Zheng Lab


Myocardial Tissue Characterization, Perfusion and Oxygen Metabolic Imaging

The goal of this project is to develop non-contrast magnetic resonance imaging to delineate myocardial tissue property, perfusion, and oxygenation in healthy and pathological conditions. Non-contrast methods employing cardiac spin-locking and arterial-spin-labeling sequences were developed to characterize myocardial fibrosis and perfusion. Myocardial T2 and susceptibility based methods were developed for quantitative myocardial oxygen extraction measurements.

Peripheral Skeletal Muscle Perfusion, Oxygen and Metabolic Imaging with Proton MRI in Patients with Diabetes and Peripheral Arterial Disease

The goal of this project is to develop and evaluate non-contrast magnetic resonance imaging for the detection of skeletal muscle perfusion, oxygen extraction fraction, and oxidative metabolic dysfunction in patients with diabetes and peripheral arterial disease. Non-contrast magnetic resonance imaging techniques were developed here to characterize skeletal muscle functions. There imaging techniques included arterial-spin labeling method for perfusion mapping; susceptibility based method for oxygen extraction fraction mapping (in collaboration with other faculty members); and proton based method for phosphocreatine mapping.

The project is currently supported by NIH R01, R03, and RSNA medical student grants.

Non-Contrast Vascular Imaging and Segmentation

The goal of this project is to develop non-contrast magnetic resonance imaging to delineate atherosclerotic plaque features and segment plaques. A non-contrast magnetic resonance angiography technique was developed in a collaboration with other faculty members to visualize peripheral calcification. Carotid and abdominal arterial plaque imaging and segmentation are currently under investigation, with the development of various deep learning models.

Our People

The Zheng Lab, led by Jie Zheng, PhD, collaborates with researchers at Washington University’s department’s of pathology and engineering as well as from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.