- Ph.D., Princeton University, 1995
My research program is geared around developing, and using hyperpolarized gases to drive novel applications in MR imaging. My background is in the atomic physics of producing hyperpolarized noble gases 3He and 129Xe. Hyperpolarization, which involves aligning nuclei to a high degree, enhances the MRI signal from these two isotopes by 5-6 orders of magnitude, which enables high-resolution imaging despite the low density of gases compared to waterâ€”the ordinary signal source in MRI.
Through my career in both industry and academia I have developed an interest not only in attacking the basic physics problems of producing these gases, but in their large-scale development and application to biomedical problems. Current work involves high-resolution hyperpolarized 3He imaging in mouse and rat models of pulmonary diseases, such as asthma, COPD, and fibrosis. Moreover, we now have established a clinical 129Xe imaging program that can be deployed for non-invasive longitudinal studies of regional pulmonary function in health and disease.We are collaborating with a variety of pulmonary and other imaging scientists in order to bring MR-based 3D imaging of lung structure and function into practice.
To realize the full capabilities of hyperpolarized 129Xe, we are putting together an integrated program that combines atomic physics research, polarizer engineering, and developing MR hardware and techniques to get maximum signal and contrast out of every atom.