Title: Medical Imaging and Medical Physics

Jack L. Lancaster, Ph.D.
Professor Research Imaging Center Chief, Biomedical Image Analysis Division
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

The primary area of research interest at the UTHSCSA’s Research Imaging Center is the brain. Positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems are the main imaging tools used in brain research. PET and functional MRI (fMRI) studies provide a means to measure changes in regional brain blood flow associated with subtle changes in brain activity. Detailed studies of regional brain anatomy are done using special MRI imaging techniques. These 3-D measurements of function and anatomy are advancing our understanding of what happens where in the brain, a field generally referred to as brain mapping. Non-imaging devices such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) systems allow researchers to directly stimulate neuronal activity. Using TMS with PET imaging we can monitor changes in blood flow at the stimulated site and at other regions of the brain connected to the same system-level network. Analysis of 3-D images requires a sound background in physics, math, anatomy, physiology and computer science to achieve meaningful results. Examples of research with PET, fMRI, anatomical MRI, diffusion tensor MRI, and TMS will be presented.

UT Arlington Physics