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Science Highlight: May 27, 2014

Former NIBIB Grantee Jeff Bulte Awarded ISMRM 2014 Gold Medal

Jeff Bulte, Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University, was among three recipients of the 2014 Gold Medal Award, presented by the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine at the organization’s joint annual meeting, held May 10-16, 2014, in Milan, Italy. The award recognizes “major research contributions to the field of Magnetic Resonance within the scope of the Society’s purposes.”
 
Educated in The Netherlands and previously a postdoctoral fellow and staff scientist at NIH, Bulte was one of the first grant recipients under NIBIB’s “Innovation in Molecular Imaging Probes” initiative, which sought new imaging approaches for studying molecular activity in living cells. He received past NIBIB support for his research on magnetically labeled capsules that are protected from the immune system and allow a more sensitive method of using MRI to non-invasively monitor the success of a surgical treatment for Type I diabetes. NIBIB also funded Bulte’s work to develop a “reporter gene” designed to be compatible with a novel, high-resolution MRI technique known as chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST). Such a CEST reporter gene would provide greater contrast in MR images to help scientists track the behavior and movement of cells and surrounding tissues, which may help inform efforts to develop new therapies using stem cells. The CEST reporter contrast can also be switched on or off as needed, and would not raise concerns about metal toxicity, such as exists for current contrast agents. 
 
At JHU, Bulte serves as the Director of the Cellular Imaging Section in the Institute for Cell Engineering and also is a professor in the departments of radiology, oncology, biomedical engineering, and chemical & biochemical engineering.

MRI Reporter Gene
 
Founded in 1994, the ISMRM is an international, nonprofit, association for clinicians, physicists, engineers, biochemists, technologists, and others engaged in applying magnetic resonance in medicine and biology. The society seeks to promote communication, research, development and applications related to magnetic resonance; develop and provide continuing education materials; and advocate for professionals working in magnetic resonance-related careers.
 
 
Program Area: 
Health Terms: 
Diabetes,
MRI,
Stem Cells