E-news from the
International Society for Magnetic Resonance
in Medicine

Vol. 3, Issue 1, March 2014

2013-2014 Junior Fellow

Olivier Girard
CRMBM, Aix-Marseille Université

I graduated from the Grenoble Institute of Technology (INPG, Grenoble, France) in 2004 as I completed my Master’s degree in engineering physics, and specializing in biotechnology. At that time, I felt that working in the medical imaging field was the best way to go to fulfill my curiosity for the life sciences and the medical world, taking benefit of my physicist’s background. Then, I obtained a fellowship to enroll in a PhD program in MRI technology at the University Paris Sud (Orsay, France), working in the team of Dr. Luc Darrasse on a collaboration project with the contrast media company Guerbet. The goal was to use ultra-sensitive superconducting RF coils to push the detection limit of new contrast agents designed for MR molecular imaging applications. That was a very stimulating project where physicists, chemists and biologists were working hand in hand.

In 2008, I moved to the University of California San Diego (San Diego, CA, USA) as a postdoc to pursue my research on MR molecular imaging methods, working with Drs. Robert Mattrey and Graeme Bydder. This was a unique experience to widen my research perspectives in an outstanding academic environment and to discover new horizons abroad.

I am now working in France at the Aix-Marseille University (Marseille, France) in the MRI research lab founded by Prof. Patrick Cozzone. My research is mainly focused on magnetization transfer from inhomogeneously broadened lines, a novel endogenous contrast mechanism that has appeared very specific to the white matter microstructure. In addition I am investigating advanced methods and applications of ultra-high field MRI, as we are installing a new 7T scanner in our department this semester. Quite exciting and challenging projects!

Along this road, the ISMRM has always been my primary research community. It is one of the greatest societies to stay in touch with the best MR research and it is also very valuable in terms of networking opportunities. I also believe that continuing education is a precious asset to open new research perspectives in such a highly multidisciplinary environment, and for all this, I am very thankful to the ISMRM society for the various meetings and workshops I have had the chance to attend. The junior fellow award is a strong recognition from the society, and I feel very grateful and honored for receiving such an encouragement. It supports my research and makes me want to be more involved in the development of the ISMRM society and what it offers to its members. I will do my best to help the society in the future and to carry on this creative, lively and friendly spirit!