Zhongliang Zu, Ph.D.

Research Associate Professor

Faculty Appointments
Research Associate Professor of Radiology & Radiological Sciences
Ph.D., Medical Physics, Peking University, Beijing, ChinaM.S., Astrophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, ChinaB.S., Physics, Hebei University, Hebei, China
Research Description
Zhongliang Zu, Ph.D., earned a Ph.D. in Medical Physics from Peking University in China in 2008. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Vanderbilt University. In 2012, he joined the Vanderbilt faculty as an Instructor and was appointed as Assistant Professor in 2014. His primary area of research involves molecular and functional molecular MR imaging using advanced MR sequences including chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST), magnetization transfer (MT), spin-lock, and MRS spectroscopy, and their applications in tumors, ischemic stroke, and neurological and muscular disorders. Dr. Zu is a principle investigator and a co-investigator on multiple NIH-funded projects. He has developed novel MR techniques to detect abnormal glucose metabolism and extracellular pH in tumors, intracellular pH in stroke, and high-energy phosphate metabolism in muscular disorders by employing their chemical exchange effect.
Section: Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science
Research Keywords
MRI, molecular and functional imaging, Chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST), Magnetization Transfer (MT), MRS
Zu Z. Toward more reliable measurements of NOE effects in CEST spectra at around -1.6¿ppm (NOE (-1.6)) in rat brain. Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2019 Jan; 81(1): 208-19. PMID: 30058128, PMCID: PMC6258343, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.27370, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Lin EC, Li H, Zu Z, Louie EA, Lankford CL, Dortch RD, Does MD, Gore JC, Gochberg DF. Chemical exchange rotation transfer (CERT) on human brain at 3 Tesla. Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2018 Dec; 80(6): 2609-17. PMID: 29802641, PMCID: PMC6252284, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.27365, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Zu Z. Ratiometric NOE(-1.6) contrast in brain tumors. NMR Biomed [print-electronic]. 2018 Dec; 31(12): e4017. PMID: 30334295, DOI: 10.1002/nbm.4017, ISSN: 1099-1492.

Quevedo A, Luo G, Galhardo E, Price M, Nicolucci P, Gore JC, Zu Z. Polymer gel dosimetry by nuclear Overhauser enhancement (NOE) magnetic resonance imaging. Phys Med Biol. 2018 Aug 8/1/2018; 63(15): 15NT03. PMID: 29978838, PMCID: PMC6124888, DOI: 10.1088/1361-6560/aad1bd, ISSN: 1361-6560.

Zu Z. Towards the complex dependence of MTRasym on T1w in amide proton transfer (APT) imaging. NMR Biomed [print-electronic]. 2018 Jul; 31(7): e3934. PMID: 29806717, PMCID: PMC6089235, DOI: 10.1002/nbm.3934, ISSN: 1099-1492.

Gochberg DF, Does MD, Zu Z, Lankford CL. Towards an analytic solution for pulsed CEST. NMR Biomed [print-electronic]. 2018 May; 31(5): e3903. PMID: 29460973, PMCID: PMC5935132, DOI: 10.1002/nbm.3903, ISSN: 1099-1492.

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]. 2018 Apr; 79(4): 2216-27. PMID: 28736875, PMCID: PMC5870889, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.26849, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Zu Z, Afzal A, Li H, Xie J, Gore JC. Spin-lock imaging of early tissue pH changes in ischemic rat brain. NMR Biomed [print-electronic]. 2018 Apr; 31(4): e3893. PMID: 29424463, PMCID: PMC5854549, DOI: 10.1002/nbm.3893, ISSN: 1099-1492.

Zu Z, Jiang X, Xu J, Gore JC. Spin-lock imaging of 3-o-methyl-D glucose (3oMG) in brain tumors. Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2018 Feb 2/9/2018; PMID: 29424459, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.27128, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Wang F, Zu Z, Wu R, Wu TL, Gore JC, Chen LM. MRI evaluation of regional and longitudinal changes in Z-spectra of injured spinal cord of monkeys. Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2018 Feb; 79(2): 1070-82. PMID: 28547862, PMCID: PMC5702279, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.26756, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Zhang XY, Wang F, Xu J, Gochberg DF, Gore JC, Zu Z. Increased CEST specificity for amide and fast-exchanging amine protons using exchange-dependent relaxation rate. NMR Biomed [print-electronic]. 2018 Feb; 31(2): PMID: 29193448, PMCID: PMC5773365, DOI: 10.1002/nbm.3863, ISSN: 1099-1492.

