Junzhong Xu, Ph.D.

Associate Professor


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Faculty Appointments
Associate Professor of Radiology & Radiological Sciences Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Ph.D., Physics , Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TennesseeM.S., Physics , Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TennesseeB.S., University of Science & Technology of China, Beijing, China
Office Address
Medical Center North, AAA3113
1161 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37232
Research Description
Junzhong Xu, PhD, earned a BS in Physics and a MS in Optics from the University of Science and Technology in China, and he earned a PhD in Physics from Vanderbilt University. Prior to joining the Vanderbilt faculty in 2011 as Instructor, Dr. Xu was a Research Fellow at Vanderbilt University. He was appointed as a Research Assistant Professor in 2013, and then a tenure-track Assistant Professor in 2015. He is a member of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and the American Association for Cancer Research.

His current research projects are focused on the development, validation, optimization, and evaluation of advanced quantitative MRI methods in various applications such as neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. The specific projects include 1) non-invasive characterization of neural microstructure such as axonal volume fraction and diffusivity to help the diagnosis and track the natural course of multiple sclerosis; 2) non-invasive measurement of mean cancer cell size and density of tumors to better characterize tumor status and monitor tumor early treatment response to neoadjuvant therapy; and 3) investigation of the sensitivity and specificity of diffusion, qMT and CEST MRI methods on specific biological tissue pathophysiological status with mathematical modeling, computing simulation, ex vivo and in vivo models.

Section: Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science

VUMC email: junzhong.xu@vumc.org
Zhang XY, Xie J, Wang F, Lin EC, Xu J, Gochberg DF, Gore JC, Zu Z. Assignment of the molecular origins of CEST signals at 2¿ppm in rat brain. Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2017 Sep; 78(3): 881-7. PMID: 28653349, PMCID: PMC5561473, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.26802, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Wang F, Takahashi K, Li H, Zu Z, Li K, Xu J, Harris RC, Takahashi T, Gore JC. Assessment of unilateral ureter obstruction with multi-parametric MRI. Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2017 Jul 7/24/2017; PMID: 28736875, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.26849, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Zhang XY, Wang F, Li H, Xu J, Gochberg DF, Gore JC, Zu Z. CEST imaging of fast exchanging amine pools with corrections for competing effects at 9.4 T. NMR Biomed [print-electronic]. 2017 Jul; 30(7): PMID: 28272785, PMCID: PMC5490838, DOI: 10.1002/nbm.3715, ISSN: 1099-1492.

Zhang XY, Wang F, Li H, Xu J, Gochberg DF, Gore JC, Zu Z. Accuracy in the quantification of chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) and relayed nuclear Overhauser enhancement (rNOE) saturation transfer effects. NMR Biomed [print-electronic]. 2017 Jul; 30(7): PMID: 28272761, PMCID: PMC5490367, DOI: 10.1002/nbm.3716, ISSN: 1099-1492.

Zu Z, Li H, Xu J, Zhang XY, Zaiss M, Li K, Does MD, Gore JC, Gochberg DF. Measurement of APT using a combined CERT-AREX approach with varying duty cycles. Magn Reson Imaging [print-electronic]. 2017 May 5/17/2017; 42: 22-31. PMID: 28526431, PII: S0730-725X(17)30096-6, DOI: 10.1016/j.mri.2017.05.001, ISSN: 1873-5894.

Gore JC, Zu Z, Wang P, Li H, Xu J, Dortch R, Gochberg DF. "Molecular" MR imaging at high fields. Magn Reson Imaging [print-electronic]. 2017 May; 38: 95-100. PMID: 27939250, PII: S0730-725X(16)30245-4, DOI: 10.1016/j.mri.2016.12.008, ISSN: 1873-5894.

Xu J, Li K, Smith RA, Waterton JC, Zhao P, Ding Z, Does MD, Manning HC, Gore JC. A comparative assessment of preclinical chemotherapeutic response of tumors using quantitative non-Gaussian diffusion MRI. Magn Reson Imaging [print-electronic]. 2017 Apr; 37: 195-202. PMID: 27919785, PMCID: PMC5316364, PII: S0730-725X(16)30239-9, DOI: 10.1016/j.mri.2016.12.002, ISSN: 1873-5894.

