The Walkup Lab, part of the Center for Pulmonary Imaging Research at Cincinnati Children’s, works to develop, validate and clinically translate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to evaluate pediatric and adult pulmonary diseases. Most pulmonary function tests measure lung dysfunctional globally, have limited sensitivity to early disease and can be difficult for young children to perform. We develop and use state-of-the-art MRI techniques, such as inhaled hyperpolarized xenon gas MRI, to quantify regional lung disease structure-function relationships with an emphasis on rare-lung diseases.

We collaborate with a multidisciplinary team of clinical specialists to ensure that our images are not only “pretty pictures” but can improve our understanding of disease mechanisms, improve early detection and diagnosis and improve assessment and individualize management — especially for young children who are difficult to characterize using other means and for people with rare-lung diseases that are poorly understood.