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About Charles McKenzie

Dr. Charles McKenzie is an MRI physicist developing technology to better monitor mothers and fetuses during pregnancy, enhancing it to improve image reconstruction and subsequently, to garner more information from non-invasive imaging.

Asset Map Keywords: Biomarkers, Imaging, and MRI Technology --> (see more)
Children's Health Collaborators: Timothy Regnault, Barbra De Vrijer, and Sandrine de Ribaupierre

Research
How does a mother’s diet influence fetal health? Developing MRI technology by improving coil arrays, pulse sequences, and image reconstruction techniques to better track metabolism in placentas and fetuses. Uses guinea pig models.
Goal: to enhance the usefulness of MRI technology when tracking pregnancies.

How is metabolism connected to pregnancy and early life complications? Studying the fetus and placenta through better MRI technology to better understand the metabolic determinants of pregnancy outcomes, especially through the first 1,000 days of development.
Goal: to understand how metabolism influences early life health outcomes.

Unique Keywords: Fetal Metabolism, Image Reconstruction, Non-Invasive Imaging, Placental Metabolism, Pregnancy Imaging


The focus of our research is Parallel Magnetic Resonance Imaging (PMRI): involving the development of coil arrays, pulse sequences and image reconstructions; Spectroscopic imaging with IDEAL; Abdominal imaging, particularly of the liver and fetus, with combined PMRI and IDEAL

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) offers tremendous opportunities for advancing medical imaging research. MRI, unlike most other medical imaging modalities, can use a wide variety of contrast mechanisms, each of which provides unique information about not only anatomical structure, but also physiological function and in-vivo biochemistry. Unfortunately, the method MRI has used for encoding spatial information into images - the switching of magnetic field gradients - is very slow, making it difficult or impossible to access the full richness of potentially available information in reasonable times. The emerging technique of parallel MRI can alleviate this image encoding bottleneck and unlock the full potential of MRI. Parallel MRI uses arrays of radiofrequency (RF) receiver coils to replace a substantial fraction of the time-consuming image encoding done by switching magnetic field gradients. With many coils in an array, tenfold and higher efficiency gains in image encoding can be realized.

This increased efficiency allows time formerly used for spatial encoding to be invested instead in achieving order-of-magnitude increases in imaging speed, spatial resolution, or anatomical coverage of standard MRI images. Depending on the application this could allow 3D imaging of the whole heart in a single heart beat, 3D breast MRI at resolutions nearly as high as X-ray mammography or sub-millimeter resolution 3D MRI of the entire abdomen in a single breath hold. These gains in spatial encoding efficiency can also enable otherwise prohibitively time consuming examinations/techniques for crucial measurements of disease biomarkers.


Biography: Research in the McKenzie Lab focuses on the development of new MRI image acquisition and reconstruction techniques, with a particular focus on MRI during pregnancy. We are developing new methods for direct imaging of fetal and placental metabolism, in addition to techniques for detecting the consequences of metabolic dysfunction during pregnancy. Trainee's in the lab come from a wide variety of basic and applied science disciplines, including biophysics, physics, computer science, biochemistry, physiology and biomedical engineering. Work in the lab occurs in both research and clinical settings around London, including the main Western campus, the Robarts Research Institute, the Children's Health Research Institute and London Health Sciences Centre.

Research Areas: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of pregnancy: development of coil arrays, pulse sequences and image reconstructions; correction of motion; Metabolic MRI of the fetus and placenta.


Dr. Charles McKenzie is an Associate Professor of Medical Biophysics at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University, a position he has held since 2007. He is currently the Canada Research Chair in Translational Magnetic Resonance Imaging Research and holds Associate Scientist appointments at the Children’s Health Research Institute, Robarts Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ontario. He completed postdoctoral work at Harvard Medical School (1999-2001) following his doctoral work in Medical Biophysics at the University of Western Ontario (1993-1999).

His research primarily focuses on the development of coil arrays, pulse sequences and image reconstruction techniques for use in rapid MRI imagine acquisition. He has applied the technologies he has developed to a variety of applications, most recently focusing on quantitative measurement of body composition and liver steatosis in adults, children and the fetus. He is also leading an effort to develop MRI methods for metabolic imaging in the abdomen, placenta and fetus.

Research Group: Imaging
Research Interest Area: Medical imaging and diagnostics; Obstetrics; Obesity

Research Overview
Research in the McKenzie Lab focuses on the development of new MRI image acquisition and reconstruction techniques, with a particular focus on MRI during pregnancy. We are developing new methods for direct imaging of fetal and placental metabolism, in addition to techniques for detecting the consequences of metabolic dysfunction during pregnancy.
Trainee’s in the lab come from a wide variety of basic and applied science disciplines, including biophysics, physics, computer science, biochemistry, physiology and biomedical engineering. Work in the lab occurs in both research and clinical settings around London, including the main Western campus, the Children’s Health Research Institute and London Health Sciences Centre.

Keywords: MRI, Hyperpolarised MRI, Pregnancy, Fetus, Metabolic Imaging
Partners: GE Healthcare; NIR Technologies; Ceresensa

Positions

Present Associate Scientist, Western University Robarts Research Institute
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Present Professor, Western University Department of Physics and Astronomy
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Present Professor, Western University Department of Medical Biophysics
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Present Scientist, Lawson Health Research Institute ‐ Children's Health Research Institute (CHRI)
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Disciplines



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