Student Profile

Allison Case in lab
Zhongxu An

Zhongxu An
Biomedical Engineering Program
Mentor: Changho Choi, Ph.D.
Hometown: Yanji, China

Among the courses that I took during my undergraduate work, I was very interested in signal and imaging processing. I joined a lab at Tsinghua University and started learning about medical imaging techniques. From the beginning, I was really fascinated about the hands-on experience on collecting and processing the real human data. Sometimes, even now, I would enjoy staring at some of the beautiful images I acquired. With the guidance of my mentor Dr. Guo, I have foreseen the real impact of my work on clinical world. More importantly, I realized I could apply what I have learned in electronic engineering, mostly in aeronautics field, to the medical field.

I chose UT Southwestern because of the access and connection to the real clinic. This means I would have a lot of experience with patients and can potentially transfer my research to clinic. UTSW is one of the few universities that has a huge number of medical imaging facilities. This allows the student to have hands-on experience anytime they want. In many other HOT/TOP universities, students do not have many chances to operate or modify this equipment and they have to spend the majority of their time in the lab with a computer simulation.

Today I am working on developing robust technology to noninvasively measure important metabolites levels in human brain in vivo using magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging. My work has been applied to patients with brain tumors, autism, schizophrenia, etc. Some of the methods that we developed are already being used as important tools for clinical decision-making including brain tumor surgery at UTSW and worldwide.