Physics Department Seminar
Dr. Karl Landheer
Postdoctoral Fellow, Biomedical Engineering
Columbia University
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy:  From basic physics to novel data acquisition strategies

Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) is a powerful noninvasive technique used to measure spatially localized concentration of biomarkers within the brain and body. This technology can be used to map the in vivo metabolic changes across a variety of diseases, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and virtually all psychological disorders, making it of use for both basic science researchers and for differentiating between pathologies within the clinic. Although the technology for in vivo MRS has existed for thirty years there is still a need for technical innovations to improve data acquisition and data processing.

This talk will encompass the basic physics of MRS, which differs from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) because unlike the uncoupled spins which generate signal in MRI, MRS obtains signal from spins within metabolites that are coupled, necessitating the use of the quantum mechanical density matrix formalism. Dr. Landheer’s research on software algorithm improvements in data processing, pulse sequence design and novel data acquisition strategies will be discussed, concluding with some applications of MRS and currently unsolved limitations.