Staff Collaborate Conference Room

Kathleen Schmainda, PhD

Kathleen Schmainda

Kathleen M. Schmainda, PhD



  • Biophysics

Contact Information


BSE, Biomedical Engineering, Marquette University, 1986
MSEE, Electrical Engineering, MIT, 1989
PhD, Medical Engineering, Harvard-MIT, 1993
MA, Postdoctoral Fellowship in MRI, Massachusetts General Hospital, 1993-1995

Honors and Awards

1989-1990 - Gillette Fellow, Medical Engineering and Medical Physics, Harvard-MIT, Cambridge, MA
1993-1994 - Sterling Winthrop Fellow, Health Sciences and Technology, Harvard-MIT, Cambridge, MA
1998 - Featured in Milwaukee Business Journal's "40 Under 40"
1999 - American Society of Neuroradiology Meeting, Magna Cum Laude, awarded to "Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging in stroke: A comparison of spin-echo and FLAIR spin echo diffusion sensitive techniques," JL Ulmer, AT Olson, LL Latour, OB Nordling, KM Donahue
2001 - 101st Annual Scientific Meeting of American Roentgen Ray Society, Seattle, Washington, Scientific Exhibit Gold Medal awarded to "Physiologic magnetic resonance imaging of the brain: A conceptual approach to contrast mechanisms and measureable physiologic parameters," JL Ulmer, JM Strottmann, RW Prost, KM Schmainda, BB Biswal, LP Mark, DL Daniels
2004 - International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine Meeting, Young Investigator Moore Award, awarded to "Intravoxel distribution of DWI decay rates reveals C6 glioma invasion in rat brain," *KM Bennett, JS Hyde, SD Rand, R Bennett, HGJ Krouwer, KJ Rebro, KM Schmainda
2004 - International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine Meeting, First Place Poster Award, Cancer Imaging and Spectroscopy, awarded to "The anti-angiogenic drug, SU11657 decreases brain tumor size and normalizes perfusion as indicated by DSC-MRI perfusion parameters," *CC Quarles, FC Wu, M Darpolor, SD Rand, HGJ Krouwer, KM Schmainda
2004 - American Society of Neuroradiology Meeting, Summa Cum Laude, awarded to "Lesion-induced neurovascular uncoupling can mimic cortical reorganization by BOLD fMRI," JL Ulmer, L Hacein-Bey, VP Mathews, EA DeYoe, RW Prost, KM Schmainda, WM Mueller, HGJ Krouwer

Research Interests

A primary focus of our laboratory is the development of MRI methods to assess brain tumor angiogenesis and invasion. Angiogenesis is the process of new vessel formation that enables tumors to grow and spread. Invasion describes the process whereby tumor cells enter and spread to other parts of the brain, making brain tumors very difficult to treat.

The methods developed in our laboratory can provide information about the normal brain and the vascular structure of tumors, the amount of blood volume in the brain and tumor (cerebral blood volume [CBV]), and the perfusion or delivery of blood to the tumor (cerebral blood flow [CB]). In addition, by using MRI methods capable of measuring the micromolecular movement of tissue water (i.e., diffusion), we have demonstrated the potential to track tumor progression and, possibly, invasion.

These vascular and diffusion parameters provide information about tumor biology that is not currently available with standard MRI used in clinical practice. Measurement of these parameters holds promise for providing a more complete assessment of the primary tumor and tumor spread, and for evaluating novel (e.g., anti-angiogenic) therapies. Studies performed in our laboratory address issues ranging from characterizing the basic biophysical relationships between the MRI signal and tumor biology to translating these methods to the clinical setting.

Lab Members
Mona Al-Gizawiy, PhD, Research Scientist I
Cathy Marszalkowski, Clinical Research Coordinator II
Melissa Prah, Engineer II
Robert Wujek, Graduate Student