Joseph J. Ackerman, PhD
William Greenleaf Eliot Professor of Chemistry
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Washington University in St. Louis (WU)
Dr. Ackerman directs the Biomedical Magnetic Resonance Laboratory. BMRL investigators are focused on the development and application of magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and imaging (MRI) for study of intact biological systems. One primary focus is the use of water diffusion sensitive MR methods to probe tissue architecture and microstructure at the micron length scale, far less than the actual voxel resolution of the image itself. BMRL researchers seek to elucidate the biophysical phenomena behind the striking changes of water diffusion associated with a variety of normal and pathologic states, with specific focus on cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and developmental neurobiology. A second focus exploits biologically compatible agents that affect the MR relaxation properties of tissue water. Relaxation agents are being employed to monitor water exchange between compartments, to probe tissue vascular properties (architecture, permeability, blood flow), and to target and identify cell and tissue types.