Nuclear Spin Physics and Hyperpolarization Chemistry

Left to right: Anica Nangia, Angus Logan, Thomas Theis,
Johannes Colell and Zijian Zhou.

Our research is at the intersection of spin physics and hyperpolarization chemistry. It has applications in the study of biochemical dynamics and molecular imaging. Specifically, we drive innovation of magnetic resonance tools and techniques to break the sensitivity limits of NMR  and MRI. Our innovations enable biochemical structure elucidation with unprecedented limits of detection, and molecular imaging to spy on molecular transformations deep inside tissue. We study and control the spin dynamics of chemical hyperpolarization processes and employ quantum mechanical tricks to protect hyperpolarization from relaxation. This enables molecular tracking on hour-long timescales. With the developed technology, we enhance NMR and MRI signals by 4 to 8 orders of magnitude and probe biochemical dynamics in vitro, as well as metabolic transformations in vivo. Furthermore, we develop unconventional NMR detection schemes to probe the hyperpolarized signals. These alternative MR sensors promise ultra sensitive miniaturized and portable NMR and MRI. To propel these efforts, we work with a wide range of collaborators at Duke, Vanderbilt, Harvard, MGH, RWTH Aachen, UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco.


Explore the sites of my collaborators

Chekmenev Lab @ Vanderbilt

Rosen Lab @ Harvard and MGH
Hyperpolarized MRI Technology Resource Center
 @ UC San Francisco

Blümich and Appelt Labs
 @ RWTH Aachen University

Pines Lab @ UC Berkeley

Budker Lab @ UC Berkeley

Center For In Vivo Microscopy
 @ Duke Unive

Center For Molecular and Biomolecular Imaging
 @ Duke University

Warren Lab @ Duke University