Yi Wang holds the Faculty Distinguished Professorship at the Department of Radiology, and is a tenured Professor of Physics in Radiology, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and the Principal Investigator of the 3T MRI facility at Cornell University. He studied theoretical physics and switched to applying physics in medicine. Prof. Wang has invented multiple MRI technologies that are very important to the clinical and scientific communities: i) the cardiac navigator method to compensate for motion artifacts that has been adapted by most major academic centers as a basic approach in cardiac MRI; ii) the time-resolved acquisition method to solve the critical problem of timing acquisition to contrast bolus arrival in clinical contrast enhanced MRA and the multiple-station stepping-table platform to offer high throughput imaging of various body parts; iii) the quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) method that has broken ground for a new field in MRI for studying tissue magnetism.
Prof. Wang leads the Cornell MRI Research lab that is actively pursuing technical developments for clinical and pre-clinical applications in cardiovascular, cancer & neurological diseases. Current research activities are in three major areas. 1) Quantitative Susceptibiliy Mapping (QSM). Recently our group has pioneered QSM, a new fundamental approach to MRI by solving the magnetic field to tissue susceptibility inverse problem. QSM generates a new contrast that is a valuable addition to the traditional contrasts in MRI. QSM enables quantitative mapping of exogenous contrast agents in molecular MRI and contrast enhanced MRI, as well as quantitative mapping of endogenous contrast agents, including iron and calcium depositions and deoxyhemoglobin, that are fundamental for investigating organ functions and disease pathophysiology. We are currently working with neurological clinicians and neuroscientists to develop clinical applications of QSM, including mapping iron deposition in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson and Alzheimer diseases and multiple sclerosis, assessing blood products in cerebral microhemorrhage and hemorrhagic stroke, and evaluating oxygen metabolism in ischemic strokes and tumors. We are also investigating other important applications of QSM, including mapping bone mineralization and iron deposition in the liver and heart, and extending QSM to a tensor version to study myelin's unique diamagnetic susceptibility anisotropy. 2) Temporally and Spatially Resolved 4D Imaging. We are developing intelligent Bayesian MRI data acquisition using prior information to vastly improve temporal and spatial resolution. This 4DBayesian MRI approach has great potential for imaging moving organs such as the liver and heart and for studying transport processes in tissue such as perfusion, permeability and other parameters characterizing microcirculation environment for various molecular probes. 3) Cardiovascular Imaging. We have developed a navigator method that measures motion immediately before data acquisition and modifies it to compensate for motion in high resolution cardiac MRI. We are working closely with clinicians to advance cardiovascular patient care through the use of the rich tissue contrast, high temporal and spatial resolution and nonuse of ionizing radiation of MRI.
Principles of medical imaging, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)