A photo of Laura Walkup.

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Biography & Affiliation


Hyperpolarized 129Xe magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the lungs is an emerging area of research and clinical translation, and in 2013, Dr. Walkup moved to Cincinnati Children's to bring her expertise in hyperpolarized 129Xe gas production and physics to the Center for Pulmonary Imaging Research (CPIR). She constructed a 129Xe polarizer for imaging pediatric lung disease and helped demonstrate for the first time, the feasibility and safety of 129Xe MRI in pediatric subjects and the sensitivity of 129Xe MRI to early cystic-fibrosis lung disease. Dr. Walkup has strong interest in translational applications of lung MRI, including in pulmonary complications following bone-marrow transplantation (BMT), where she showed that 129Xe MRI could detect ventilation abnormalities in children who were unable to perform reliable spirometry.

Research Interests

Pulmonary MRI; hyperpolarized gas; translational studies; rare-lung diseases

Academic Affiliation

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Pulmonary Medicine, Imaging, Fibrosis


PhD: Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, IL.

Postdoctoral Fellowship: Center for Pulmonary Imaging Research, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH.


Walkup LL, Myers K, El-Bietar J, Nelson A, Willmering MM, Grimley M, Davies SM, Towe C, Woods JC. Xenon-129 MRI detects ventilation deficits in paediatric stem cell transplant patients unable to perform spirometry. Eur Respir J. 2019 May 2;53(5).

Walkup LL, Roach DJ, Hall CS, Gupta N, Thomen RP, Cleveland ZI, McCormack FX, Woods JC. Cyst Ventilation Heterogeneity and Alveolar-Airspace Dilation as Early Disease Markers in Lymphangioleiomyomatosis. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2019 Apr 30.

Walkup LL, Higano NS, Woods JC. Structural and Functional Pulmonary Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Pediatrics-From the Neonate to the Young Adult. Acad Radiol. 2019 Mar;26(3):424-430.

Walkup LL, Towe CT, Bdaiwi A, Merrow AC, Hammill AM, Cleveland ZI, Woods JC. Evidence of Normal Alveolar Size in Pediatric Generalized Lymphatic Anomaly. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2018 Aug 22.

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 children with cystic fibrosis. Pediatr Radiol. 2016 Nov;46(12):1651-1662.

Walkup LL, Tkach JA, Higano NS, Thomen RP, Fain SB, Merhar SL, Fleck RJ, Amin RS, Woods JC. Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Environment. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2015 Nov 15;192(10):1215-22.