Peder Larson, PhD, is an Associate Professor in Residence and a Principal Investigator in the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Larson's research program includes a range of imaging technology development targeting improved clinical outcomes, with projects on metabolic MRI, lung MRI, myelin imaging, PET/MRI, and radiation therapy planning:
Metabolic imaging methods using hyperpolarized carbon-13 MRI
This technology uses non-toxic, non-ionizing contrast agents to provide unique metabolism information, and is currently in clinical trials. Our team develops data acquisition, image reconstruction, and data analysis methods for this technology for a broad range of collaborators and applications. We are also leading new patient studies of this technology in renal cancers and heart disease.
Conventional MRI performs very poorly in the lungs but our team has developed methods based on ultrashort echo time (UTE) MRI to provide high quality, high-resolution lung MRI. We are pursuing development of functional imaging biomarkers and translation onto clinical MRI scanners, with a focus on pediatric studies to reduce radiation dose compared to CT.
Our team has pioneered a new MRI approach for direct imaging of myelin based on ultrashort echo time (UTE) MRI. Other MRI methods provide indirect myelin measurements based measurements on nearby water. We are continuing to develop this technique as a quantitative imaging method, and translating into studies evaluating myelination in disease.
Hybrid PET/MRI systems combine the functional information from PET tracers with the soft-tissue contrast from MRI. Our team is working on PET/MRI technology developments for motion management, quantitative imaging, and multi-modal data analysis with this modality.
Radiation Therapy PLanning
Applications of MRI in radiotherapy have increased significantly over the past decade due to the high level of soft tissue provided, often allowing for better visualization of tumors and organs at risk versus computed tomography (CT). Our team is working to develop specialized MR techniques to accurately estimate parameters used for radiotherapy dose calculation as a critical step towards MRI-only treatment planning.
Dr. Larson is an active member of International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineering, the UC Berkeley and UCSF Graduate Group in Bioengineering, the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, and the Bakar Institute for Computational Health Sciences.