BIRC Seminar Speaker: Dr. Mitch Albert

BIRC Seminar Speaker: Dr. Mitch Albert

Director of MRI Research
UMass Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts

"Hyperpolarized Gas MRI of Lungs and Brain"

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - 17:30 to 19:00

Shuttleworth Auditorium (D0-104), St. Joseph's Hospital, 268 Grosvenor Street, London, ON. N6A 4V2


My laboratory uses hyperpolarized (HP) gas MRI, an innovative technology that, by providing spectacularly detailed information on physiological structure and function, has the potential to significantly improve diagnosis and treatment of a variety of diseases. HP gas MRI uses 3He or 129Xe to create high-resolution images of functional ventilation in the lungs, something impossible with other pulmonary measurements. In addition, 129Xe dissolves in the blood, permitting it to be used to trace perfusion in the lungs and brain. In lung research, my group has applied HP gas MRI to studies of asthma, COPD, cystic fibrosis, and lung cancer. For example, we are pursuing an innovative approach called image functional modeling to study asthma, synthesizing data from lung mechanics, HP 3He imaging, and personalized, 3-D airway trees. We have also used HP gas MRI to assess the effect of specific treatments on lung ventilation in patients with COPD, and have developed advanced, semi-automated quantification tools for use with HP 3He lung imaging. In brain research, we are using HP 129Xe MR imaging to study stroke. Because 129Xe is a high-resolution perfusion tracer, it provides detailed information about stroke damage, and may eventually be able to be used to help guide therapy.

Hyperpolarized 3He gas MR images of the human lung

* The BIRC seminar series is jointly sponsored by BIRC and the London Chapter of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society.