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Ferenc A. Jolesz, MD

B. Leonard Holman Professor of Radiology, Department of Radiology, Harvard Medical School

Director, MRI & Image-Guided Therapy, Brigham And Women's Hospital

Contact Info

Ferenc Jolesz
Brigham And Women's Hospital
75 Francis Street
Boston, MA, 02115
Phone: 617-732-5961
Fax: 617-582-6033


Not Available.

DF/HCC Program Affiliation

Cancer Imaging

Research Abstract

Dr. Jolesz's research activities are in the areas of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), neuroradiology, and neurophysiology. Special interests include interventional MRI, imaging and image processing, demyelination, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease.

Current research in interventional MRI aims to develop and test methods for magnetic resonance (MR)-guided therapeutic procedures, to use MRI to control and monitor thermal energy deposition within tissues in order to ablate tumors or tissue, to develop and apply three-dimensional data acquisition and display methods for the guidance and therapeutic procedures within the MRI system, and to develop and test novel pulse sequences for the real-time control of MR-guided therapy.

The diagnostic capabilities of MRI are being used for direct control of surgical medical lasers. The laser is capable of providing high-power radiation at wavelengths useful for ablation and cutting and also at near-infrared wavelengths, which are beginning to be used for interstitial laser therapy. This research addresses the problem of determining which operating parameters of the laser would be appropriate for producing the desired results in this type of therapy. Tissue damage is measured by MRI methods, which are highly sensitive to changes in tissue temperature, protein conformation, and water content.

Future studies include plans to treat breast tumors with a nonincisional, noninvasive method, MR guided focused ultrasound. MRI will be used to focus the ultrasound on the tumor and raise the temperature high enough to destroy the tissue. The anticipated outcome is that focused ultrasound will have the same results as surgical removal because the edges of the tumor can be precisely defined by imaging sequences. Studies are planned to test the imaging abilities of the prototype interventional MRI system using essentially the same imaging protocols and sequences which have been developed and applied to standard MR systems and to performed procedures such as endoscopic sinus surgery or stereotactic brain biopsy within the interventional MR system.

MRI is being used for morphometric analysis and tissue characterization to distinguish the patterns of brain atrophy and gray- or white-matter changes in normal aging and Alzheimer's disease. Focal brain atrophy in the temporal lobe is also being investigated in schizophrenia.

Research on demyelination uses in vivo MRI in various models to improve the characterization and differentiation of various forms of central nervous system (CNS) white-matter edema encountered in various pathologies, including traumatic injuries, demyelinating diseases, tumors, and infectious diseases. The resulting information should lead to a better understanding of basic pathophysiological mechanisms of CNS diseases and therapeutic trials in the CNS, e.g., in multiple sclerosis.

MRI, clinical tests, and immunological tests are being combined for determining the optimal MRI methods and examination frequency in studies of patients with multiple sclerosis.


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