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D. S. Fahmeed Hyder, PhD

Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging and of Biomedical Engineering; Technical Director, Magnetic Resonance Research Center (; Program Director, Core Center for Quantitative Neuroscience with Magnetic Resonance (

Contact Information

D. S. Fahmeed Hyder, PhD

Research Summary

Dr. Hyder uses magnetic resonance (MR) methods to map physiology and chemistry that underlies brain function, for early disease detection but also for targeted drug delivery and monitoring treatments. MR imaging (MRI) is attractive because of its non-invasive and 3D nature to capture anatomical and functional information. The brain has high-energy demands to support its neural infrastructure and functional connections, but how much energy supports anatomical vs. functional needs is unknown. Pathways by which neural cells use nutrients to fuel their growth vs. function are measured by MR spectroscopy (MRS). Among his contributions are high-resolution functional MRI (fMRI) developments, but with calibrated fMRI for imaging energy demanded by activities at the neuropil. Another area is a new class of paramagnetic MRS agents that can map pH and other physicochemical parameters important in cancer. These breakthroughs provide insights into the brain at work, from synapse to networks, in health and disease.

Speciailzed Terms: Brain energy metabolism; Neurovascular and neurometabolic coupling; BOLD technology; BIRDS technology; Calibrated fMRI technology; SAR technology; Cancer imaging and therapy technology; Molecular probes and nanocarriers

Extensive Research Description

Specific areas of interest in functional imaging include (i) understanding the role of the extraordinarily high energy demands of ongoing and intrinsic activity within neural populations as potential for quantitative disease biomarker, (ii) advancing the spatiotemporal resolution of functional imaging to understand the relation of cellular metabolism in health and disease (e.g., healthy aging, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, epilepsy, schizophrenia), and (iii) developing advanced calibrated fMRI methods for using oxidative energy as an absolute index of neural activity, both with task and rest paradigms, across cortical and subcortical regions.

For molecular imaging we use a method called BIRDS, which we developed and quite unconventionally detects the paramagnetically-shifted and non-exchangeable protons from lanthanide (or transition) metal ion probes for high spatiotemporal resolution biosensing. Highly precise molecular imaging of temperature and pH is achievable with BIRDS. Current areas of relevance are (i) design of new molecular probes for BIRDS, (ii) early cancer detection and metastasis using absolute pH imaging, (iii) application of new probes for BIRDS as molecular targets for diseases (e.g., diabetes), and (iv) detection of tumor response to treatments (e.g., radiation, chemotherapy, heat).

Calibrated fMRI for basal metabolism – simulation studies to assess sensitivities required for fMRI and perfusion data to extract basal metabolism from calibrated fMRI data

Quantitative metabolic PET – analysis of whole brain PET data of glucose and oxidative metabolism in the human brain in relation to blood flow

Liposomal BIRDS – development and/or characterization of newly developed probes encapsulated inside liposomes for BIRDS

Dendrimeric BIRDS – development and/or characterization of newly developed macromolecular-based probes for BIRDS


Research Interests

Biomedical Engineering; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Neoplasms by Histologic Type; Neurosciences; Radiology; Molecular Probes

Research Images

Selected Publications

Clinical Trials

ConditionsStudy Title
Mental Health & Behavioral ResearchAMPA Receptor Components of the Anti-Depressant Ketamine Response