Tian X, Li H, Jiang X, Xie J, Gore JC, Xu J. Evaluation and comparison of diffusion MR methods for measuring apparent transcytolemmal water exchange rate constant. J. Magn. Reson [print-electronic]. 2017 Feb; 275: 29-37. PMID: 27960105, PMCID: PMC5266627, PII: S1090-7807(16)30253-1, DOI: 10.1016/j.jmr.2016.11.018, ISSN: 1096-0856.

By S, Xu J, Box BA, Bagnato FR, Smith SA. Application and evaluation of NODDI in the cervical spinal cord of multiple sclerosis patients. Neuroimage Clin. 2017; 15: 333-42. PMID: 28560158, PMCID: PMC5443965, PII: S2213-1582(17)30115-8, DOI: 10.1016/j.nicl.2017.05.010, ISSN: 2213-1582.

Zhang XY, Wang F, Afzal A, Xu J, Gore JC, Gochberg DF, Zu Z. A new NOE-mediated MT signal at around -1.6ppm for detecting ischemic stroke in rat brain. Magn Reson Imaging [print-electronic]. 2016 Oct; 34(8): 1100-6. PMID: 27211260, PMCID: PMC4993652, PII: S0730-725X(16)30048-0, DOI: 10.1016/j.mri.2016.05.002, ISSN: 1873-5894.

Zhang XY, Wang F, Jin T, Xu J, Xie J, Gochberg DF, Gore JC, Zu Z. MR imaging of a novel NOE-mediated magnetization transfer with water in rat brain at 9.4¿T. Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2016 Sep 9/8/2016; PMID: 27604612, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.26396, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Jiang X, Li H, Xie J, McKinley ET, Zhao P, Gore JC, Xu J. In vivo imaging of cancer cell size and cellularity using temporal diffusion spectroscopy. Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2016 Aug 8/6/2016; PMID: 27495144, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.26356, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Li H, Jiang X, Xie J, Gore JC, Xu J. Impact of transcytolemmal water exchange on estimates of tissue microstructural properties derived from diffusion MRI. Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2016 Jun 6/25/2016; PMID: 27342260, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.26309, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Jiang X, Li H, Zhao P, Xie J, Khabele D, Xu J, Gore JC. Early Detection of Treatment-Induced Mitotic Arrest Using Temporal Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy. Neoplasia. 2016 Jun; 18(6): 387-97. PMID: 27292027, PMCID: PMC4909704, PII: S1476-5586(16)30019-7, DOI: 10.1016/j.neo.2016.04.006, ISSN: 1476-5586.

Xu J, Li H, Li K, Harkins KD, Jiang X, Xie J, Kang H, Dortch RD, Anderson AW, Does MD. Fast and simplified mapping of mean axon diameter using temporal diffusion spectroscopy. NMR Biomed [print-electronic]. 2016 Apr; 29(4): 400-10. PMID: 27077155, PMCID: PMC4832578, ISSN: 1099-1492.

Li H, Jiang X, Wang F, Xu J, Gore JC. Structural information revealed by the dispersion of ADC with frequency. Magn Reson Imaging [print-electronic]. 2015 Nov; 33(9): 1083-90. PMID: 26117695, PMCID: PMC4593726, PII: S0730-725X(15)00154-X, DOI: 10.1016/j.mri.2015.06.009, ISSN: 1873-5894.

Li H, Li K, Zhang XY, Jiang X, Zu Z, Zaiss M, Gochberg DF, Gore JC, Xu J. R1 correction in amide proton transfer imaging: indication of the influence of transcytolemmal water exchange on CEST measurements. NMR Biomed [print-electronic]. 2015 Oct 10/14/2015; PMID: 26466161, DOI: 10.1002/nbm.3428, ISSN: 1099-1492.

