A photo of Zackary Cleveland.

Assistant Professor, UC Department of PediatricsUC Department of Biomedical Engineering


Biography & Affiliation


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

Assistant Professor, UC Department of PediatricsUC Department of Biomedical Engineering


Pulmonary Medicine, Imaging, Fibrosis


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

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


Cleveland ZI, Zhou YM, Akinyi TG, Dunn RS, Davidson CR, Guo J, Woods JC, Hardie WD. Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Disease Progression and Resolution in a Transgenic Mouse Model of Pulmonary Fibrosis. American Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology. 2017.

Thomen RP, Walkup LL, Roach DJ, Cleveland ZI, Clancy JP, Woods JC. Hyperpolarized 129Xe for Investigation of Mild Cystic Fibrosis Lung Disease in Pediatric Patients. J Cyst Fibros. 2016 Jul 28.

Walkup LL, Thomen RP, Akinyi TG, Watters E, Ruppert K, Clancy JP, Woods JC, Cleveland ZI. Feasibility, Tolerability, and Safety of Pediatric Hyperpolarized 129Xe Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Healthy Volunteers and Subjects with Cystic Fibrosis. Pediatric Radiology. 2016;(46)12:1651-1662.

Cleveland ZI, Virgincar RS, Qi Y, Robertson SH, Degan S, Driehuys B. 3D MR Imaging of Impaired Hyperpolarized 129Xe Uptake in a Rat Model of Pulmonary Fibrosis. NMR in Biomedicine. 2014;27(12):1502–1514.

Freeman MS, Cleveland ZI, Qi Y, Driehuys B. Enabling Hyperpolarized 129Xe MR Spectroscopy and Imaging of Pulmonary Gas Transfer to the Red Blood Cells in Transgenic Mice Expressing Human Hemoglobin. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. 2013;70(5):1192–1199.

Virgincar RS, Cleveland ZI, Kaushik SS, Freeman MS, Nouls J, Cofer GP, Martinez-Jimenez S, He M, Kraft M, Wolber J, McAdams HP, Driehuys B. Quantitative Analysis of Hyperpolarized 129Xe Ventilation Imaging in Healthy Volunteers and Subjects with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. NMR in Biomedicine. 2013;26(4):424–435.

Cleveland ZI, Möller HE, Hedlund LW, Nouls JC, Freeman MS, Qi Y, Driehuys B. In Vivo MR Imaging of Pulmonary Perfusion and Gas Exchange in Rats via Continuous Extracorporeal Infusion of Hyperpolarized 129Xe. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(2):e31306.

Kaushik SS, Cleveland ZI, Cofer GP, Metz G, Beaver D, Nouls J, Kraft M, Aufferman W, Wolber J, MacAdams HP, Driehuys B. Apparent Diffusion Coefficient Weighted MR Imaging with Hyperpolarized 129Xe in Healthy Subjects and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patients. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. 2011;65(4):1155–1165.

Cleveland ZI, Cofer GP, Metz G, Beaver D, Nouls J, Kaushik SS, Kraft M, Wolber J, Kelly KT, McAdams HP, Driehuys B. Hyperpolarized 129Xe MR Imaging of Alveolar-Capillary Gas Uptake in Humans. PLoS ONE. 2010;5(8):e12192.

Branca RT1, Cleveland ZI, Fubara B, Kumar CS, Maronpot RR, Leuschner C, Warren WS, Driehuys B. Molecular MRI for Sensitive and Specific Detection of Lung Metastases. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Feb 23;107(8):3693-7.