Consultant Neonatologist,
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Honorary Professor, Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, University College London (UCL)

Research Interests

Cerebrovascular physiology: we are interested in developing novel markers of autoregulation and exploring the relationship between cardiac function and cerebrovascular control in preterm infants.
Brain function and behavior: neoLAB is an interdisciplinary collaboration between Cambridge and physicists at University College London. The aim of the group is to develop optical and EEG systems to understand brain function in both healthy and sick newborn infants and relate this to their behavioural state.
Neonatal neurocritical care: I am interested in the challenges of applying best research to improve clinical care for infants with brain injury. This work has included developing an award winning regional service for neonatal neuroprotection in the East of England.

I have been working as a consultant neonatologist in Cambridge since 2008; during this time I have secured over £3M funding in grants and awards to develop the Evelyn Perinatal Imaging Centre, based at the Rose Hospital, which includes a dedicated infant functional brain imaging unit, and 1.5T MRI scanner. I have local active collaborations with the Department of Neurosurgery (Prof. Marek Czosnyka), Autism Research Centre (Prof Simon Baron-Cohen), Department of Psychiatry (Prof. John Suckling) and Department of Psychology (Dr. Vicky Leong) as well as collaborations with the Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering at UCL (Prof Jem Hebden, Prof Clare Elwell), Birkbeck Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development (Prof Mark Johnson, Dr Sarah Lloyd-Fox), and Department of Neonatology, Copenhagen (Prof Greisen).

Grants and Awards

  1. British Academy/Leverhulme (with Birkbeck BabyLab, University of London), 2015-2016: TOUCH – Understanding the role social touch plays in cognitive development. £9.6k
  2. Rosetrees Trust (with Vicky Leong, Psychology), 2015-2016: Identifying neuro-genetic oscillatory biomarkers of dyslexia risk in neonates. £11k
  3. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (with UCL-BORL, Birkbeck BabyLab, University of London), 2015-2017: BRIGHT – BRain Imaging and Global HealTh. £640k
  4. Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust/Biomedical Research Centre Nurses, Midwives & Allied Healthcare Professional Research Training Fellowships, 2015-2016. £44k
  5. MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship (Principal Supervisor), 2014: Behaviour and resting state activation in newborns. £130K.
  6. Sir Jules Thorne Charitable Trust (Principal Investigator), 2013, equipment award: Development of a neonatal neurocritical care service in Cambridge. £181K.
  7. SPARKS (Principal Investigator), 2013-2015: SAMBA – Study of Autoregulatory Monitoring in BAbies. £115K.
  8. Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (Co-Investigator, with UCL), 2012-2016: Fast optical tomography for imaging seizure detection in newborn infants. £887K.
  9. Evelyn Trust, 2013-2015: Evelyn Trust Research Fellowship in Perinatal Neuroscience. £164K.
  10. Evelyn Trust (Principal Investigator), 2012, capital award: Evelyn Trust Perinatal Imaging Centre. £315K.
  11. Action Medical Research (Principal Investigator), 2012-2014: Seizure detection in the newborn infant using integrated optical imaging and electroencephalography. £130K.
  12. Danish Council for Strategic Research, 2011-2015 (Consortium Partner): SafeBoosC – Safeguarding the brain of our smallest children. DK11.1M – UK award £26K.
  13. Health Foundation (Principal Investigator), 2010-2012: Neonatal neuroprotection in the East of England. £435K.
  14. Evelyn Trust (Principal Investigator), 2009-2012: Cerebral autoregulation in the newborn. £42K.

