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Dr Beth York gains PhD

4th February 2022

Congratulations to Dr Beth York who successfully defended her PhD thesis, which aimed to advance understanding of in vivo quantitative MR biomarkers of demyelination in people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.


About Beth's scientific work

Dr Beth York has successfully defended her PhD thesis, titled “Magnetisation transfer imaging biomarkers of demyelination in multiple sclerosis”.

Dr Beth York
Dr Beth York

Beth was a student on the SPRINT-MND/MS (Scottish PhD Research & Innovation Network Traineeships in MND/MS), funded by Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office (CSO).

Supervised by Professor Adam Waldman and Professor David HuntBeth’s thesis aimed to advance understanding of in vivo quantitative MR biomarkers of demyelination in people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), with the aim to improve early stratification of patients and predict clinical progression. In particular, Beth’s research focused on the comparison between two magnetisation transfer imaging techniques, MTR (magnetisation transfer ratio) and MTsat (magnetisation transfer saturation), and how these might be combined with other advanced neuroimaging techniques, such as diffusion-weighted imaging, to improve specificity to MS neuropathology.

Beth performed a systematic review and meta-analyses of magnetisation transfer imaging literature in RRMS (recently accepted for publication in Brain Communications, preprint available here), which highlighted inter-study variability, and the need for more robust and specific microstructural measures than MTR in clinically feasible acquisition times.

In a cohort of people with recently diagnosed RRMS (Future-MS), Beth also examined the MR-aggregate g-ratio, a measure of myelin thickness, and its relationship with neurofilament in blood plasma - an established marker of neuroaxonal damage, in collaboration with Dr Sarah-Jane Martin and Professor David Hunt.

MRI-derived g-ratio and lesion severity in newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis.”

Beth is now a post-doctoral research fellow within the Centre for clinical Brain Sciences, continuing her work on quantitative MR in multiple sclerosis.


We asked Beth how she felt about gaining her PhD.

I am very happy to have completed my PhD and I have enjoyed the opportunity to explore neuroimaging biomarkers in MS in depth.

I am extremely grateful for the kind supervision I received throughout, and I would particularly like to thank the many people who have given up their time to participate in research.

I am looking forward to continuing my work within CCBS



This article was adapted from the Edinburgh Imaging website.
Article link


Related links

Dr Beth York scientific profile 

Professor Adam Waldman

Professor David Hunt

Multiple sclerosis

What is a MR scan?


SPRINT-MND/MS PhD programme

Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic

MS Society Edinburgh Centre for MS Research

Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences