Wayne State University

Aim Higher

MRI Faculty

E-Mail: nmrimaging@aol.com
Mailing Address: WSU MRI Core, DRH Mailroom - Mailbox 207, 4201 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48201
Phone: (313) 745-1395
Fax: (313) 745-9182

E. Mark Haacke, PhD
Director of MR Research Facility

Dr. Haacke, who is also a Professor in the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Engineering, has been interested in studying the brain’s vasculature for more than 30 years. With the advent of new and more powerful equipment, Dr. Haacke is excited about the potential to better understand the etiology and pathophysiology of these diseases in the hope that better treatments lay ahead.

Dr. Haacke’s specific area of research involves developing technology that will allow us to probe the blood vessels and hemodynamic function of the brain non-invasively using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). He has been a pioneer in developing these methods, having invented both MR angiography (MRA) and susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI). These methods allow us to image the arteries, veins and through the magnetic susceptibility properties of the blood even the oxygen saturation in the draining veins. As a by-product of the SWI technique, we can also see blood products clearly in the form of microbleeds which is critical in following dementia (see the work of Dr. Cheng) and traumatic brain injury (see the work with Dr. Kou). A combination of these MRA and SWI techniques and perfusion weighted imaging (PWI) is proving of particular value in imaging multiple sclerosis patients. Here Dr. Haacke has investigated changes in cerebral blood flow for acute and chronic lesions, seen changes in the venous vasculature and measured the iron content change in the lesions of these patients. The role of iron and venous disease may open up new doors in understanding the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis and help guide future drug designs to treat the disease.

Dr. Haacke has published two texts in the field of MRI on the basics of the method, on MRA and he is now in the process of publishing another on SWI. Currently, SWI is used at nearly 1000 sites around the world. Dr. Haacke is particularly enthusiastic about a new technique, referred to as susceptibility mapping, a child of SWI, which may make it possible to not only quantify oxygen saturation throughout the brain, but also to quantify the iron content in the brain. Two other applications Dr. Haacke is quite excited about are the use of SWI to study atherosclerosis and deep venous thrombosis. In the former case, he has shown the vessel wall can be imaged in three-dimensions through a large area of interest because of different magnetic properties compared to surrounding blood. This may make it possible to detect different types of plaque in the vessel wall; more specifically to different blood products from other types of plaque.

Dr. Haacke has had many students, post-docs, engineers, clinical fellows, and research fellows over the years and has been awarded the Fellow, Silver Medal and Gold Medal of the ISMRM and its antecedents. Dr. Haacke is the Director of the MR Research Facility at Wayne State University.

E-Mail: jhu@med.wayne.edu
Mailing Address: WSU MRI Core, DRH Mailroom - Mailbox 207, 4201 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48201
Phone: (313) 993-7947
Fax: (313) 745-9182

Jiani Hu, PhD
Co-Director of the MR Research Facility, Professor of Radiology

Dr. Hu's current research focuses on three areas: glymphatic system, body susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI), and cancer diagnosis and screening. The glymphatic system is a newly defined brain-wide para-vascular pathway for interstitial fluid (ISF) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) exchange that facilitates efficient clearance of interstitial toxic solutes away from the brain. Abnormalities in this system have been hypothesized to contribute to both initiation and progression of many neurological diseases. However, the absence of a powerful non-invasive in vivo imaging technique has been the limiting factor for human study. MRI could be the imaging modality for glymphatic study except its low detection sensitivity. The combination of SWI with USPIO agents could be a solution. We have demonstrated the potential of improving MRI detection sensitivity by more than 1000 times using the SWI-USPIO technique.

The importance of detecting and evaluating hemorrhage, thrombosis, iron deposition, calcification, and blood oxygenation level in diagnosis, prognosis, treatment planning or evaluation is well understood because many diseases, surgeries or interventional procedures can involve one or more of these "SWI-sensitive" abnormalities. Despite routine brain SWI examinations in many hospitals across the world, SWI has not been applied to the body until recently. We are continuing to develop SWI techniques and extend their applications from the brain to the body.

Another Dr. Hu's major research interest is cancer research. Dr. Hu has published more than 40 papers on the topic. One of Dr. Hu’s latest cancer research focuses is to detect ultra-small cancer in their early stage using the combination of nanoparticle based delivery systems, nanoparticle based USPIO agents, and SWI blooming effects. Computer simulation, in vitro phantom and in vivo animal studies are very promising, demonstrating the potential of detecting objects that are 1000 times of smaller in size than that by a conventional MRI.

In brief, Dr. Hu explores in vivo MR properties of tissues for diagnosis, prognosis and treatment follow-up using the state-of-art in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS) techniques.

E-Mail: yxc16@wayne.edu
Mailing Address: WSU MRI Core, DRH Mailroom - Mailbox 207, 4201 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48201
Phone: (313) 966-8220
Fax: (313) 745-9182

Norman Cheng, PhD
Associate Professor

Quantitative measurements from MRI have proven to be important diagnostic markers in Radiology. Dr. Cheng, has recently focused on fundamental MRI research that will ultimately assist medical doctors in distinguishing normal from abnormal tissue. His focus has been on studying magnetic susceptibility effects caused by microbleeds in a variety of diseases including trauma and aging in an effort to understand progressive vascular damage in each of these diseases. Quantifying the magnet source has been an interest in the MRI community for a long time, but it is a very difficult inverse problem. Dr. Cheng recently solved this complex problem and refers to this approach as CISSCO.

