A photo of Zackary Cleveland.

Member, Division of Pulmonary Medicine

Associate Professor, UC Department of PediatricsUC Department of Biomedical Engineering


My Biography & Research


Although hyperpolarized gases have been used to investigate regional pulmonary structure and function since the late 1990, the technology was not widely disseminated, because it relied on the rare and expensive stable isotope 3He. Dr. Cleveland helped pioneer the use of more readily available 129Xe, paving the way for clinical hyperpolarized gas MRI. Dr. Cleveland also helped expand the limits of preclinical MRI by demonstrating the feasibility of high resolution HP 129Xe imaging in rats and mice and by demonstrating the the first, in vivo molecular imaging applications of HP gases.

Research Interests

Hyperpolarized gases; pulmonary imaging; translational studies; preclinical MRI

Academic Affiliation

Associate Professor, UC Department of PediatricsUC Department of Biomedical Engineering

Clinical Divisions

Cystic Fibrosis Center

Research Divisions

Pulmonary Medicine, Imaging, Fibrosis

My Education

PhD: Department of Chemistry, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.

Postdoctoral Fellowship: Department of Radiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.

My Publications

129Xe MRI as a measure of clinical disease severity for pediatric asthma. Lin, NY; Roach, DJ; Willmering, MM; Walkup, LL; Hossain, MM; Desirazu, P; Cleveland, ZI; Guilbert, TW; Woods, JC. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2021; 147:2146-2153.e1.

Preclinical MRI to quantify pulmonary disease severity and trajectories in poorly characterized mouse models: A pedagogical example using data from novel transgenic models of lung fibrosis. Stecker, IR; Freeman, MS; Sitaraman, S; Hall, CS; Niedbalski, PJ; Hendricks, AJ; Martin, EP; Weaver, TE; Cleveland, ZI. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Open. 2021; 6.

Sensitive structural and functional measurements and 1-year pulmonary outcomes in pediatric cystic fibrosis. Willmering, MM; Roach, DJ; Kramer, EL; Walkup, LL; Cleveland, ZI; Woods, JC. Journal of Cystic Fibrosis. 2021; 20:533-539.

Validating in vivo hyperpolarized 129 Xe diffusion MRI and diffusion morphometry in the mouse lung. Niedbalski, PJ; Cochran, AS; Freeman, MS; Guo, J; Fugate, EM; Davis, CB; Dahlke, J; Quirk, JD; Varisco, BM; Woods, JC; et al. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. 2021; 85:2160-2173.

Improved preclinical hyperpolarized 129 Xe ventilation imaging with constant flip angle 3D radial golden means acquisition and keyhole reconstruction. Niedbalski, PJ; Cleveland, ZI. NMR in Biomedicine. 2021; 34.

A semi-empirical model to optimize continuous-flow hyperpolarized 129Xe production under practical cryogenic-accumulation conditions. Plummer, JW; Emami, K; Dummer, A; Woods, JC; Walkup, LL; Cleveland, ZI. Journal of Magnetic Resonance. 2020; 320.

Mapping cardiopulmonary dynamics within the microvasculature of the lungs using dissolved 129Xe MRI. Niedbalski, PJ; Bier, EA; Wang, Z; Willmering, MM; Driehuys, B; Cleveland, ZI. Journal of Applied Physiology Respiratory Environmental and Exercise Physiology. 2020; 129:218-229.

Regional Structure-Function in Cystic Fibrosis Lung Disease Using Hyperpolarized 129Xe and Ultrashort Echo Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Thomen, RP; Walkup, LL; Roach, DJ; Higano, N; Schapiro, A; Brody, A; Clancy, JP; Cleveland, ZI; Woods, JC. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 2020; 202:290-292.

Improved pulmonary 129 Xe ventilation imaging via 3D-spiral UTE MRI. Willmering, MM; Niedbalski, PJ; Wang, H; Walkup, LL; Robison, RK; Pipe, JG; Cleveland, ZI; Woods, JC. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. 2020; 84:312-320.

Preclinical hyperpolarized 129 Xe MRI: ventilation and T2 * mapping in mouse lungs at 7 T using multi-echo flyback UTE. Niedbalski, PJ; Cochran, AS; Akinyi, TG; Thomen, RP; Fugate, EM; Lindquist, DM; Pratt, RG; Cleveland, ZI. NMR in Biomedicine. 2020; 33.