Research Laboratories

Fayad Lab (Cardiovascular Imaging)

Dr. Fayad’s laboratory is dedicated to the detection and prevention of cardiovascular disease and conducts interdisciplinary and discipline bridging research, from engineering to biology, which includes pre-clinical and clinical investigations. The focus of this lab is to develop and use innovative multimodality cardiovascular imaging including to study, prevent and treat cardiovascular disease, including: Magnetic Resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), and positron emission tomography (PET), as well as molecular imaging and nanomedicine.  Dr. Fayad’s focus at Mount Sinai is on the noninvasive assessment and understanding of atherosclerosis (Nature 2008; 451:953-957; Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2011;10:835-52; Lancet 2012; 378:1547-1559). View the complete list publications

Current projects include:

  • Imaging Acquisition and Analysis Methods - Development of novel multimodality cardiovascular imaging and analysis techniques using MRI, PET/MR and CT (NIH/NHLBI R01 HL071021)

  • Early Detection and Outcomes Prediction - Use of in vivo noninvasive multimodality imaging methods for the early detection of atherosclerosis and other inflammatory diseases in humans and for cardiovascular events and outcomes prediction (NIH/NHLBI R01 LHL078667

  • Molecular Imaging - Development and use of novel multimodality imaging nanoparticulate systems to monitor fundamental cellular/molecular events in living subjects including patients (NIH/NIBIB R01 EB009638)

  • Nanomedicine - Development and use of novel targeted drug delivery nanoparticulate systems to improve the imaging and treatment of atherosclerosis (NIH/NHLBI Program of Excellence in Nanotechnology (PEN) Award, Contract #HHSN268201000045C)

  • Preclinical and clinical trials and drug development - Use in vivo noninvasive multimodality imaging methods (MR, PET, CT etc.) in preclinical and clinical trials for the development and testing of novel therapies to treat atherothrombosis (Industry funded)

Balchandani Lab (MRI technical development, High Field MRI)

Dr. Balchandani’s research is focused on the design of innovative radio frequency (RF) pulses and pulse sequences that harness the power of high-field magnets and exploit new contrast mechanisms in order to enable novel applications of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).  Her lab explores engineering solutions for MR imaging and spectroscopy at high magnetic fields such as 7 Tesla (7T). Beyond higher resolution images that elucidate finer anatomical features, high-field MR offers greater spectral resolution for spectroscopic imaging, new and enhanced contrast mechanisms and improved detection of nuclei other than protons that are essential to cell processes.  A main goal of Dr. Balchandani’s lab is to develop techniques that exploit the benefits offered by 7T magnets for neuroimaging applications by overcoming the limitations associated with their operation.  Dr. Balchandani’s additional research interests include creative pulse and pulse sequence designs for nontraditional MR applications such as multinuclear imaging and stem cell tracking.

Mani Lab (Cardiovascular Imaging)

As a faculty member at TMII and Director of the Cardiovascular Imaging Clinical trials Units (CICTU), Dr. Mani works to translate novel multi-modality imaging techniques for use in multicenter clinical trials. His main interests are in imaging of cardiovascular diseases, specifically focusing on atherosclerosis, thrombosis and their complications using FDG-PET, CT and MRI.  The CICTU is composed of clinicians, image processing and programming experts, image analysts, data managers, IT personnel and research coordinators. CICTU is a modern hybrid between a contract research organization (CRO) and an imaging core lab. They undertake and manage all aspects of clinical trials, ranging from scientific conduct to administrative management, with imaging endpoints led by TMII. CICTU’s tasks span from industry or federally sponsored multicenter clinical trials to the support of individual investigators interested in using imaging endpoints for their work.  Typical services offered include but are not limited to trial design and consultation, imaging protocol development, site training and qualification, data repository and database management, data quality control and analysis, and publication support.

Mulder Lab (Nanomedicine)

The Nanomedicine Laboratory is part of the Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute (Nano-TMII) at the Icahn School of Medicine. Nano-TMII's mission is to develop and advance nanomedical approaches to allow a better understanding, identification and treatment of the most detrimental pathologies today: cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Nano-TMII is directed by Dr. Willem Mulder and is funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, the National Cancer Institute and NHLBI’s Program of Excellence in Nanotechnology.


Rafael O’Halloran (Neuoimaging)

As Chief of the Image Acquisition Core, Dr. O'Halloran's work is focused on bringing innovative new imaging techniques to bear on problems in basic and clinical research. His primary area of focus is on diffusion weighted imaging (DWI), in particular on high-resolution DWI. At high spatial resolution, DWI allows visualization of the white matter pathways that connect functional areas of the brain. One application of this technique that Dr. O'Halloran is focused on is in the planning of deep brain stimulation surgery to treat conditions such as Parkinson's disease, dystonia, and depression. Dr. O'Halloran's other interests include image reconstruction and motion correction. Patient motion continues to be a major problem in MRI, causing failed or prolonged exams which ultimately results in increased heath care costs. Solutions to patient motion can be implemented on both the acquisition and image reconstruction side, and can potentially benefit a wide range of MR imaging techniques.

Tang Lab (Neuroimaging Core and Preclinical Imaging)

Dr. Tang’s lab is involved with the research and development of novel imaging strategies for the study of neuro-psychiatric diseases. The work consists of both hardware and software development.

The lab develops novel image analysis software approaches to integrate functional and structural connectivity using DTI, DSI and fMRI.

The lab has also developed novel technologies (e.g. olfactory meter, real time fMRI) in use for the study of memory, OCD and mood-disorders.

The research is performed on both human and preclinical systems.

Taouli Lab (Body Imaging)

The Quantitative Body Imaging Group develops, tests and validates quantitative MR imaging techniques applied to body imaging. Our current research includes the optimization and validation of novel functional MRI techniques applied to diffuse and focal liver diseases, including diffusion-weighted MRI, dynamic contrast enhanced MRI, MR Elastography, flow quantification, spectroscopy and multi echo Dixon methods. We believe that these imaging modalities will provide non invasive information for:

  • Detection of liver fibrosis and cirrhosis
  • Assessment of portal hypertension
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma characterization
  • Tumor response to novel therapies

These techniques can be transposed to other organs, such as the kidneys, prostate and pancreas.

Xu Lab (Neuroimaging)

Dr. Xu’s lab develops quantitative and functional magnetic resonance (MR) techniques and applies them to study neurometablism and neuropathophysiology.
Our current projects are to develop: (1) fast MR imaging and spectroscopy methods for quantitative neuroimaging, (2) reliable MR techniques for functional assessment of spinal cord, and (3) a “Connectomic” imaging approach for tissue recovery, repair and clinical outcomes in multiple sclerosis