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.


Selected Publication

Cyst Ventilation Heterogeneity and Alveolar Airspace Dilation as Early Disease Markers in Lymphangioleiomyomatosis. Walkup, LL; Roach, DJ; Hall, CS; Gupta, N; Thomen, RP; Cleveland, ZI; McCormack, FX; Woods, JC. Annals of the American Thoracic Society. 2019; 16:1008-1016.

Xenon-129 MRI detects ventilation deficits in paediatric stem cell transplant patients unable to perform spirometry. Walkup, LL; Myers, K; El-Bietar, J; Nelson, A; Willmering, MM; Grimley, M; Davies, SM; Towe, C; Woods, JC. The European respiratory journal : official journal of the European Society for Clinical Respiratory Physiology. 2019; 53:1801779-1801779.

Feasibility, tolerability and safety of pediatric hyperpolarized Xe-129 magnetic resonance imaging in healthy volunteers and children with cystic fibrosis. Walkup, LL; Thomen, RP; Akinyi, TG; Watters, E; Ruppert, K; Clancy, JP; Woods, JC; Cleveland, ZI. Pediatric Radiology: roentgenology, nuclear medicine, ultrasonics, CT, MRI. 2016; 46:1651-1662.

Structural and Functional Pulmonary Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Pediatrics - From the Neonate to the Young Adult. Walkup, LL; Higano, NS; Woods, JC. Academic Radiology. 2019; 26:424-430.

Evidence of Normal Alveolar Size in Pediatric Generalized Lymphatic Anomaly. Walkup, LL; Towe, CT; Bdaiwi, A; Merrow, AC; Hammill, AM; Cleveland, ZI; Woods, JC. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 2018; 198:1573-1574.

Quantitative CT scans of lung parenchymal pathology in premature infants ages 0-6 years. Spielberg, DR; Walkup, LL; Stein, JM; Crotty, EJ; Rattan, MS; Hossain, MM; Brody, AS; Woods, JC. Pediatric Pulmonology. 2018; 53:316-323.

Quantification of Neonatal Lung Parenchymal Density via Ultrashort Echo Time MRI With Comparison to CT. Higano, NS; Fleck, RJ; Spielberg, DR; Walkup, LL; Hahn, AD; Thomen, RP; Merhar, SL; Kingma, PS; Tkach, JA; Fain, SB; et al. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging. 2017; 46:992-1000.

Evaluation of Neonatal Lung Volume Growth by Pulmonary Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Patients with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. Schopper, MA; Walkup, LL; Tkach, JA; Higano, NS; Lim, FY; Haberman, B; Woods, JC; Kingma, PS. The Journal of Pediatrics. 2017; 188:96-102.e1.

Hyperpolarized Xe-129 for investigation of mild cystic fibrosis lung disease in pediatric patients. Thomen, RP; Walkup, LL; Roach, DJ; Cleveland, ZI; Clancy, JP; Woods, JC. Journal of Cystic Fibrosis. 2017; 16:275-282.

Retrospective Respiratory Self-Gating and Removal of Bulk Motion in Pulmonary UTE MRI of Neonates and Adults. Higano, NS; Hahn, AD; Tkach, JA; Cao, X; Walkup, LL; Thomen, RP; Merhar, SL; Kingma, PS; Fain, SB; Woods, JC. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. 2017; 77:1284-1295.