E. Mark Haacke, PhD
Director of MR Research Facility
E-Mail: nmrimaging@aol.com
Mailing Address: WSU MRI Core,
4201 St. Antoine,
Detroit, MI 48201
Phone: (313) 745-1395
Fax: (313) 745-9182

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.