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

Vol. 3, Issue 1, March 2014

2013-2014 Junior Fellow

Prachi Pandit

Stanford University
(Now at UCSF)

I grew up in India, where I studied Electrical Engineering. The desire to work in a field with a more direct social impact while at the same time being strongly tied to my engineering roots made me gravitate towards Biomedical Imaging for my graduate work. During my PhD, under the mentorship of Prof. G. Allan Johnson at Duke University, I worked on developing novel MR imaging sequences for preclinical cancer imaging. An internship in the MR physics group of the Applied Science Laboratory (GE Healthcare, Milwaukee) under the supervision of Dr. Kevin King further helped in honing my pulse sequence programming skills. For my postdoctoral research at Stanford University I ventured into the molecular MRI domain where I worked with Prof. Brian Rutt on novel gadolinium based probes for enzyme-activated imaging. 

My current work, in Prof. Sharmila Majumdar’s group at UCSF, focuses on quantitative spinal MRI to improve our understanding of the origins of lower back pain. This will enable targeted treatment planning and I hope to have a more direct impact on clinical care. Other projects I am involved in include quantitative compressed sensing for applications in musculoskeletal imaging, and development/optimization of novel imaging sequences for high field MRI applications, also for musculoskeletal imaging.

Since entering the field of magnetic resonance imaging in 2006, I have depended on ISMRM as a steady source of knowledge through its journals, meetings and workshops, and it has played a key role in my development as a MR scientist. The annual meetings have been pivotal in exposing me to the wide range of areas that could be explored with MR and getting me excited about all the possibilities open for me, as well as teaching me advanced MR concepts and introducing me to new developments in the field. Also, it is always an exciting time to meet old colleagues and make new connections. Being able to discuss my work with this international community of experts, and receive critique/encouragement from them has been important in shaping my scientific thinking and helping me mature as a researcher. 

I am very proud to be a part of this society and being recognized as a Junior Fellow has been a great honor for me. I am eager to play a more active role in the functions and services of the society and to have the opportunity to acknowledge the impact that the society has had and will continue to have on my career.