I am a British Heart Foundation Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, Deputy Director of the Oxford Clinical Centre for Magnetic Resonance Research (OCMR) and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Radcliffe Department of Medicine. I obtained my Bachelor of Science (SB) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Doctor of Medicine (MD) at the University of British Columbia in my hometown of Vancouver, Canada. I completed medical training at the University of British Columbia (Internal Medicine) and the University of Calgary (Cardiology). I subsequently obtained a DPhil in Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Oxford, and have been working in the University since.
Prof Ferreira obtained a doctorate in Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Oxford, which focused on cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) myocardial tissue characterisation, converging with MR physics technical development towards clinical translation of myocardial T1-mapping.
Briefly, each tissue type in the body has a magnetic property called T1 relaxation time, which can be measured (in milliseconds) using MRI scans. The heart has a specific range of normal T1 values, deviation from which may be indicative of disease.
T1-mapping generates a pixel-by-pixel T1-map of the heart, which can locate small areas of disease in a numerical manner. Thus, T1-mapping provides a quantitative way to examine the heart, does not require any injection of contrast agents or radiation, and produces coloured MRI images which give additional information compared to traditional MRI images.
One of Prof Ferreira's goals is to advance CMR methods to gain more insight into heart disease in ways not previously possible, in a non-invasive way. Another is to minimise the need for injection of contrast agents for diagnostic images, allowing more patients to benefit from cardiac MRI, eliminating adverse reactions to contrast agents, and savings in time and cost.
Working with MR physicists, engineers, biomedical imaging experts and clinician-scientists from a range of specialities, Prof Ferreira’s research at the OCMR is highly collaborative and interdisciplinary. She also delivers CMR education, and supervises DPhil, MSc and medical students in CMR research at the OCMR, based at the John Radcliffe Hospital.
Prof Ferreira has over 15 years of teaching experience, working with learners from all levels, including students, medical trainees, physicians, allied medical professionals and scientists from varied disciplines. She currently supervises clinical and non-clinical researchers at the DPhil and post-doctoral level.