Professor Callaghan began researching the use of magnetic resonance (MR) as a probe of soft matter more than 35 years ago. The technique uses radio waves and magnetic fields to detect how molecules organise, orient and move. Professor Callaghan is now the world expert in some areas of MR research and his fellow team members have also made significant international impact.

Discoveries by the team are widely used in medical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and materials science, have resulted in new imaging methods and research techniques and are opening up opportunities to use MR methods in agricultural and industrial applications. Innovations from the team are also being used to research climate change in Antarctica.

Together the team has published 250 scientific papers, holds three patents and has a citation ‘h-index’ (which measures the productivity and impact of published work) of 46 which is the same as many Nobel Prize winners. It has attracted top students back to New Zealand and brought many of the world’s leading MR researchers from other countries here to work alongside the local MR research group.

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