MRI specialist to
establish imaging lab in Canada
Ont. – 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
(pictured at left), 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).