An to Lead Biomedical MR Center

Hongyu An, PhD, professor of radiology for Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology (MIR) at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, will serve as the next director of the Biomedical MR Center (BMRC) in the Division of Radiological Sciences. An, also associate director of the Center for Clinical Imaging Research, was selected from a pool of distinguished candidates and was unanimously endorsed by the search committee. She will start her new leadership position on Nov. 1.

An is renowned for her expertise in MR physics, pulse sequences and image reconstruction analysis. Her work has led to the first validated MR approach to measure cerebral oxygen extraction fraction in humans. This technique has helped answer key questions regarding the neuro-pathological impact of sickle cell disease in children, acute ischemic stroke and stroke risk prediction. An’s impressive publication record and robust extramural funding record highlight these advances.

An succeeds Joseph J. Ackerman, PhD, the William Greenleaf Eliot Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, who led the BMRC — previously the Biomedical Magnetic Resonance Lab — for over 20 years. In addition to his contributions to our fundamental understanding of MR and MR spectroscopy approaches to dissect key cellular processes, Ackerman has trained or recruited many of the current BMRC faculty. Moreover, the extensive portfolio of sophisticated preclinical MR equipment available at MIR is in large part due to his success in applying for shared instrumentation grants. Ackerman will remain as research faculty within the BMRC, as well as serving as the leader of the Siteman Cancer Center’s Small Animal Cancer Imaging Shared Resource.

The McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis promotes independent inquiry and education with an emphasis on scientific excellence, innovation and collaboration without boundaries. McKelvey Engineering has top-ranked research and graduate programs across departments, particularly in biomedical engineering, environmental engineering and computing, and has one of the most selective undergraduate programs in the country. With 165 full-time faculty, 1,420 undergraduate students, 1,614 graduate students and 21,000 living alumni, we are working to solve some of society’s greatest challenges; to prepare students to become leaders and innovate throughout their careers; and to be a catalyst of economic development for the St. Louis region and beyond.

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