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The research projects in this laboratory are focusing on developing and utilizing imaging technologies, especially magnetic resonance methods, to address biological questions and solve medical problems with strong emphases on translational research and potential clinical applications. By developing imaging and analytical methods capable of revealing physiological, biological or disease processes at the molecular and cellular level in living systems, we attempt to link molecular, cell biology and biomarker discovery to non-invasive imaging of biological and disease events and activities in vivo, and eventually in human.  We believe that such molecular and cellular imaging approaches are the key to the clinical management of major diseases, such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.  As a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary research program, our current research activities are in the following areas:

  1. developing biomarker targeted MRI contrast agents for MRI-based molecular and cellular imaging;
  2. developing NMR/MRS based metabolomics that enables us to profile cell or tissue metabolites in vivo and ex vivo to investigate the potential metabolite markers for improving the specificity of cancer detection and for early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease;
  3. developing clinical applications of functional MRI, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and perfusion MRI for imaging and study of brain functions, brain disorders and diseases;
  4. developing nanomaterial and nanotechnology for medical applications, such as biomarker based imaging probes for in vivo molecular imaging. 

We believe that our research in these areas can advance and improve current medical imaging and radiology practices and will directly benefit both clinical research and patient care in the future.

group photo of MRI lab members