRS as a clinically useful tool, Dr Bourne had a productive published research output.

For further information, please see Dr Bourne's staff profile -

Selected publications

Bourne R, Kurniawan N. et al. (2011). 16T Diffusion Microimaging of Fixed Prostate Tissue. Preliminary findings. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine: (In press).

Bourne R, Ryan J, Wang S-C, Mah J. (2011) Digital X-ray Imaging. Radiological Society of North America/American Association for Physicists in Medicine.

Guitera P, Bourgeat P, Stretch JR, Scolyer RA, Ourselin S, Lean C, Thompson JF, Bourne R. (2010) Diagnostic value of 8.5 T magnetic resonance spectroscopy of benign and malignant skin lesion biopsies. Melanoma Research 20(4):311-317.

Bourne R. (2010) Fundamentals of Digital Imaging in Medicine. London: Springer-Verlag.

Bourne R, Kench P. (2010) A database approach to feedback driven teaching quality improvement. In: Devlin M, Nagy J, Lichtenberg A, editors. Research and Development in Higher Education: Reshaping Higher Education. 6-9 July ed. Volume 33. Melbourne: Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia, Inc.

Bourne RM, Stanwell P, Stretch JR, Scolyer RA, Thompson JF, Mountford CE, Lean CL. (2005) In vivo and ex vivo proton MR spectroscopy of primary and secondary melanoma. European Journal of Radiology 53(3):506-513.

Bourne RM, Kuchel PW. (2002) Device for aeration and mixing of cell and organelle suspensions during NMR experiments. Journal of Magnetic Resonance 159(2):158-160.