Description of Research Expertise:
Research Assistant Professor of Radiology at the University of Pennsylvania. My formal training was in the spin-dependent features of atomic collisions and other short-coherence-time interactions. My subsequent research activity has been focused toward the control of spin interactions to increase NMR sensitivity (hyperpolarization), or minimize relaxation. These techniques have found promising applications in the detection, diagnosis, and staging of disease. In my position at Amersham Health, I sought to develop hyperpolarized gas production and imaging techniques with the goal of producing a novel drug-development and clinical diagnostic tool. Since beginning at the University of Pennsylvania, my work has been in the use of these agents for quantitative measurements of lung function and structure, as well as the use of 13C-labeled agents for non-invasive measures of metabolism.
I am currently focusing on aspects of the 13C-labeled hyperpolarized agents which are now understood to limit their utility in eventual clinical applications. Chief among these is the limited agent lifetime, which can be extended through preparation of low-gamma hyperpolarized states or multi-nucleus composite spin states. Additionally, I am working to develop a low-dose, continuous-flow analog to the current mode of agent production, which will be more compatible with non-perturbing physiological measurements, the saturation of cellular uptake rates, and increased SNR through signal-averaging. I continue to test these developments in animal models of disease, in conjunction with hyperpolarized-gas-based measures of lung function, with the goal of demonstrating a MRI-based suite of tests with greater sensitivity to disease of the lung, including early stage cancer and emphysema. I am also exploring novel methods to evaluate and maintain viability of ex vivo lungs for transplant.