Professor Nandita M deSouza is the lead academic radiologist at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and The Royal Marsden. She is a Professor in Translational Imaging and Co-director of the Cancer Research UK Imaging Centre at the ICR. She has been instrumental in securing current grants worth more than £13 million to establish the imaging research centre and to buy state-of-the-art imaging equipment. In her role she coordinates multidisciplinary research projects involving clinical medicine, physics, biochemistry and engineering to improve patient care.
Her research has primarily focused on the use of MRI to improve diagnostics for cancer patients (including development of targeted biopsies with robotic devices) and on the development of biomarkers of prognosis and treatment response.
She has pioneered the use of endocavitary probes for improved diagnostics. These imaging devices can be inserted into the body to provide high quality images and metabolic profiles of cancer tissue. They delineate tumours more accurately (for example in early cervical tumours prior to fertility-sparing operative treatment) and gather more information on tumour function. This can be used to assess, for example, whether early-stage cancer detected within the prostate will progress and become symptomatic.
Professor deSouza completed her medical training in 1983 at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Radiologists. She was awarded her Doctor of Medicine in 1996 for her thesis on The clinical applications of internal receiver coils in magnetic resonance imaging while a Senior Research Fellow at Hammersmith Hospital's Robert Steiner Magnetic Resonance Unit.
In 1995 Professor deSouza took up the post of Senior Lecturer at the Imperial College School of Medicine and Royal Postgraduate Medical School, while continuing her clinical work at Hammersmith Hospital. In 2000 she was appointed a Reader in Imaging at Imperial College and transferred to the ICR in 2004.
She has authored around 120 original research articles, several book chapters and a book on Endocavitary MRI of the Pelvis. She is vice-chair of the EORTC (European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer) imaging group, leading the MRI subcommittee, and also represents imaging on National Cancer Research Network (NCRN) boards for gynaecological and prostate cancer. She is a member of the editorial board of the Women's Imaging section for the American Journal of Roentgenology.
Professor deSouza has a major interest in mentorship for women in academic medicine and has worked through the Women in Academic Medicine Committee to develop a code for part-time and flexible training for academics. In addition, she supervises a number of PhD and MD students. She also lectures widely to national and international audiences and is involved in developing guidelines for gynaecological cancer care.