Dr. King, a Harvard Medical School graduate with research training from MIT, joined the HMRI team on July 1, 2016. Dr. King previously served as an Assistant Professor of Radiology at USC Keck School of Medicine, where he participated in the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center’s vascular cohort. Dr. King was previously a researcher on the Dallas Heart Study based at University of Texas-Southwestern in Dallas, investigating the use of MRI to understand the role of vascular disease in the brain and served as co-director of the imaging core for their Alzheimer’s Disease Center.
“We’re eager to see the transformative and innovative approaches Dr. King will bring to the rapidly expanding imaging research program at HMRI,” said Dr. Marie Csete, President & Chief Scientist of HMRI. “His dedication and passion for research at the foundations of physiology are a natural fit for the culture we’ve built at our institution – to improve health and save lives. The complex diseases of the brain we study all have vascular causes, but until recently dissecting the vascular contribution to diseases such as Alzheimer’s has been very difficult for us and for all researchers to quantify. I am optimistic that the tools Dr. King brings to HMRI will give us insights into brain health and disease. ”
Currently, Dr. King is seeking to use non-invasive imaging methods to better understand changes in the brain’s vascular function due to aging and disease, continuing a long tradition of excellence and innovation in these areas of imaging research at HMRI. The long-term goal of this work is to enable early assessment of disease onset, so that therapies can be initiated before disease is too advanced. Clinical trials and medicine generally need objective non-invasive end-points to be able to follow response to therapies, and MRI end-points are critical for advancing therapies.
“HMRI’s goal to expand the provision of non-invasive imaging of the brain and other organs to better understand various disease states and their progression can become a reality with Dr. King at the helm of our imaging program,” Csete added. “Since imaging is central to our new scientific strategic plan, Dr. King was also chosen for his ability and willingness to collaborate across the medical specialties at HMRI.”
Last year, HMRI installed a second MRI which will be dedicated to clinical research under Dr. King’s leadership. This state-of-the-art magnet allows HMRI investigators to probe the anatomic and chemical causes of disease. The machine is equipped with specialized coils to facilitate investigation of chemical processes, such as those involved in core metabolism and energy. These chemical pathways change as we age and with disease, and imaging these reactions represents the future in non-invasive diagnostics.