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MRI technologies to noninvasively assess vascular and cardiac disease and response to treatment in youth and adults with obesity and diabetes

Project Description

Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in people with diabetes, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Traditional methods to assess cardiovascular disease include 1) CT (coronary artery calcification, CT angiogram, PET CT, etc.), which has associated risks of radiation, 2) catheterization, which is very invasive and has associated procedural risks, and 3) echocardiography, which has limitations regarding sensitivity as well as depth of penetration issues when obesity is present. As a result, MRI is ideal to noninvasively assess the cardiovascular system without radiation but with better sensitivity than echocardiography. Newer techniques are now available with MRI, including 4-D flow, in-MRI exercise and other approaches to allow assessment of vascular stiffness, wall shear stress, relative area change, as well as cardiac structure and function. Our group has completed but not-yet analyzed, ongoing and planned studies using vascular and cardiac MRI in youth and adults with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and obesity. These studies include interventions such as medications aimed at improving cardiovascular health, exercise interventions and bariatric surgery. The MRI work provides an excellent opportunity for a research track student to learn cardiovascular anatomy and physiology, the physiology of insulin resistance and diabetes complications and their impacts on the CV system, MRI basics, computer-based MRI analysis techniques under the mentorship of bioengineers specialized in cardiovascular MRI, and be a part of physiology-based studies and clinical trials in youth and adults with obesity and diabetes. The student’s role would have a primary focus on the vascular and cardiac MRI data collection and analyses. The team the student would be working with is multi-disciplinary and includes Adult and Pediatric Endocrinologists (Jane Reusch and Kristen Nadeau), Bioengineers (Alexander Barker), Cardiologists (Uyen Truong) and Radiologists (Lorna Browne).

Area of Study

Cardiovascular; Metabolism and Endocrinology


Adolescents; Adults


Imaging; Other – please specify

Disease or Symptom

Diabetes; Obesity



Mentor Location

UC Anschutz Medical Campus

Mentor Contact Number

Jane Reusch 399-8020 x 2755 Kristen Nadeau 720-7772855

Mentor Email



Mentor Name

Reusch, Jane

Funding Department/Program




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Created at 11/13/2018 12:53 PM by Zoghby, Caitlin
Last modified at 8/14/2019 12:47 PM by Zoghby, Caitlin