Microbleeds can occur in normal aging but are much more prevalent in vascular dementia. Recent evidence suggests that a significant fraction of dementia patients suffer from cerebral amyloid angiopathy which is different from Alzheimer’s disease. It is very important to stratify patients (i.e., determine which type of dementia they have) and one way may be to monitor microbleeds. Dr. Cheng’s interests lie in not only detecting these microbleeds but quantifying their susceptibility to show if the disease is worsening or not. Microbleeds have been observed in roughly 27% of subjects with Alzheimer’s disease, 25%-46% with hypertension, 34% with ischemic stroke, 60% with non-traumatic intracerebral hemorrhage, and 85% with vascular dementia. These numbers and existing research let one suspect the progression of microbleeds could be an early biomarker of vascular dementia. One problem that human brain MR images present is difficulty in distinguishing microbleeds from calcification, which also appear as small dark spots. Dr. Cheng has applied the CISSCO method to these findings and found that he could distinguish calcium from actual bleeding. This is significant since microbleeds can occur in several neurological diseases. Potentially, this method can reveal information that is currently only available from x-ray or computed tomography (CT) scans.

Dr. Cheng has also been heavily involved in a second application on the detection of changes in iron content in the brain. This too may have applications to diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease. As for future research, Dr. Cheng’s ultimate goal is to create a susceptibility map of the tissue over the entire body.

Small Animal Imaging – 7T magnet
E-Mail: baberko@med.wayne.edu
Mailing Address: Scott Hall, 540 East Canfield St., Detroit, MI 48201
Phone: (313) 577-9305

Bruce Berkowitz, PhD
Director of Small Animal MRI Facility, Professor

Dr. Berkowitz is the Director of the Small Animal Imaging division and is responsible for the administration of the 7T system. This involves coordination and review of applications that request the use of instrument time, organization of regular meetings with personnel to review progress and discuss solutions to problems, education of potential clinical investigators regarding instrument capabilities and training investigators and personnel in the safe operation of the instrument.

Dr. Berkowitz has made it his goal to prevent vision loss and blindness due to diabetic retinopathy. Dr. Berkowitz develops and applies functional MRI biomarkers that are helpful in evaluating the effectiveness of treatment. His research is groundbreaking, as his techniques can detect retinal treatment effectiveness early in the course of the disease when pharmaceutical treatment is most likely to be effective. His research has also improved our understanding of the physiology of normal retinal activity. The methods that Dr. Berkowitz has developed have been shown to have a strong translational ability to investigate retinopathy in preclinical models as well as patients.

"We have now been the first to demonstrate the utility of a new functional manganese-enhanced MRI, or MEMRI, approach not only in diabetes, but also in neurodegenerative disease and in cancer" describes Dr. Berkowitz of his recent findings. These research findings have led to Dr. Berkowitz’s efforts to translate the MEMRI technique into clinical applications. In addition, his research group is actively using MEMRI to investigate links between neuronal ion regulation and visual performance.

In recognition of his contributions, Dr. Berkowitz has recently received the prestigious honor of being named a 2009 Silver Fellow by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO).

11.7T magnet
E-Mail: jstanley@med.wayne.edu
Mailing Address: WSU Tolan Park Medical Building Suite 5B, 3901 Chrysler Dr., Detroit, 48201
Phone: (313) 577-9090

Jeffrey A. Stanley, PhD
Director of 11.7T, Associate Professor

It was recently estimated that approximately half of the US population will, at some point in life, meet criteria for a psychiatric disorder and that half of these cases will have a first onset by the age of 14 years old and three quarters by the age of 24 years old. Many psychiatric disorders are typically first diagnosed in early life, which strongly underscores the importance of studying pediatric disorders with emphasis on prevention and/or early intervention. Magnetic Resonance (MR) can play a vital role in the understanding of the functional, anatomical, molecular and biochemical underpinnings of many different psychiatric disorders.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a serious public health problem, affecting 3 to 9% of children and accounting for 30 to 40% of child referrals to mental health services. While the cause of this illness remains poorly understood, ADHD is seen as a neurodevelopmental disorder with symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Dr. Stanley’s focus has been applying MR methodologies to study children with ADHD. His primary objective is to chart the course of brain development in ADHD children using biomarkers identified with in vivo phosphorous (31P) MR spectroscopy or MRS in order to understand when and where deviations occur. In vivo 31P MRS is a non-invasive neuroimaging technique that is sensitive in detecting molecular/biochemical changes that directly reflect cortical development (i.e., the branching of dendrites and the formation of synapses in the neuropil). Recent results show for the first time evidence of a developmental mechanism where early maldeveloped corticostriatal pathways may impact the maturational integration of prefrontal corticostriatal pathways in pediatric ADHD. This is a critical step in furthering the understanding of the development of ADHD in areas that are associated with executive function, attention and motor regulation. Dr. Stanley is the co-Director of the BRAIN division and Director of MR operations for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavior Neurosciences. In parallel to the ADHD research, there are a number of active research projects within the neuroimaging program of the BRAIN division including with Dr. Vaibhav Diwadkar on functional MRI studies of different childhood disorders, Dr. David Rosenberg in pediatric OCD research, Dr. Mark Greenwald in substance abuse, Dr. Nash Boutros in schizophrenia research, Drs. John Hannigan and Lisa Chiodo in prenatal alcohol exposed children, Dr. Frank MacMaster in pediatric affective disorders, Dr. Shane Perrine on an animal model of anxiety/depression, Dr. Herald M. Marsh from Anesthesiology on neural anesthetic effects, and Dr. Jeffrey Loeb from the Center Molecular Medicine and Genetics in epilepsy research.