The goal of my research is to develop translational and non-invasive cardiac MRI methods for early and rapid in vivo measurement of (i) molecular changes in the diseased heart and (ii) responses to novel therapies. I have 15 years of experience in development of cardiac MRI protocols, and have been the primary researcher behind the development of cardiac chemical exchange saturation transfer magnetic resonance imaging (CEST-MRI) as a platform for multiplexed in vivo imaging of MRI reporter gene activity, metabolism, and fibrosis without the use of exogenous contrast agents, as well as for tracking of cell fate in cardiac cell therapy.
In addition to a strong background in MRI methodological development, I have extensive experience in cell and molecular biology and integrative cardiovascular physiology research. I have a track record of translating MRI methods that I develop from mice to human studies including in the area of non-contrast fibrosis imaging and imaging of myocardial creatine in the setting of obesity. I seek to combine these new cellular and molecular imaging methods with additional MRI readouts of the tissue and vascular micro-environments in order to obtain a multi-scale understanding of physiological remodeling processes in the failing heart. I am actively involved in validating these techniques in a funded clinical study, and look to expanding their application to the diagnosis and risk stratification of high-risk patient populations that are currently excluded from conventional diagnostic methods for safety reasons.
In my lab, we make extensive use of pre-clinical mouse models of myocardial infarction, hypertension, obesity and diabetes in order to model metabolic and fibrotic processes in the human heart, to screen for biomarkers of early failure, and to test the efficacy of novel therapies.
I presently serve as deputy editor at Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, the flagship journal of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, for the area of CEST and magnetization transfer imaging.