CMRR Grad Student Profiles

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Here are just a few of the grad students and their projects at the CMRR.


Jessica A. McKay

Ph.D. Student: Deparment of Biomedical Engineering

Graduate Adviser: Pat Bolan, Ph.D., Department of Radiology

Undergraduate: Physics B.S. from University of Denver

Research Focus: My research focuses on breast imaging at 3T. Diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) serves as a quantitative metric for breast cancer diagnosis and to monitor treatment response because malignant tumors are characterized by lower apparent diffusion. I am currently implementing and evaluating various ghost correction techniques for breast spin echo echo-planar imaging (SE-EPI) DWI.

Enjoys: downhill and water skiing and spending time at the lake.


Ryan M. Kalmoe

PhD Student: Medical Physics

Graduate Adviser: Greg Metzger, Ph.D., Department of Radiology

Undergraduate: Physics B.A. from University of Minnesota - Morris

Research Focus: Current research focus is on multi-parametric prostate imaging at 3T and 7T. My current projects include investigating the efficacy of an FID navigator in multi-voxel spectroscopy at 7T and data processing and analysis of clinical data at 3T.

Enjoys: playing board games, raquetball, fishing, hunting, and spending time with my family.


Ethan Leng

PhD Student: Biomedical Engineering

Graduate Adviser: Greg Metzger, Ph.D., Department of Radiology

Undergraduate: Rice University, Bioengineering

Research Focus: I am developing machine learning (ML)-based model that will assess presence and grade of prostate cancer on a voxel-wise basis using quantitative multi-parametric MRI. The goal is to achieve user-independent performance reaching at least the quality of a trained radiologist in terms of detecting, grading, and assessing the extent of prostate cancer.


Ian Cheong

PhD Student: Neuroscience

Graduate Adviser: Gülin Öz, Ph.D., Department of Radiology

Undergraduate: Chemistry B.S. from University of California San Diego

Research Focus: I am using short echo-time 1H MRS at 7 Tesla in human subjects with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). My goal is to determine the metabolite profiles in the motor cortex and pontine brainstem, which are known sites of pathology in ALS. This may provide clues to understanding the pathophysiology of ALS and may identify potential biomarkers that correlate with clinical measures of disease severity and progression.

Enjoys: biking, basketball, gardening

Felipe R. Barreto

Graduate Program: Physics Applied to Medicine and Biology, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Graduate Adviser: Carlos E. G. Salmon, Ph.D. - Physics Dept., University of Sao Paulo / Silvia Mangia, Ph.D. - Department of Radiology, University of Minnesota.

Undergraduate: Medical Physics B.S. from University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

Research Focus: The neurovascular and metabolic coupling of the healthy human brain. My current focus is to investigate the impact of reduced oxygen availability on the hemodynamics, metabolic activity and neuroenergetics of the human brain using MRI and MRS techniques at 3 and 7T.

Yicun Wang

Graduate Program: PhD Student, Biomedical Engineering

Graduate Adviser:Professor Bin He, Biomedical Engineering, co-advisor Professor Pierre-Francois Van de Moortele, Radiology

Undergraduate B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, Zhejiang University, China

Research Focus:My research focuses on mapping the electrical properties of biological tissue by measuring B1 from 7T MRI and numerically solving the electro-magnetic dynamics. I am currently developing novel methods for small animal tumor models as well as the human brain.

Enjoys: Biking and snowboarding.


Nader Tavaf

Ph.D. Student: Deparment of Biomedical Engineering

Graduate Adviser: Pierre-Francois Van de Moortele MD, Ph.D., Department of Radiology

Undergraduate: B.S. Mechanical Engineering

Research Focus: My research focuses on developing high sensitivity receive arrays for ultra high field MRI applications. Beyond SNR enhancement, receive arrays offer the advantage of parallel imaging where spatial information of the array elements enable image reconstruction based on undersampled k-space data, hence significantly reducing acquisition time.

Enjoys: running, hiking and reading


Kellen Mufford

PhD Student: Medical Physics

Graduate Adviser: PF Van de Moortele, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Radiology

Undergraduate: B.A. Physics, Religion from St. Olaf College, MN

Research Focus: I will be looking into the response of Trigeminal Neuralgia, a neurological condition characterized by debilitating facial pain, to various surgical procedures at ultrahigh field strength. To start I will verify with B1 mapping and MR thermometry that the titanium mesh commonly used in the surgical procedures is MR safe at ultrahigh field strengths.

Enjoys: Cycling, bird-watching, my retired racing greyhound

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