BME Lecture Series: Reza Nezafat, Harvard

McDonnell Douglas Engineering Auditorium (MDEA)
Reza Nezafat, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Scientific Director of Cardiac MR Center, BIDMC

Abstract: My research focuses on the development and application of cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) technology to improve our understanding of cardiovascular disease. CMR can noninvasively detect changes in myocardial tissue composition in healthy and diseased myocardium using quantitative T1 and T2 mapping. These techniques allow non-invasive imaging of interstitial diffuse fibrosis and inflammation. The specific area of my research in myocardial tissue characterization involves development of CMR pulse sequences for accurate and reproducible quantification of these tissue relaxation parameters.
CMR is considered the non-invasive imaging modality for assessing myocardial viability, but spatial resolution has limited its application to finer structure and detailed examination of the complex scar architecture. My laboratory has been involved in developing techniques for high spatial-resolution imaging of scarring through faster CMR data acquisition and reconstruction, improved motion correction and increased blood-to-scar image contrast. We have pioneered the application of compressed sensing for scar imaging and developed a 3-dimenional myocardial viability technique with 1mm3 isotropic spatial resolution. These free-breathing whole heart viability scans have replaced standard clinical multiple breath-hold 2-dimensional viability scans, making CMR a more patient-friendly exam and have been used in thousands of patients in our medical center alone and adopted by other clinical and academic sites. In this talk, I will give an overview of the current state-of-the-art imaging of myocardial tissue characterization for assessment of interstitial fibrosis and scarring.

Bio: Reza Nezafat is currently an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and scientific director of the Cardiac MR Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. His research focuses on the development and application of cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) technology to improve our understanding of cardiovascular disease. Nezafat,'s laboratory has pioneered CMR techniques for improving imaging contrast, data acquisition and reconstruction for myocardial tissue characterization. He has received numerous awards for research, mentorship and teaching, including the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) W.S. Moore Young Investigator Award, the ISMRM Outstanding Teaching Award and an AHA Established Investigator Award.  

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