Eric T Ahrens is a Professor of biological science recently appointed at UCSD stem cell program. His research focuses on adapting magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to visualize cellular and molecular processes in-vivo. He has developed first-generation MRI reporters by using transgenic and vector technologies to express reporter genes coding for novel iron-binding proteins in the ferritin family. In a second parallel track, he has developed a new field of cell tracking called ‘in vivo cytometry.' Cells are initially labeled in culture using novel perfluorocarbon (PFC) nanoemulsions. Following transfer to the subject, cells are tracked in vivo using fluorine-19 (19F) MRI. To push the field of cellular-molecular MRI forward, his lab takes an integrated approach that applies principles of chemistry, biology, medicine, nuclear spin physics, and image processing.
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