Dieter Klatt & Tom Royston


Bioengineering Faculty

Dr. Dieter Klatt, Ph.D. (T)
Dr. Tom Royston, Ph.D. (B)


Dieter Klatt, Ph.D, Associate Professor, is the principle investigator of the Motion-Encoding MRI Laboratory at UIC where he focuses on the improvement and application of magnetic resonance elastography for the early diagnosis of pathological changes in neurodegenerative brain and other diseases. Klatt is also working on developing rapid motion-encoding MRI acquisition approaches and creating noninvasive tools for testing muscle structure and function. He received a College of Engineering Faculty Award for Advising and a Rising Star Award from the College of Medicine. His research has been published in more than 35 academic journals and he has been issued or applied for five patents. Klatt has also graduated one post-doctoral student, one Ph.D. student and two master’s thesis students, along with currently mentoring two Ph.D. students.


Thomas J. Royston, Ph.D., Professor and Head of Bioengineering, has directed the UIC Acoustics and Vibrations Laboratory (AVL) since 1995, which specializes in the development of novel medical imaging technology rooted in vibrations and acoustics. It has been supported by research grants from NSF, ONR, and NIH NIBIB. His current focus is the Audible Human Project (AHP). The goal of the AHP, sponsored by the NIBIB through an R01 grant, is to develop a comprehensive understanding and computational simulation model of how sound and vibration are generated and travel throughout the torso and the pulmonary system, and how this is altered by disease and injury. The outcomes of this project could impact both medical education, through improved training technology, and research by catalyzing the development of new acoustic imaging methods. Since becoming a faculty member in 1995, Dr. Royston has successfully mentored 13 PhD students (with seven more in progress) and three postdoctoral students (with one more in progress). He has also mentored dozens of undergraduate students conducting research in his lab, including several supported through NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs administered by the UIC Department of Bioengineering. Finally, he has mentored two high school math and science teachers working on summer projects in his lab (both for multiple summers), supported by an NSF Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) project administered by the UIC Department of Bioengineering.


The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) has a large research mission focused on diagnosis and treatment of lung diseases, including lung cancer, radiation-induced lung injury, acute respiratory distress syndrome, sickle cell-linked acute chest syndrome, acute lung injury and transplant obliterative bronchiolitis. UIC also has significant expertise and facilities for developing and conducting research utilizing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Conventional proton (1H) MRI does not work well in the lungs due to the abundance of air. Over the past few decades hyperpolarized noble gas MRI has been shown to provide tremendous ability and insights in imaging lung disease and response to treatment. Using xenon (129Xe) gas has the added benefit that it can quantify how well gas is being exchanged in the lungs into the blood stream and tissue. We have acquired a commercial system for generation of 129Xe to catalyze the advances of our ongoing NIH-funded lung research. However, we need to develop a robust set of necessary accessories to implement HP gas MRI in vivo. The Summer BEST participant will be involved in developing and testing MRI-compatible HP gas ventilation technology for rodent models of pulmonary disease in an ultra high-field 9.4 Tesla MRI system.