*Please note this week the talk is on Tuesday in the Sir Clive Granger Building
Refreshments will be available afterwards for networking and for an opportunity to speak with Prof Warren
Speaker : Warren S. Warren, James B. Duke Professor, Chemistry, Physics, Radiology, Biomedical Engineering ,Director, Center for Molecular and Biomolecular Imaging, Durham, North Carolina, USA
Title : Applying new physics insights to improve clinical and molecular imaging
Abstract : Molecular imaging-the use of chemical signatures to image function instead of merely structure-promises to enable a new generation of clinical modalities that can revolutionize both diagnosis and treatment. I will focus on two specific modalities-magnetic resonance and optical imaging-and discuss how a close coupling between basic physics on the one hand, and focused clinical questions on the other hand, enable new and important applications.
In magnetic resonance, new “hyperpolarization” technologies have improved clinical MRI; but the existing technology is expensive and complex, and short spin relaxation times (< 1 min) greatly limit the generality. We have used fundamental spin physics (well understood in the 1950s, but ignored since then) to generate long-lived hyperpolarized spin agents (minutes to hours). We have also developed a new organometallic catalytic approach to make in-magnet hyperpolarization of difficult to observe nuclei such as 15N (typically, signals are enhanced by 105). The spin physics is quite unusual (we work at 1% of the Earth’s magnetic field, using the “quantum reagent” parahydrogen to create order in other nuclei), but the approach is simple, practical and about 1/1000 of the cost of methods now being introduced into clinical practice.
In optics, our lab developed femtosecond pulse shaping two decades ago; today we know that the "killer application" is to access intrinsic nonlinear signatures that were not previously observable in tissue, such as excited state absorpt