Internships rotations

Nelson Lab Opportunities:


Internships typically occur during the summer months, and provide opportunities for people at all levels of training (i.e. undergraduate, graduate, resident, post-doctoral). Below are examples of our past internships.

Differences in Patterns of Response to Therapy for Patients with Glioma Assessed by MRI and MRSI

Laleh Jalilian, MD, Washington University, St. Louis (Year-long Internship)

The current standards for evaluating response to therapy for patients with glioma are based upon changes on the cross-sectional diameter of the enhancing lesion on post-Gadolinium T1-weighted MR images. The introduction of therapies that act by influencing the leakiness of the blood brain barrier and by reducing the proliferative capacity of the tumor rather than directly killing tumor cells has complicated the interpretation of changes in imaging parameters and the assessment of treatment response. A number of MR imaging methods have been proposed as alternative approaches for inferring treatment effects. Understanding which of these methods is the most appropriate for any specific application requires a consideration of the mechanism of action of the therapy being used and of the underlying biological effects in the tumor.

In the proposed one year project, we will evaluate serial changes in the standard anatomic images and advanced imaging methods for populations of patients who are participating in clinical trials of new therapies that are expected to have distinct biological effects. The findings will be important for interpreting the results of future clinical trials and in assessing the value of the various imaging modalities.

Serial Assessment of Lactate in GBM Patients Using Lactate-Edited MRSI Imaging

Bo Han, BS candidate, Department of Bioengineering, University of California, Los Angeles (Summer Internship)

Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is one of the most lethal brain tumors in adult patients. Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging (MRSI) is a non-invasive metabolic imaging technique that was used in this study to determine levels of lactate in a total of 31 serial scans from 7 patients with GBM who were participating in a clinical trial of a new therapy. The patients were divided into two groups based upon whether there were assessed as progressing during the period studied (4/7) or had stable disease (3/7). The patients with stable disease had relatively low levels of summed lactate in the anatomic lesion, while 3 of the 4 patients who progressed had high levels of lactate that were increasing in their follow-up examinations. These data suggest that lactate may provide useful information relating to tumor progression for patients with GBM.


Rotations provide an opportunity to explore research opportunities in the Nelson Lab that can lead to a commitment of several years to develop and complete dissertation research in conjunction with enrollment in a Graduate Program or Professional School, such as the following:

Examples of research:

  • Hyperpolarized 13C Studies of Brain Tumors - Il Woo Park, Graduate Student
  • Methods for Phase Imaging of the Brain at 7T - Kate Hammond, PhD Candidate
  • Modeling Gadolinium uptake (DCE) in the Brain and C-13 Metabolism using MR data - Matt Zierhut, PhD
  • Diffusion Weighted Imaging of Brain Tumors - Inas Khayal, PhD Candidate
  • MRI & MRSI applications to Brain Tumor - Yan Li, PhD
  • MRI post-processing techniques - Janine Lupo, PhD
  • Application of parallel imaging methods and phased array coils - Esin Ozturk, PhD
  • Analysis of MR serial scans from patients with low grade gliomas - Joseph Osorio, PhD

Internships rotations

internship rotations