Molecular MR Imaging using Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer
― A new potential for guiding interventional procedures
Dr. Zhongliang Zu
Molecular and physiological imaging, such as MRS and PET, have been widely recognized to improve tumor delineation and grading, differentiate tumor progression from treatment effect, as well as assess the tissue viability in ischemic stroke. While these conventional methods have been demonstrated to enhance the diagnostic outcomes, they either require long imaging time or incur excessive radiations, thereby hindering their integration into interventional procedures. This talk will introduce a novel molecular MR imaging technology, termed chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST), which holds the promise of shortening imaging time and no harmful radiations. We have recently developed innovated CEST approaches that allow images to be acquired at a sub-second temporal resolution and yet with sensitivity and specificity that well meet clinical requirements. The strengths of our CEST techniques offer a new potential for their routine use in guiding interventional procedures.
Dr. Zu received his Ph.D. degree in medical physics from Peking University in 2008. He then joined Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science for his post-doctoral training, where he is currently an associate professor. His research interests include the development of advanced molecular and functional MRI sequences, fast imaging techniques, as well as their applications in the diagnosis and treatment monitoring of tumor, stroke, and multiple neurodegenerative disorders. He has also established experiences in hardware and software development for an open-access MRI scanner dedicated for clinical interventions. By developing fast and specific imaging techniques, he has successfully solved many challenging problems that have troubled the clinical translation of molecular MR imaging for decades. He is also the inventor of several novel and unique molecular imaging methods. His contributions to the field were highly praised by entire paragraphs of review papers published in world-renowned journals. His group was also interviewed by the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), and some of his works were highlighted by Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, an official journal of ISMRM. He has published 100+ peer-reviewed journal papers and international conference proceedings in the field of MRI. He has served as a reviewer or an editor on multiple international journals. He has been working as a PI on multiple NIH funded projects and is also an NIH grant reviewer.