Elena Vinogradov, Ph.D.

Elena Vinogradov, Ph.D.

Dr. Vinogradov's research interest is focused on the development of new contrast methods for MRI. Specifically, she is interested in developing MRI methods that are based on the intrinsic biochemical processes and physical properties of the tissue, e.g. chemical exchange rearrangements or molecular networks.

Currently, the main area of research is Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer (CEST) contrast. CEST contrast is relatively new approach that could allow imaging of important parameters that are inaccessible by current conventional MRI, such as pH or a particular metabolite level. Of specific interest is an application of CEST to the imaging of articular cartilage and intervertebral disc degeneration. The research may lead to improved methods for early detection and monitoring of diseases such as osteoarthritis or disc degeneration.

Another area of research is non-proton imaging, specifically, sodium imaging. Sodium is NMR active, albeit, low-sensitivity nuclei, naturally present in the body. Sodium imaging can offer several potential applications, including monitoring cartilage, kidneys and brain ailments. Our research is concentrated on the hardware and software development for the efficient sodium imaging.

The research is conduced at 3T human magnets and we are exploring MRI at ultra-high, 7T, field. Some of the basic research is conducted at 7T and 9.4T animal magnets.

Research Interests

  • Endogenous contrast mechanisms 
  • Disc and cartilage studies
  • Spin dynamics and relaxation
  • Sodium imaging

For publication information please view Dr. Vinogradov's faculty profile.