I had conducted seven years of MRI research and held a junior faculty position of Instructor at Case Western Reserve University. Working in a world-renowned MRI research group, I have gained extensive hands-on experience on MRI pulse sequence design, image reconstruction and post-processing. My research focused on developing novel quantitative MRI biomarkers for early detection and monitoring of disease progression. A few examples of our developments include the diffusion MRI biomarkers for early assessment of early stage renal remodeling in diabetic nephropathy, normalized T1 mapping to assess cystic fibrosis lung disease progression, and a rapid fat-water separation technique for free-breathing abdominal imaging. I also translated the novel MR Fingerprinting technique into preclinical high-field scanners and applied this technique in urological imaging program to study urinary tract diseases. During my postdoctoral training at Cleveland Clinic and my clinical residency training at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), my research focused on optimizing MRI technique for radiation therapy applications. I worked with Dr. Zhu to develop a 3D Magnetic Resonance Fingerprinting (MRF) technique with whole-brain coverage and evaluated its performance in terms of quantitative tissue characterization and sensitivity to field inhomogeneity and subject motion. My other research interests includes using motion management in radiotherapy and IGTR to improve SBRT treatment. I worked with Dr. Xia to evaluate the reproducibility of intra-fractional liver motion to design patient specific SBRT plan under active breathing control, and evaluate the algorithms in the different treatment planning systems to create optimized treatment plans. I also worked with Dr. Lian to evaluate the effect of motion compensation on stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) at TomoTherapy using sequential monoscopic imaging guidance and jaw/MLC tracking. Given my interests in both radiation therapy and MR imaging, my research aims to develop, validate, and translate advanced quantitative MRI techniques to routine clinical practice that will improve the accuracy of diagnosis, precision of delineation of tumor targets and organ at risk, early prediction of radiotherapy effect, and ultimately improve the quality of patient care. My current objective is to establish a multidisciplinary research group focused on the development and application of advanced MRI techniques for radiation therapy. My prior training received through K12 Trainee Award has also prepared me well for collaborations with researchers, physicians and scientists from multiple perspectives.
My research interests focus on using quantitative MR imaging methods to assess intrinsic tissue properties that could provide early detection of tumor physiological changes and facilitate treatment planning and adaptive therapy to achieve an improved outcome.