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Dirk Mayer, Dr. rer. nat.

Academic Title:

Associate Professor

Primary Appointment:

Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine

Administrative Title:

Director Of Metabolic Imaging In The Department Of Diagnostic Radiology & Nuclear Medicine


Paca/Pratt Building, 2-S-133

Phone (Primary):


Education and Training

  • University of Bonn (Germany), 1996, graduate degree ("Diplom") in physics
  • University of Bremen (Germany), 2000, Dr. rer. nat.
  • Stanford University, 2000-2003, postdoctoral researcher


My research focuses on the development of MRI-based imaging techniques for the noninvasive investigation of metabolic processes under both normal and pathologic conditions that can be applied in preclinical and clinical settings. In particular, my research interests have centered on the use of dynamic nuclear polarization to increase the MR signal of metabolically active, 13C-labeled compounds for in vivo metabolic imaging. Specific areas of research include optimized acquisition and reconstruction techniques, kinetic modeling for quantitative analysis, and new probe development. At this time, I am exploring the application in tumor diagnosis and treatment monitoring, and in the study of cardiovascular and liver pathologies, inflammatory diseases, and brain metabolism.

I am a member of the Experimental Therapeutics Program within the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center Program in Oncology. Experimental Therapeutics researchers collaborate with both basic and clinical research investigators, focusing on the rapid transfer of knowledge from the laboratory to the clinic. Together with my collaborators I develop imaging techniques for cancer diagnosis, treatment monitoring, and prediction of response to therapy.


Research/Clinical Keywords

magnetic resonance imaging, metabolism, cancer, liver disease, traumatic brain injury

Highlighted Publications

  1. D. Mayer, Y-F. Yen, J. Tropp, A. Pfefferbaum, R.E. Hurd, D.M. Spielman “Application of Sub-Second Spiral Chemical Shift Imaging to Real-Time Multi-Slice Metabolic Imaging of the Rat In Vivo after Injection of Hyperpolarized 13C1-Pyruvate” Magn. Reson. Med., 62, 557-564, 2009.
  2. R.E. Hurd, Y-F. Yen, J. Tropp, A. Pfefferbaum, D.M. Spielman, D. Mayer “Cerebral Dynamics and Metabolism of Hyperpolarized [1-13C] Pyruvate using Time Resolved MR Spectroscopic Imaging” J. Cereb. Blood Flow Metab., 30:1734-1741, 2010.
  3. J.M. Park, L. Recht, S. Josan, M. Merchant, T. Jang, Y.-F. Yen, R. Hurd, D. Spielman, D. Mayer “Metabolic Response of Glioma to Dichloroacetate Measured in vivo by Hyperpolarized 13C Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging” Neuro-Oncology, 5:433-441, 2013.
  4. S. Josan, K. Billingsley, J. Orduna, J.M. Park, R. Luong, L. Yu, R. Hurd, A. Pfefferbaum, D. Spielman, D. Mayer “Assessing inflammatory liver injury in an acute CCl4 model using dynamic metabolic imaging of hyperpolarized [1-13C]pyruvate” NMR Biomed, 28:1671-1677, 2015. 
  5. S.J. DeVience and D. Mayer “Speeding up Dynamic Spiral Chemical Shift Imaging with Incoherent Sampling and Low-Rank Matrix Completion” Magn. Reson. Med., doi: 10.1002/mrm.26170, 2016.

Additional Publication Citations