FIP Seminar: Magnetic Resonance Histology

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Wed, 11/01/2023 - 12:00 to 13:00

Professor G. Allan Johnson


Dr. G. Allan Johnson, Charles E. Putman University Distinguished Professor of Radiology, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Physics, Duke University

Paul Lauterbur, closed his seminal article on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with the statement that "Zeugmatographic techniques should find many useful application in studies of the internal structures, states and composition of microscopic objects." The Duke Center for In Vivo Microscopy has spent the last 40 years reducing Professor Lauterbur's vision to practice. This talk will describe some of the technical developments of ultra-high magnetic field, specialized gradients, novel rf detectors and creative signal processing that have allowed us to achieve spatial resolution more than 2 million times that of clinical MRI. The methods have been translated from laboratory curiosity to routine practice providing new insights into a range of mouse models of disease. We will include applications in mouse models of normal aging and Alzheimer's disease. Dr. G. Allan (Al) Johnson completed his BA in mathematics and physics at St. Olaf College, Northfield Minnesota in 1969. He completed his Ph.D. in physics at Duke University in 1974 and joined the department of radiology at Duke that same year. He served as the first Director of Diagnostic Physics for Duke Medical Center from 1979-2009. During that period, he had the good fortune to work in close collaboration with colleagues at GE Medical Systems in installing the world's first high field (1.5T) clinical MRI at Duke in 1983. Much of the early work was performed on dogs. A desire to limit studies on dogs lead Dr Johnson to ask how might MRI systems be adapted to higher spatial resolution (for mice and rats). He demonstrated the first in vivo images of rats at microscopic resolution in 1986. That same year he established The Duke Center for In Vivo Microscopy, an NIH National Resource dedicated to further the development and application of MR microscopy. He and his colleagues at the CIVM have continued to push the spatial resolution of MRI through development of specialized high field (9.4T) systems with high- performance gradients and RF coils and novel methods of encoding. Many of the advances are consequences of extensive collaboration with colleagues at Berkley, Stanford, University of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh University, NIEHS and elsewhere. He is a Senior Fellow of the Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and the Academy of Radiology. He is the Charles E. Putman University Professor of Radiology, Physics and Biomedical Engineering.