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.


Ethan Leng

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.

Petr Bednarik

PhD Candidate: CEITEC MU, Czech Rep; visiting scholar at CMRR; Research Associate, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes

PhD Advisers:  Silvia Mangia, PhD, Ivan Tkac, PhD, Department of Radiology; Ivan Rektor, PhD, CEITEC MU, Czech Rep

Previous Degree: M.D., Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Rep

Research Focus: My thesis focuses on utilizing advanced MRS methods at 3T and 7T to address research questions which are relevant for clinical applications and for basic neuroscience. Currently, I am working on a 7T study that aims at unraveling the metabolic consequences of neuronal inhibition in the human visual cortex.  I am also very enthusiastic about my research supervised by dr. Elizabeth Seaquist, Department of Medicine, that is focused on identifying neuroimaging and spectroscopy correlates of hypoglycemia unawareness, a syndrome that is frequent in patients with type I diabetes.

Enjoys: Indoor and outdoor sports (biking, running, cross country skiing), reading books, watching movies



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