Our group is working to develop early markers of disease with novel imaging technology, and to clinically translate this technology to improve patient outcomes. We develop fast, quantitative, and molecularly specific imaging methods to study the earliest changes in disease. These technical advancements will hopefully to lead clinical collaborations to detect early disease, study pathogenesis, and develop new treatment targets.
How we move and how our body responds to loads and exercise are important factors in understanding muscle and joint disorders and pain. New, non-invasive imaging methods are allowing us to study tissue motion and function in order to assess important links between mechanics, physiology and mechanisms of tissue-level diseases.
Clinical knee MRI examinations typically utilize 2D imaging methods with thick slices, requiring upwards of 20-25 minutes of scan time, and yet not producing any quantitative information. New rapid 3D MRI methods can great reduce scan time while at the same time providing additional diagnostic information and detecting early disease features.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the leading cause of disability worldwide, yet treatment options and understanding of OA remain limited, in part due to limited ability to detect early disease and responses to therapies. Radiography, the gold-standard of diagnosis in many MSK disorders, is insensitive to soft tissues and can only detect late-stage joint changes. New PET and MRI imaging methods can not only detect the earliest changes in OA in multiple joint tissues, but also relationships between them.