Li K, Li H, Zhang XY, Stokes AM, Jiang X, Kang H, Quarles CC, Zu Z, Gochberg DF, Gore JC, Xu J. Influence of water compartmentation and heterogeneous relaxation on quantitative magnetization transfer imaging in rodent brain tumors. Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2015 Sep 9/16/2015; PMID: 26375875, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.25893, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Semmineh NB, Xu J, Skinner JT, Xie J, Li H, Ayers G, Quarles CC. Assessing tumor cytoarchitecture using multiecho DSC-MRI derived measures of the transverse relaxivity at tracer equilibrium (TRATE). Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2015 Sep; 74(3): 772-84. PMID: 25227668, PMCID: PMC4362846, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.25435, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Li H, Jiang X, Xie J, McIntyre JO, Gore JC, Xu J. Time-dependent influence of cell membrane permeability on MR diffusion measurements. Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2015 Jun 6/11/2015; PMID: 26096552, PMCID: PMC4676747, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.25724, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Harkins KD, Xu J, Dula AN, Li K, Valentine WM, Gochberg DF, Gore JC, Does MD. The microstructural correlates of t1 in white matter. Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2015 Apr 4/28/2015; PMID: 25920491, PMCID: PMC4624612, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.25709, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Jiang X, Li H, Xie J, Zhao P, Gore JC, Xu J. Quantification of cell size using temporal diffusion spectroscopy. Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2015 Apr 4/4/2015; PMID: 25845851, PMCID: PMC4592783, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.25684, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Zaiss M, Zu Z, Xu J, Schuenke P, Gochberg DF, Gore JC, Ladd ME, Bachert P. A combined analytical solution for chemical exchange saturation transfer and semi-solid magnetization transfer. NMR Biomed [print-electronic]. 2015 Feb; 28(2): 217-30. PMID: 25504828, PMCID: PMC4297271, DOI: 10.1002/nbm.3237, ISSN: 1099-1492.

Li H, Zu Z, Zaiss M, Khan IS, Singer RJ, Gochberg DF, Bachert P, Gore JC, Xu J. Imaging of amide proton transfer and nuclear Overhauser enhancement in ischemic stroke with corrections for competing effects. NMR Biomed [print-electronic]. 2015 Feb; 28(2): 200-9. PMID: 25483870, PMCID: PMC4303585, DOI: 10.1002/nbm.3243, ISSN: 1099-1492.

Xu J, Li H, Harkins KD, Jiang X, Xie J, Kang H, Does MD, Gore JC. Mapping mean axon diameter and axonal volume fraction by MRI using temporal diffusion spectroscopy. Neuroimage [print-electronic]. 2014 Dec; 103: 10-9. PMID: 25225002, PMCID: PMC4312203, PII: S1053-8119(14)00748-4, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.09.006, ISSN: 1095-9572.

Zu Z, Spear J, Li H, Xu J, Gore JC. Measurement of regional cerebral glucose uptake by magnetic resonance spin-lock imaging. Magn Reson Imaging [print-electronic]. 2014 Nov; 32(9): 1078-84. PMID: 24960367, PMCID: PMC4171348, PII: S0730-725X(14)00187-8, DOI: 10.1016/j.mri.2014.06.002, ISSN: 1873-5894.

Zu Z, Xu J, Li H, Chekmenev EY, Quarles CC, Does MD, Gore JC, Gochberg DF. Imaging amide proton transfer and nuclear overhauser enhancement using chemical exchange rotation transfer (CERT). Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2014 Aug; 72(2): 471-6. PMID: 24302497, PMCID: PMC4401079, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.24953, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Li H, Gore JC, Xu J. Fast and robust measurement of microstructural dimensions using temporal diffusion spectroscopy. J. Magn. Reson [print-electronic]. 2014 May; 242: 4-9. PMID: 24583517, PMCID: PMC4008665, PII: S1090-7807(14)00045-7, DOI: 10.1016/j.jmr.2014.02.007, ISSN: 1096-0856.

Xu J, Zaiss M, Zu Z, Li H, Xie J, Gochberg DF, Bachert P, Gore JC. On the origins of chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) contrast in tumors at 9.4¿T. NMR Biomed [print-electronic]. 2014 Apr; 27(4): 406-16. PMID: 24474497, PMCID: PMC3972041, DOI: 10.1002/nbm.3075, ISSN: 1099-1492.

Zaiss M, Xu J, Goerke S, Khan IS, Singer RJ, Gore JC, Gochberg DF, Bachert P. Inverse Z-spectrum analysis for spillover-, MT-, and T1 -corrected steady-state pulsed CEST-MRI--application to pH-weighted MRI of acute stroke. NMR Biomed [print-electronic]. 2014 Mar; 27(3): 240-52. PMID: 24395553, PMCID: PMC4520220, DOI: 10.1002/nbm.3054, ISSN: 1099-1492.

