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Sierra Sparks BEng

DPhil Student

Biography

Sierra is a Rhodes Scholar and a current DPhil (PhD) in Engineering Science student. She works under the supervision of Professor Daniel Bulte within the biomedical image analysis research cluster. Her research focuses on measuring cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) using magnetic resonance imaging and pupillometry to identify early indicators of neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Prior to Oxford, she graduated from Dalhousie University in Canada with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering with co-operative education. She previously conducted research and gained industry experience working in high-frequency medical ultrasound transducer development and is a licensed Engineer-in-Training (EIT) in Canada.

Sierra is passionate about increasing the number of women and equity-deserving groups in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), which she does through outreach work and through her current position as an ED&I Fellow for the Mathematical, Physical, and Life Sciences Division at the University of Oxford.

Research Interests

Sierra’s research focuses on measuring cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) using magnetic resonance imaging and pupillometry. She is investigating the use of pupil flash response measurement to identify a smooth muscle disorder to indicate impaired CVR. She aims to combine this with an analysis of lifestyle factors to identify risk factors and early indicators of neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia.
More broadly, Sierra is interested in:

• Biomedical Image Analysis
• Magnetic Resonance Imaging
• Biomedical Instrumentation
• Machine Learning

Research Groups

Related Academics