Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University

Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University

September 29, 2005 09:48 ET

Leading MRI Specialist to Establish Medical Imaging Lab in Canada

Attention: Assignment Editor, Education Editor, Health/Medical Editor, News Editor, Science Editor HAMILTON, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 29, 2005) - McMaster University is establishing a new state-of-the-art medical imaging laboratory and has recruited a top international scientist to run it. The research facility will be part of the new School of Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Mark Haacke, a native of Canada who also holds citizenship in the United States, will direct research in cardiovascular, neurological and oncological imaging at the new research laboratory. A particular area of focus will include developing MRI techniques for research into the human brain and conditions such as stroke, trauma, tumor identification and Alzheimer's disease. Prof. Haacke holds the position of adjunct professor with the School of Biomedical Engineering, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and with the Brain-Body Institute at St. Joseph's Healthcare in Hamilton.

"Bringing knowledge and expertise such as Mark Haacke's back into Canada immediately moves us to the forefront of imaging research," said John Brash, Director of the new McMaster School of Biomedical Engineering and a Professor of Chemical Engineering at McMaster. "It opens the door more widely to international collaboration, attracting researchers, students and public and private sector interest."

Prof. Haacke is the founder and director of The Magnetic Resonance Imaging Institute for Biomedical Research and a Professor of Radiology at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He was born in Canada and earned his undergraduate, M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in physics at the University of Toronto. He left Canada in 1978 to pursue his research in theoretical high energy physics at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He also joined the Radiology Department several years later and remains associated with Case Western Reserve as an adjunct Professor of Physics. In 1993, he accepted a position with Washington University as a Professor of Radiology. He has collaborative arrangements with Loma Linda University in California and is an Adjunct Professor in Radiology. In 2004, he was awarded the Gold Medal of the ISMRM for his innovative contributions to magnetic resonance imaging in Kyoto, Japan.

"Working with leading professionals from the engineering and health sciences faculties at McMaster, as well as the many top research hospitals in the area, is a definite attraction," said Prof. Haacke. "Establishing the new school to bring all this knowledge together shows the university's commitment to being at the leading edge of the most recent developments in health, science and engineering. It makes it viable to pursue certain ideas that would not be possible without this level of collaboration and accessibility."

The Medical Imaging Laboratory is the third of seven laboratories to be announced by the McMaster School of Biomedical Engineering. Previously, MDA Robotics announced the establishment of a Robotics Research Laboratory and Bell University Laboratories announced the establishment of an Integrated Systems Laboratory."

MRI has become an indispensable tool in medical research and practice," said John Bienenstock, Director of the Brain-Body Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital in Hamilton, which uses MRI technology to study interactions between the brain and nervous system, and bodily disease processes. "We will be collaborating closely with Mark and the new lab to advance the capabilities of MRI in improving patient care."

"I am excited to participate in what promises to be a dynamic translational biomedical imaging environment, taking new ideas into the clinical and industrial realms," said Prof. Haacke. He has previously designed a biomedical imaging curriculum and will bring that concept with him to help establish a more formal imaging program at McMaster. "There is a great need for enthusiastic and bright students and researchers in this field."

The McMaster School of Biomedical Engineering was created jointly by the Faculties of Engineering and Health Sciences at McMaster University. It brings together existing bioengineering-related activities and expands into emerging areas of biomolecular, biomedical and bioengineering research. Ph.D. and Master's programs in biomedical engineering will be offered involving courses in engineering/physical science, health science/medicine and biomedical subjects together with research in a specialized area supported by one of seven dedicated laboratories (http://msbe.mcmaster.ca). /For further information: A photo is available at www.eng.mcmaster.ca/newsphotos

Gene Nakonechny
Faculty of Engineering
McMaster University
905-525-9140 ext. 26781

Veronica McGuire
Faculty of Health Sciences
McMaster University
905-525-9140 ext. 22169
vmcguir@mcmaster.ca/ IN: EDUCATION, HEALTH, TECHNOLOGY

Contact Information

  • Gene Nakonechny, Manager, Public Relations
    Primary Phone: 905-525-9140 ext. 26781
    E-mail: genen@mcmaster.ca