About Stephen J Blackband
Dr. Blackband is a Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Florida College of Medicine. He received his PhD in NMR Imaging in 1985 from Nottingham University in England and went on to complete a Postdoctoral Fellowship (1982-1985) at his alma mater. He is a joint faculty with the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL) and has held several NIH grants, including as director of an NIH Resource grant that developed the hardware and techniques to take advantage of UF’s high field systems. He has been working on technique, technology and application development of MR for over 35 years and served as the first director of the imaging facility (AMRIS) at UF for three years, installing most of the magnet systems now there.
Dr. Blackband’s research over the past 34 years has moved from the first image of a single cell (a frog ova) through smaller and smaller cells (Aplysia neurons), culminating recently in the first images and fiber tracking of fixed mammalian brain cells on rat, porcine and human tissues. These studies incorporated the use of new micro rf coils and strong gradients. The use of these techniques is now being explored in other tissues including heart, muscle, diaphragm, kidney, liver, and retina. His work now is moving studies on fixed mammalian cells to cellular level imaging on live tissue, made possible by the construction of a unique oxgenator and perfusion apparatus compatible with the microimaging hardware. This work is continuing under an NIH grant. Most recently, his team is exploring the utility of the 900MHz (21.1T) system at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL). Additionally, the NHMFL has successfully achieved 30T on a new series connected hybrid magnet that made field early 2017. His work has involved human studies of breast, brain and prostate cancer, including early work on dynamic contrast agent studies, T2 quantitation, and localized proton spectroscopy in the prostate. Since moving to UF, his studies have included single cells, isolated perfused tissues (heart, brain, kidney), fixed specimens (brain, heart) and some non-biomedical studies. These studies use small bore high field systems, such as the 750MHz wide bore, to achieve the highest signal to noise and resolutions. DTI especially is being applied to mouse and rat brains, and his team co-developed the first ex vivo and in vivo mouse brain atlases. Additionally, they published the first MRI atlas of the isolated Drosophila fly brain.