Quantitative Brain PET/MRI

Recently, positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have been successfully combined into a single system that can collect clinical PET/MRI data simultaneously (Siemens Biograph mMR). With PET, a wide variety of tracers have been developed that can measure energy usage and concentrations of disease-specific features in the brain. In collaboration with Siemens Canada, we will develop and test an MRI method called chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) that is sensitive to the concentration of metabolites that supply energy and facilitate communication between cells in the brain. We believe CEST will complement the capabilities of PET and provide new insight into the living brain. In addition, we will develop MRI methods that can improve quantitative PET image reconstruction and analysis in the brain. The ability to acquire simultaneous PET and MRI information enables new research and improves our capability to diagnose and guide treatments for a wide variety of disorders, from Alzheimer’s disease to schizophrenia.

Faculty Supervisor:

Jonathan Thiessen


Reggie Taylor


Siemens Canada




Medical devices


Western University



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