Grant Money Flows for Cardiothoracic Team

Posted on July 2012

Christopher François, M.D., Scott Nagle, M.D., Ph.D., and Oliver Wieben, Ph.D. from the Department of Radiology Cardiothoracic Imaging Section, along with Kevin Johnson, Ph.D. of the Department of Medical Physics, and Primary Investigator Marlow W. Eldridge, M.D. of the Department of Pediatrics, recently received a grant from the NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to study the interactions between the lungs and the right side of the heart in patients with bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Drs. François, Nagle, Wieben, and Johnson will be co-investigators in this study, assisting with the acquisition and analysis of MRI data. They will be using standard MRI sequences, along with novel MRI sequences developed here at UW-Madison, over the five year study period.

Currently, there is very little understood about the impact bronchopulmonary dysplasia can have on the pulmonary vasculature and the functionality of the right side of the heart. Over the next five years, the group plans to recruit 120 human subjects for this study, and MRI will be a key component in analysis and understanding of this lung-heart interaction.

Since joining the department, Dr. François has been involved in collaborations with many departments on campus to develop new MRI and CT techniques for noninvasive cardiothoracic imaging. He has published more than 20 manuscripts, 3 book chapters, and 30 scientific abstracts. Dr. Nagle has focused his research on optimizing data-sampling strategies for MRI in order to shorten image time. His current work is primarily in translational pulmonary MRI.

Dr. Wieben’s interests center on the development of rapid cardiovascular imaging methods for non-invasive MRI and their application to improve clinical diagnosis. His research focuses on the investigation of methods to improve the data acquisition and image reconstruction for more rapid MR imaging as well as post-processing methods to facilitate comprehensive, non-invasive hemodynamic assessment of the vascular system.