Biomedical Imaging

Research in Biomedical Imaging brings together engineers, physicists, biologists and chemists engaged in the development of methodology for the examination of biological structure and function through imaging. The work encompasses efforts in magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, nuclear medicine, optical light microscopy and image processing and analysis.

In general, Biomedical Imaging research is focused on the applied mathematics, engineering, physics and chemistry of developing methods that are useful for deriving quantitative information from biomedical images that range in scale from molecular/cellular images to mouse imaging to large animal/human imaging. Examples of recent projects include: the development of MRI pulse sequences and distortion correction strategies for use in acquiring high quality functional MRI (fMRI) images of epilepsy patients; investigation of the changes in neuronal inhibition and excitation in the human brain when different neurological disorders are present using MR Spectroscopgy; and development of strategies to correct for brain shift or prostate motion during image-guided surgical or radiotherapy procedures. In fiscal year 2007, this and other work was funded by over $7M of peer-reviewed external grant funding. Most of this came from the NIH. Almost all faculty working in this area have joint appointments with the Division of Bioimaging Sciences, within the Department of Diagnostic Radiology at the Yale School of Medicine. In 2007, these faculty ranked 11th nationally out of over 70 such programs in NIH funding.

Biomedical Imaging faculty teach a significant number of courses to Yale undergraduate students and graduate students within the Department of Biomedical Engineering. These include courses in the Physics of Medical Imaging, Biophotonics, the Physical and Chemical Basis of Biosensing and Biomedical Image Processing and Analysis. Furthermore, the faculty currently supervise about 20 graduate students in Biomedical Engineering and Electrical Engineering and over 20 postdoctoral Fellows.

Finally, it is important to note that Biomedical Imaging faculty in SEAS direct or play a key role in two major Centers that house a large portion of the imaging equipment used for research by the faculty noted above:

The Yale Magnetic Resonance Research Center (MRRC) was founded in 1986 as a result of the recognition that NMR applications, as pioneered by Yale scientists, have enormous potential in biomedical research. The MRRC is now an interdepartmental and interdisciplinary research laboratory that provides state-of-the-art MR equipment, infrastructure and expertise for the development and application of MRI and MRS methodology in biomedical research. Research is focused on the study of intact biological systems by developing methods for obtaining structural, functional, physiological and biochemical information by MRI, MRS and other techniques. Applications include fMRI for neurosurgery and neuroscience, brain, muscle and liver energy metabolism, diabetes, adult and juvenile epilepsy and psychiatric disorders. This Center is directed by Professors Rothman and Constable.

The PET Center, houses CTI HRRT and a CTI HR+ PET scanners along with a cyclotron, a radiochemistry laboratory and a physics/modeling laboratory. The research focus is on the development of new radiotracers for use in a variety of applications, including tracking drug delivery systems and the mathematics and physics of delivering accurate information about metabolism and function. This Center is directed by Professor Richard Carson.

Faculty involved with research:

Joerg Bewersdorf
– Cell Biology
– BME

Todd Constable
– BME
– Diagnostic Radiology

Richard Carson
– BME
– Diagnostic Radiology

Michael Choma
– BME
– Diagnostic Radiology

James Duncan
– BME
– EE
– Diagnostic Radiology

Tarek Fahmy
– BME
– ChE & EnvE

Fahmeed Hyder
– BME
– Diagnostic Radiology

Chi Liu
– BME
– Diagnostic Radiology

Evan Morris
– BME
– Diagnostic Radiology
– Psychiatry

Xenophon Papademetris
– BME
– Diagnostic Radiology

Larry Staib
– BME
– EE
– Diagnostic Radiology

Hemant Tagare
– BME
– EE
– Diagnostic Radiology