Zu Z, Li H, Jiang X, Gore JC. Spin-lock imaging of exogenous exchange-based contrast agents to assess tissue pH. Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2018 Jan; 79(1): 298-305. PMID: 28321903, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.26681, ISSN: 1522-2594.

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 Oct; 42: 22-31. PMID: 28526431, PMCID: PMC5581699, PII: S0730-725X(17)30096-6, DOI: 10.1016/j.mri.2017.05.001, ISSN: 1873-5894.

Zu Z, Louie EA, Lin EC, Jiang X, Does MD, Gore JC, Gochberg DF. Chemical exchange rotation transfer imaging of intermediate-exchanging amines at 2 ppm. NMR Biomed [print-electronic]. 2017 Oct; 30(10): PMID: 28590070, PMCID: PMC5597471, DOI: 10.1002/nbm.3756, ISSN: 1099-1492.

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.

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.

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, PMCID: PMC5660508, PII: S0730-725X(16)30245-4, DOI: 10.1016/j.mri.2016.12.008, 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.

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]. 2016 Aug; 76(2): 635-44. PMID: 26375875, PMCID: PMC4794427, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.25893, ISSN: 1522-2594.

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 May 5/20/2016; 34(8): 1100-6. PMID: 27211260, PII: S0730-725X(16)30048-0, DOI: 10.1016/j.mri.2016.05.002, 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 Dec; 28(12): 1655-62. PMID: 26466161, PMCID: PMC4715641, DOI: 10.1002/nbm.3428, ISSN: 1099-1492.

Wang F, Kopylov D, Zu Z, Takahashi K, Wang S, Quarles CC, Gore JC, Harris RC, Takahashi T. Mapping murine diabetic kidney disease using chemical exchange saturation transfer MRI. Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2015 Nov 11/26/2015; PMID: 26608660, PMCID: PMC4882276, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.26045, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Wang F, Qi HX, Zu Z, Mishra A, Tang C, Gore JC, Chen LM. Multiparametric MRI reveals dynamic changes in molecular signatures of injured spinal cord in monkeys. Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2015 Oct; 74(4): 1125-37. PMID: 25334025, PMCID: PMC4405405, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.25488, ISSN: 1522-2594.

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.

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.

Rane S, Spear JT, Zu Z, Donahue MJ, Gore JC. Functional MRI using spin lock editing preparation pulses. Magn Reson Imaging [print-electronic]. 2014 Sep; 32(7): 813-8. PMID: 24848291, PMCID: PMC4520216, PII: S0730-725X(14)00108-8, DOI: 10.1016/j.mri.2014.04.001, 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.

Spear JT, Zu Z, Gore JC. Dispersion of relaxation rates in the rotating frame under the action of spin-locking pulses and diffusion in inhomogeneous magnetic fields. Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2014 May; 71(5): 1906-11. PMID: 23804212, PMCID: PMC3919873, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.24837, ISSN: 1522-2594.

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.

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.

Klomp DW, Dula AN, Arlinghaus LR, Italiaander M, Dortch RD, Zu Z, Williams JM, Gochberg DF, Luijten PR, Gore JC, Yankeelov TE, Smith SA. Amide proton transfer imaging of the human breast at 7T: development and reproducibility. NMR Biomed [print-electronic]. 2013 Oct; 26(10): 1271-7. PMID: 23559550, PMCID: PMC3726578, DOI: 10.1002/nbm.2947, ISSN: 1099-1492.

Janve VA, Zu Z, Yao SY, Li K, Zhang FL, Wilson KJ, Ou X, Does MD, Subramaniam S, Gochberg DF. The radial diffusivity and magnetization transfer pool size ratio are sensitive markers for demyelination in a rat model of type III multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions. Neuroimage [print-electronic]. 2013 Jul 7/1/2013; 74: 298-305. PMID: 23481461, PMCID: PMC3995162, PII: S1053-8119(13)00161-4, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.02.034, ISSN: 1095-9572.

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.

Zu Z, Janve VA, Li K, Does MD, Gore JC, Gochberg DF. Multi-angle ratiometric approach to measure chemical exchange in amide proton transfer imaging. Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2012 Sep; 68(3): 711-9. PMID: 22161770, PMCID: PMC3389148, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.23276, ISSN: 1522-2594.

Zu Z, Li K, Janve VA, Does MD, Gochberg DF. Optimizing pulsed-chemical exchange saturation transfer imaging sequences. Magn Reson Med [print-electronic]. 2011 Oct; 66(4): 1100-8. PMID: 21432903, PMCID: PMC3151337, DOI: 10.1002/mrm.22884, ISSN: 1522-2594.

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.