Using Hyperpolarized 13C MRI for Brain Imaging


Myriam Chaumeil, PhD came to UC San Francisco as a postdoctoral scholar, mentored by Sabrina Ronen, PhD. She has a multidisciplinary background in both biology and magnetic resonance (MR) physics and says her research program is a synergy between these two fields. Now, as an associate professor in residence, Dr. Chaumeil works within two departments at UCSF – Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science and Radiology and Biomedical Imaging.

Her lab is working to develop better and faster ways to image the brain and the way it works using hyperpolarized carbon-13 MR imaging technology. Overall, this technology has largely been applied to cancer research, but it has shown to be a viable tool for the imaging of neurological disorders often associated with inflammatory processes such as multiple sclerosis (MS), traumatic brain injury (TBI) and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) along with other non-cancerous applications.

Metabolic changes are increasingly being recognized as key players in neurological diseases, and may reveal exciting new avenues for treatment of these disorders. Dr. Chaumeil and members of her lab recently had a review on imaging brain metabolism using hyperpolarized 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopy imaging (MRSI) published in Trends in Neurosciences. In it, they describe the preclinical research developments in this emerging field and discuss future potential. They hope to demonstrate the wide applicability of MRSI to the neurological field. Additionally, they highlight critical areas to be addressed in future research questions which is essential as hyperpolarized 13C MRS makes its way to the clinic for assessing neurological disorders.

The lab is located in the Quantitative Biosciences Institute (QBI) at UCSF Mission Bay which houses the Surbeck Laboratory for Advanced Imaging. Dr. Chaumeil’s lab is fully integrated with the Preclinical MR Imaging and Spectroscopy Lab, a UCSF-wide core facility of which she is a co-director along with Renuka Sriram, PhD, associate researcher. This state-of-the-art laboratory offers MRI and MRS capabilities which are uniquely integrated with DNP polarizers to allow conducting hyperpolarized 13C MR experiments.

Meet the lab members and learn more by visiting the Chaumeil Lab.


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