Alexander Rauscher | UBC MRI Research Centre | Department of Pediatrics

Our team at the UBC MRI Research Centre and at the Department of Radiology at the University of British Columbia is interested in MR signal formation in the presence of magnetically inhomogeneous tissues, such as nerve fibres or blood vessels. We collaborate with various researchers from the departments of Physics and Astronomy, Radiology, Neurology and Pathology.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a tremendously successful tool for biomedical research and diagnostic imaging. MRI research resides at the interfaces of life sciences and natural sciences and their respective subdisciplines. MRI is an active field with multiple specialized sub-fields and an annual conference that attracts more than 5,000 basic scientists and clinical researchers.

A large part of the ongoing active research in MRI is dedicated to the manipulation of the atomic nuclei using sequences of electromagnetic fields. There are virtually no limitations to the length and complexity of these sequences and, most importantly, we can often apply them without having to change the hardware of the MRI scanner.

MRI researchers translate physics into software, the scanner translates the software into magnetic fields and then listens to the response of the atomic nuclei. This response depends on the biophysical environment of the nuclei. With this approach, scientists have learned to make movies of the beating heart, to map nerve fibre connections between various brain regions, to visualize and quantify blood flow through the vascular system, to watch the brain thinking, among other applications.

Most of the information gathered with MRI is due to subtle variations in signal magnitude which can be translated into images with meaningful information about the nuclei's biophysical environment.

Our lab is located on UBC's Point Grey Campus in Vancouver, Canada. We have access to a 3 Tesla whole body MRI scanner (Philips Achieva) and a 7 Tesla small bore scanner (Bruker Biospec), which are both located within a few walking minutes from the lab.

Research Interests

Phase information in MRI
Susceptibility weighted MRI
Brain iron content
MRI of Multiple Sclerosis
MRI of Parkinson Disease
MR signal formation in magnetically inhomogeneous media
Blood oxygenation

Please refer to Research and Publications for further information on what we are doing.

Last update: 2011 10 21