Biomedical Magnetic Resonance Laboratory (BMRL)

William Spees

Contact Information
Washington University School of Medicine
Biomedical Magnetic Resonance Laboratory
Campus Box 8227
4525 Scott Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 747-1373

Current Position
Assistant Professor of Radiology

Research Interests
William Spees’ primary research interests are in vivo diffusion MR spectroscopy and white-matter functional MRI.  Recently, we have demonstrated the utility of diffusion fMRI for detecting white-matter activation. A completely reversible stimulus-induced decrease in the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) was observed in the optic nerves of normal mice with the application of a flashing-light visual stimulus. This phenomenon likely results from the osmotic after-effects of repetitive nerve impulses through the axonal fibers. Current investigations are directed at improving the MRI methodology and combined MRI/electrophysiology studies of white-matter function/dysfunction in mouse models of optic neuritis.


  • JJH Ackerman, GE Soto, WM Spees, ZH Zhu, JL Evelhoch, “The NMR Chemical Shift pH Measurement Revisited:  Analysis of Error and Modeling of a pH Dependent Reference”, Magn Reson Med 36: 674-683 (1996).  [PMID: 8916017]
  • WM Spees, DA Yablonskiy, MC Oswood, JJH Ackerman, “Water proton MR properties of Human Blood at 1.5 Tesla:  Magnetic Susceptibility, T1, T2, T2* and Non-Lorentzian Signal Behavior”, Magn Reson Med 45: 533-542 (2001).  [PMID: 11283978]
  • JP Dyke, KL Zakian, WM Spees, C Matei, YC Chen, ML Mao, DC Shungu, JA Koutcher, “Metabolic Response of the CWR22 Prostate Tumor Xenograft after 20 Gy of Radiation Studied by 1H Spectroscopic Imaging”, Clin Cancer Res 9: 4529-4536 (2003).  [PMID: 14555527]
  • WM Spees, GL Yang, D Veach, MB Rubio, JA Koutcher, W Bornmann, “A fluorine-labeled methotrexate as a probe for monitoring tumor antifolate pharmacokinetics: Synthesis, in vitro cytotoxicity, and pilot 19F magnetic resonance spectra”, Molec Cancer Therap 2: 933-939 (2003).  [PMID: 14578458]
  • TPF Gade, WM Spees, HC Le, KL Zakian, V Ponomarev, M Doubrovin, JG Gelovani, JA Koutcher, “In vivo 5-Fluorouracil and Fluoronucleotide T1 Relaxation Time Measurements Using the Variable Nutation Angle Method”, Magn Reson Med 52: 169-173 (2004).  [PMID: 15236381]
  • WM Spees, TPF Gade, G Yang, WP Tong, WG Bornmann, R Gorlick, JA Koutcher, “An 19F Magnetic Resonance-Based In Vivo Assay of Solid Tumor Methotrexate Resistance: Proof of Priniciple”, Clin Cancer Res 11: 1454-1461 (2005).  [PMID: 15746046]
  • WM Spees, JL Evelhoch, PA Thompson, DJ Sloop, JJH Ackerman, “Defining the pHi-Hyperthermia Sensitivity Relationship for the RIF-1 Tumor In Vivo: A 31P MR Spectroscopy Study”, Radiat Res 164: 86-99 (2005).  [PMID: 15966768]
  • C Herman, RE Casiday, RK Deppe, M Gilbertson, WM Spees, D Holten, RF Frey, “Interdisciplinary, Application-Oriented Tutorials: Design, Implementation, and Evaluation”, J Chem Educ 82: 1871-1879 (2005).  [PMID: N/A]
  • TPF Gade, JA Koutcher, WM Spees, BJ Beattie, V Ponomarev, M Doubrovin, IM Buchanan, T Beresten, KL Zakian, HC Le, WP Tong, P Mayer-Kuckuk, RG Blasberg, JG Gelovani, “Imaging Transgene Activity In Vivo”, Cancer Res 68: 2878-2884 (2008).  [PMID: 18413756]
  • TPF Gade, IM Buchanan, MW Motley, Y Mazaheri, WM Spees, JA Koutcher, “Imaging Intratumoral Convection:  Pressure-Dependent Enhancement in Chemotherapeutic Delivery to Solid Tumors”, Clin Cancer Res 15: 247-255 (2009).  [PMID: 19118052]
  • AL Vavere, GB Biddlecombe, WM Spees, JR Garbow, D Wijesinghe, OA Andreev, DM Engelman, YK Reshetnyak, JS Lewis, “A Novel Technology for the Imaging of Acidic Prostate Tumors by Positron Emission Tomography”, Cancer Res 69: 4510-4516 (2009).  [PMID: 19417132]
  • DM Alvarado, K McCall, H Aferol, MJ Silva, JR Garbow, WM Spees, T Patel, M Siegel, MB Dobbs, CA Gurnett, “Pitx1 haploinsufficiency causes clubfoot in humans and a clubfoot-like phenotype in mice”, Human Molec Genetics 20: 3943-3952 (2011).  [PMID: 21775501] 
  • WM Spees, N Buhl, P Sun, JJH Ackerman, JJ Neil, JR Garbow, “Quantification and compensation of eddy-current-induced magnetic-field gradients”, J Magn Reson 212: 116-123 (2011).  [PMID: 21764614]
  • WM Spees, SK Song, JR Garbow, JJ Neil, JJH Ackerman, “Use of Ethylene Glycol to Evaluate Gradient Performance in Gradient-Intensive Diffusion MR Sequences”, Magn Reson Med 68: 319-324 (2012).   [PMID: 22127787]
  • SP Shields, MC Hogrebe, WM Spees, LB Handlin, GP Noelken, JM Riley, RF Frey, “A Transition Program for Underprepared Students in General Chemistry: Diagnosis, Implementation, and Evaluation, J Chem Educ 89: 95-100 (2012).  [PMID: N/A] 
  • AE Somnez, AG Webb, WM Spees, AI Ozcan, NV Tsekos, “A System for Endoscopic Mechanically Scanned Localized Proton MR and Light-Induced Fluorescence Emission Spectroscopies”, J Magn Reson 222: 16-25 (2012).  [PMID: 22820260]
  • WM Spees, TH Lin, SK Song, “White-matter diffusion fMRI of mouse optic nerve”, NeuroImage 65: 209-215 (2013). [PMID: 23085108]
  • TH Lin, C Chiang, K Trinkaus, WM Spees, P Sun, SK Song, “Manganese-enhanced MRI (MEMRI) via topical loading of Mn2+ significantly impairs mouse visual acuity: a comparison with intravitreal injection”, NMR in Biomedicine (in press).

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For an up-to-date list of Dr. Spees' publications please see his entry on PubMed.