Radio-frequency (RF) pulses are essential elements for magnetic resonance and as modern instruments continue to improve and gain popularity new challenges arise. With the very high field instruments available at CAI, magnetic resonance spectroscopy experiments can be performed with increased sensitivity and previously impossible experiments are now feasible. This is driven by advancements in RF pulse development which is the mainstay of my research program with an emphasis in applications for cancer diagnosis, monitoring and treatment.
Current projects include research and development of adiabatic pulses - a class of RF pulse which can be applied with low power yet still produce optimal signal for detection in a variety of MR experiments. The applications of these pulses are trialled in models of cancer during carcinogenesis and focus on detecting changes in lipid metabolism, particularly at stages prior to the formation of gross tumours. The idea is that if these changes are detected early enough, non-invasive treatment by pharmaceuticals or lifestyle changes can be applied efficiently to prevent cancer. Accordingly the research project also includes an emphasis on drug development using novel compounds derived from bacterial toxins.