Selected Publications

For a full list, click on the PubMed link above

  1. Lee CW, Blanco B, Dempsey L, et al. Sleep State Modulates Resting-State Functional Connectivity in Neonates. Front Neurosci. 2020;14:347.
  2. Sortica da Costa C, Cardim D, Molnar Z, et al. Changes in hemodynamics, cerebral oxygenation and cerebrovascular reactivity during the early transitional circulation in preterm infants. Pediatr Res. 2019;86(2):247–253. doi:10.1038/s41390-019-0410-z
  3. Lloyd-Fox S, Blasi A, McCann S, et al. Habituation and novelty detection fNIRS brain responses in 5- and 8-month-old infants: The Gambia and UK. Dev Sci. 2019;22(5):e12817. doi:10.1111/desc.12817
  4. Chalia M, Dempsey LA, Cooper RJ, et al. Diffuse optical tomography for the detection of perinatal stroke at the cot side: a pilot study. Pediatr Res. 2019;85(7):1001–1007. doi:10.1038/s41390-018-0263-x
  5. Chalia M, Lee CW, Dempsey LA, et al. Hemodynamic response to burst-suppressed and discontinuous electroencephalography activity in infants with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy [published correction appears in Neurophotonics. 2016 Jul;3(3):039802]. Neurophotonics. 2016;3(3):031408. doi:10.1117/1.NPh.3.3.031408
  6. Hyttel-Sørensen S, Pellicer A, Aldrliesten T, Austin T, van Bel F, Benders M, Claris O, Dempsey EM, Franz AR, Fumagalli M, et al. Cerebral near infrared spectroscopy oximetry in extremely preterm infants: phase II randomised clinical trial. BMJ 2015;350:g7635 doi: 10.1136/bmj.g7635
  7. Singh H, Cooper RJ, Lee CW, Dempsey L, Edwards AD, Brigadoi S, Airantzis D, Everdell N, Michell A, Holder D, Hebden JC, T.Austin. Mapping cortical haemodynamics during neonatal seizures using diffuse optical tomography: a case study. Neuroimage Clin. 2014;5:256-65.
  8. Cooper RJ, Hebden JC, O’Reilly H, Mitra S, Michell A, Everdell NL, Gibson AP, Austin T. Transient haemodynamic events in neurologically compromised infants: A simultaneous EEG and diffuse optical imaging study. Neuroimage 2011;55:1610-6.
  9. Wong F, Leung T, Austin T, Wilkinson M, Meek JH, Wyatt JS, Walker A. Impaired autoregulation in preterm infants identified using spatially resolved spectroscopy. Pediatrics 2008;121:e604-e611.
  10. Austin T, Gibson AP, Branco G, Yusof RM, Arridge SR, Meek JH, Delpy DT, Wyatt JS, Hebden JC. Three dimensional optical imaging of blood volume and oxygenation in the preterm brain. Neuroimage 2006;31:1426-1433.
  11. Gibson AP, Austin T, Everdell NL, Hebden JC, Delpy DT, Schweiger M, Arridge SR, Meek JH, Wyatt JS. Whole-head optical tomography of neonatal evoked responses. Neuroimage 2006;30:521-528.
  12. Hebden JC, Gibson AP, Austin T, Yusof RM, Everdell NL, Delpy DT, Arridge SR, Meek JH, Wyatt JS. Imaging changes in blood volume and oxygenation in the newborn infant brain using three dimensional optical tomography. Physics in Medicine and Biology 2004;49, 1117-1130.
  13. Yusof RM, Hebden JC, Gibson AP, Everdell NL, Austin T, Meek JH, Arridge SR, Wyatt JS, Delpy DT. Validation of the use of homogeneous reference phantoms for optical tomography of the neonatal brain. Proc SPIE 2003;4955.
  14. Hebden JC, Gibson AP, Yusof RM, Everdell NL, Delpy DT, Hillman EMC, Arridge SR, Austin T, Meek JH, Wyatt JS. Three-dimensional optical tomography of the premature infant brain. Physics in Medicine and Biology 2002;47:4155-4166.

Commentaries & Review Articles

  1. Austin T. The development of neonatal neurointensive care [published online ahead of print, 2019 Dec 18]. Pediatr Res. 2019;10.1038/s41390-019-0729-5. doi:10.1038/s41390-019-0729-5
  2. Rhee CJ, da Costa CS, Austin T, Brady KM, Czosnyka M, Lee JK. Neonatal cerebrovascular autoregulation. Pediatr Res. 2018;84(5):602–610. doi:10.1038/s41390-018-0141-6
  3. Kooi EMW, Verhagen EA, Elting JWJ, et al. Measuring cerebrovascular autoregulation in preterm infants using near-infrared spectroscopy: an overview of the literature. Expert Rev Neurother. 2017;17(8):801–818. doi:10.1080/14737175.2017.1346472
  4. Lee CW, Cooper RJ, Austin T. Diffuse optical tomography to investigate the newborn brain. Pediatr Res. 2017;82(3):376–386. doi:10.1038/pr.2017.107
  5. da Costa CS, Greisen G, Austin T. Is near-infrared spectroscopy clinically useful in the preterm infant?. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2015;100(6):F558–F561. doi:10.1136/archdischild-2014-307919
  6. Austin T, Mitra S. Optical imaging of the neonatal brain European Paediatrics 2011;5:13-18.
  7. Austin T, Copper RJ. Combining EEG and diffuse optical imaging: a new approach to monitoring neonatal seizures? Advances in Clinical Neurosciences and Rehabilitation 2010;10:42-44.
  8. Austin T. Optical imaging of the neonatal brain – leading article. Archives of Diseases in Childhood 2007;92:F238-F241.
  9. Hebden JC, Austin T. Optical tomography of the neonatal brain – review. European Radiology 2007;17:2926-33.