Principal Investigators

Gregory Stanisz, PhD

Ph.D., Senior Scientist
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue, S-Wing, Suite S672
Toronto, ON M4N 3M5 CANADA


PhD, 1990, Physics, Jagellonion University, Poland

Appointments and Affiliations

• Senior scientist, Physical SciencesOdette Cancer Research Program, Sunnybrook Research Institute
• Professor, department of medical biophysics, University of Toronto

Research Foci:

Dr. Stanisz’s studies aim to develop magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods to improve specificity and sensitivity of noninvasive image methods in characterizing tissue pathology. His research team uses MRI in animal models of disease and in patients. In particular, they use MRI to evaluate tissue microstructure and metabolism in a variety of different disorders. His research interests include, but are not limited to, the following:


Optimizing MRI methods to predict tumour response to treatment
Applying new imaging technology for MRI-linear accelerator and MRI-brachytherapy systems
Developing MRI methods to assess radiation dose
Testing new multimodal contrast agents for improved specificity of cancer diagnosis.

Brain sciences:

Characterizing new models of spinal cord injury and testing new treatments for spinal cord injury
Understanding the mechanisms of tissue damage in the central nervous system
Evaluating brain metabolism using magnetic resonance spectroscopy in response to microbiotic treatment in animal models of depression.

Research Summary:

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has proved to be a useful diagnostic tool that enables the imaging of soft tissue noninvasively. Measured MRI signal characteristics depend on the physical and chemical processes experienced by water molecules in tissues. Dr. Stanisz’s work involves studies that quantitatively characterize the MRI signal behaviour in various types of normal and pathological tissues in order to obtain information about tissue microstructure and metabolism. Quantitative MRI can be used to estimate physical tissue parameters such as cell dimensions, cell membrane permeability, translational and rotational motion of water in intracellular and extracellular tissue compartments, and extracellular and intracellular volume fractions.

His team is measuring basic MR properties of tissue using a 7T Bruker preclinical MRI system, and developing tissue multicompartmental models in order to correlate experimental data with tissue histopathology data. They are particularly interested in whether nuclear MR measurements such as T1 and T2 relaxation times, diffusion or magnetization transfer between water and macromolecules can be used to evaluate the processes involved in central nervous system pathologies.

In addition, the team is using MRI to monitor cancer therapies in preclinical models of cancer and in patients. In particular, his group is interested in evaluating changes in tumour microstructure and metabolism and the processes of apoptosis (programmed cell death) using combined MRI and MR spectroscopy.