Xu J, Li K, Zu Z, Li X, Gochberg DF, Gore JC. Quantitative magnetization transfer imaging of rodent glioma using selective inversion recovery. NMR Biomed [print-electronic]. 2014 Mar; 27(3): 253-60. PMID: 24338993, PMCID: PMC3947425, DOI: 10.1002/nbm.3058, ISSN: 1099-1492.

Semmineh NB, Xu J, Boxerman JL, Delaney GW, Cleary PW, Gore JC, Quarles CC. An efficient computational approach to characterize DSC-MRI signals arising from three-dimensional heterogeneous tissue structures. PLoS ONE. 2014; 9(1): e84764. PMID: 24416281, PMCID: PMC3885618, PII: PONE-D-13-29969, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0084764, ISSN: 1932-6203.

Zu Z, Janve VA, Xu J, Does MD, Gore JC, Gochberg DF. A new method for detecting exchanging amide protons using chemical exchange rotation transfer. Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2013 Mar 3/1/2013; 69(3): 637-47. PMID: 22505325, PMCID: PMC3625661, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.24284, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Xu J, Li K, Smith RA, Waterton JC, Zhao P, Chen H, Does MD, Manning HC, Gore JC. Characterizing tumor response to chemotherapy at various length scales using temporal diffusion spectroscopy. PLoS ONE [print-electronic]. 2012; 7(7): e41714. PMID: 22911846, PMCID: PMC3404000, PII: PONE-D-12-09797, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0041714, ISSN: 1932-6203.

Xu J, Xie J, Jourquin J, Colvin DC, Does MD, Quaranta V, Gore JC. Influence of cell cycle phase on apparent diffusion coefficient in synchronized cells detected using temporal diffusion spectroscopy. Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2011 Apr; 65(4): 920-6. PMID: 21413058, PMCID: PMC3433804, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.22704, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Xu J, Does MD, Gore JC. Dependence of temporal diffusion spectra on microstructural properties of biological tissues. Magn Reson Imaging [print-electronic]. 2011 Apr; 29(3): 380-90. PMID: 21129880, PMCID: PMC3058152, PII: S0730-725X(10)00320-6, DOI: 10.1016/j.mri.2010.10.002, ISSN: 1873-5894.

Colvin DC, Jourquin J, Xu J, Does MD, Estrada L, Gore JC. Effects of intracellular organelles on the apparent diffusion coefficient of water molecules in cultured human embryonic kidney cells. Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2011 Mar; 65(3): 796-801. PMID: 21337411, PMCID: PMC3285501, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.22666, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Gore JC, Xu J, Colvin DC, Yankeelov TE, Parsons EC, Does MD. Characterization of tissue structure at varying length scales using temporal diffusion spectroscopy. NMR Biomed. 2010 Aug; 23(7): 745-56. PMID: 20677208, PMCID: PMC3285511, DOI: 10.1002/nbm.1531, ISSN: 1099-1492.

Li K, Zu Z, Xu J, Janve VA, Gore JC, Does MD, Gochberg DF. Optimized inversion recovery sequences for quantitative T1 and magnetization transfer imaging. Magn Reson Med. 2010 Aug; 64(2): 491-500. PMID: 20665793, PMCID: PMC2943213, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.22440, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Xu J, Does MD, Gore JC. Quantitative characterization of tissue microstructure with temporal diffusion spectroscopy. J. Magn. Reson [print-electronic]. 2009 Oct; 200(2): 189-97. PMID: 19616979, PMCID: PMC2758625, PII: S1090-7807(09)00189-X, DOI: 10.1016/j.jmr.2009.06.022, ISSN: 1096-0856.

Xu J, Does MD, Gore JC. Sensitivity of MR diffusion measurements to variations in intracellular structure: effects of nuclear size. Magn Reson Med. 2009 Apr; 61(4): 828-33. PMID: 19205020, PMCID: PMC2749035, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.21793, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Xu J, Does MD, Gore JC. Numerical study of water diffusion in biological tissues using an improved finite difference method. Phys Med Biol [print-electronic]. 2007 Apr 4/7/2007; 52(7): N111-26. PMID: 17374905, PMCID: PMC2634837, PII: S0031-9155(07)33948-1, DOI: 10.1088/0031-9155/52/7/N01, ISSN: 0031-9155.