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Coulter BME Research Seminar

"MR Engineering for Biomedical Research" - Christoph Juchem, Ph.D. - Columbia University

11:00AM - 12:00PM

This event is also offered virtually. Please click here to join via Zoom.

"MR Engineering for Biomedical Research"

Christoph Juchem, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Department of Radiology
Columbia University

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS) provide powerful tools to non-invasively access human anatomy, physiology and biochemistry in health and disease. To date, however, the potential of MRI and MRS in both research and clinical diagnostics has not been fully realized, at least in part, due to methodological and technical challenges.

Reliable extraction of biochemical information with in vivo MRS critically relies on optimal experimental conditions and procedures as well as processing and quantification strategies. In the first part of my talk, I will discuss commonly encountered challenges along with specific solutions developed in my laboratory. I will present a comprehensive framework of 1) methods for B0 homogenization (i.e. shimming), 2) MRS sequences, 3) spectral processing strategies and 4) quantification functionalities that allowed us to establish in vivo MRS as a reliable tool for clinical research at 3T and 7T. Emphasis will be given to the various freeware MRS sequences and software tools that we have made available to the community.

In the second part of my talk, I will introduce the dynamic multi-coil technique (DYNAMITE) for B0 magnetic field control invented in my laboratory. DYNAMITE B0 shimming outperforms conventional methods based on spherical harmonic functions and provides unrivaled B0 field homogeneity in rodent and human brain. I will present MRI results, including concomitant imaging and B0 shimming, in which all fields are purely DYNAMITE-based and conclude with the first realization of DYNAMITE MRI of the in vivo human brain. The obtained image fidelity is comparable to MRI with conventional gradient coils, paving the way for full-fledged DYNAMITE imaging systems and accessible MRI.

Christoph Juchem is Associate Professor in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Radiology at Columbia University. In his research, he develops novel magnetic resonance methods for neuroscientific and clinical applications. His goal as a physicist is to realize the full potential of magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy as diagnostic tools. His clinical goal is to understand the role that neurochemicals play in the protection of the human central nervous system or, alternatively, how dysfunction promotes vulnerability towards neurodegenerative, neuroimmunological and psychiatric disorders.

Dr. Juchem has 20 years of experience in developing and conducting in vivo MR experiments at 3.0-11.7 Tesla in humans and animal models. He has demonstrated his scientific expertise in 50+ publications, book chapters and patents, as reviewer for 20+ scientific journals and as grant reviewer for 9 national research societies. He served as System Manager of Yale University’s Human 7T MR Scanner and as Co-Director of Yale’s 7T Brain MR Spectroscopy Core (2010-2016), Chair of the ISMRM Engineering Study group, member of the ISMRM Annual Meeting Program Committee (AMPC), and he serves on the editorial board of NMR in Biomedicine. He is Vice-Chair of the ISMRM MR Spectroscopy Study Group, to be Chair in 2023.