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Irene Tracey

Irene Tracey is Director of Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB) Centre, Nuffield Professor of Anaesthetic Science. Irene is a leading expert on using neuroimaging to study pain processing in the human brain. Until recently it has been difficult to obtain reliable objective information from normal subjects and patients regarding their subjective pain experience. Relating specific neurophysiologic markers to perceptual experiences induced by sensitisation, behavioural or pharmacological mechanisms and identifying their site of action within the Central Nervous System has been a major goal for scientists, clinicians, the pharmaceutical industry, and more recently society and the legal profession. With the advent of functional neuroimaging methods, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI), positron emission tomography (PET) and electroencephalography (EEG) this has been made feasible.
Over the past 10 years her multidisciplinary team of scientists and clinicians has contributed significantly to a better understanding of nociceptive processing in the human central nervous system in the non-injured and injured state, as well as modulation of pain perception via pharmacological and psychological interventions. They are considered one of the premier pain imaging groups worldwide.

Series featuring Irene Tracey

  • Medical Sciences
  • Women in Medical Science
  • Big Questions - with Oxford Sparks
  • Career Equality Talks
  • Alumni Weekend
  • Inside Oxford Science
  • Interviews with Oxonians
# Episode Title Description People Date
1 "Anomalies" Part 3 - Placebos and pain Professor Irene Tracey explains the placebo effect and how it is a normal part of our pain system. Irene Tracey, Chris Lintott 10 Feb 2015
2 Creative Commons Irene Tracey: Women in Science Irene Tracey is the co-founder and director of the Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB) Irene Tracey 10 Dec 2014
3 Creative Commons Irene Tracey: Women in Science Irene Tracey gives a passionate insight into her career and how she balances work and life. As she puts it 'A scientific career is not an easy one to choose: it’s tough and competitive'. Irene Tracey 08 Apr 2014
4 Creative Commons Understanding human pain, suffering and relief through brain imaging Professor Irene Tracey talks about her research into pain through using brain imaging technology to see exactly how the brain is affected by pain while discussing its implications to how we understand pain in society. Irene Tracey 09 Nov 2009
5 Creative Commons Understanding human pain, suffering and relief through brain imaging Using examples from her research, Professor Tracey illustrates some of the exciting developments in brain imaging -seeing exactly how the brain is affected by its environment-and discusses how this research impacts on modern medicine, law and society. Irene Tracey 28 Oct 2009
6 Dark Matter and Architecture in Science In the second edition of Inside Oxford Science Pedro explores dark matter and cosmic voids whilst Marcus leads a debate on whether great architecture can inspire great science. Marcus du Sautoy, Irene Tracey, Chris Lintott, Pedro Ferreira 14 Apr 2009
7 Synaesthesia and Citizen Science Part one. The team examines the neurological condition synaesthesia and the recent Oxford study which sheds light on its genetic basis. Also explored is Galaxy Zoo, an innovative Oxford project which asks the public to help classify galaxies. Marcus du Sautoy, Irene Tracey, Chris Lintott, Pedro Ferreira 02 Mar 2009
8 Irene Tracey on FMRI and Pain Professor Irene Tracey, director of the Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain, explains how MRI works and then talks about her research into people's perception of pain. Irene Tracey, Oliver Lewis 12 Sep 2008
9 Irene Tracey on FMRI and Pain Professor Irene Tracey, director of the Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain, explains how MRI works and then talks about her research into people’s perception of pain. Irene Tracey, Oliver Lewis 12 Sep 2008