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Dirk Mayer, Dr. rer. nat.

Dirk Mayer
Dirk Mayer, Dr. rer. nat.

Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine

Director of Metabolic Imaging

Phone: 410-328-9007


Dr. Mayer is 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 his collaborators he develops imaging techniques for cancer diagnosis, treatment monitoring, and prediction of response to therapy.

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Research Interest

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, research interests are 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, applications range from tumor diagnosis and treatment monitoring to the study of cardiovascular and liver pathologies, inflammatory diseases, and brain metabolism.


  • Developing metabolic imaging biomarkers for the improved diagnosis and treatment monitoring of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (R01 DK106395).
  • Metabolic imaging of hyperpolarized [1-13C]pyruvate for the assessment of the altered energy metabolism after traumatic brain injury (R21 NS096575)
  • Developing hyperpolarized 5- aminolevulinic acid as a novel probe for the altered porphyrin synthesis in glioblastoma (R21 CA202694)
  • Applying hyperpolarized [2-13C]pyruvate to imaging of mitochondrial metabolism for improved characterization of prostate cancer (R21 CA213020)

Lab Members

  • Dirk Mayer, Dr. rer. nat. (Principal Investigator)
  • Dina Shenkar, PhD (Staff Scientist)
  • Maninder Singh, PhD (Postdoctoral Fellow)
  • Minjie Zhu (Graduate Student Researcher)
  • Xin Lu, MS (Research Technician)

Grants and Proposals

PIGrant TitleTotal Project PeriodFunding SourceTotal Costs
Dirk Mayer Metabolic Imaging of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease 07/01/16 - 04/30/21 NCE NIDDK $1,922,053.00
Dirk Mayer Hyperpolarized 13C imaging of mitochondrial metabolism for improved characterization of prostate cancer 12/01/16 - 11/30/20 NCE NCI $369,325.00
Dirk Mayer Enzyme-enabled hyperpolarized 13C MRI for antibody-targeted imaging 07/21/20 - 07/20/22 NIBIB $424,875.00
Dirk Mayer Hyperpolarized [1-13C]pyruvate metabolic imaging for noninvasive diagnosis and monitoring of glioblastoma 04/08/18 - 03/31/21 NCE ICTRATIP $35,000.00

Total: $2,751,253.00


Click here to view Dr. Mayer's publications on Pubmed

Please refer Dr. Mayer's faculty profile for highlighted publications