Xiaotong Zhang

Associate Professor



Dr. Xiaotong Zhang received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, in 2004 and 2009, respectively. He became a Postdoctoral Associate in 2009 and was later promoted to a Research Associate in 2012 in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Center for Magnetic Resonance Research at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA. He joined ZIINT at Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, in October 2015 as an Associate Professor. His current research interests include ultra-high-field MRI engineering and safety, numerical electromagnetic modeling and computation, and functional biomedical imaging. He has been playing a leading role in the genesis and subsequent development of using MRI to image electrical properties of biological tissues, which is a new and promising biomedical imaging modality.


Research Interests:

·  MRI engineering and safety

·  Numerical electro-magnetic modeling and computation

·  Imaging of tissue electro-magnetic properties using MRI

·  Biomedical Functional Imaging

Advancing our understanding of the electrical properties (i.e., conductivity and permittivity) of biological tissues has significant potential to transform the diagnosis and/or prognosis of neurological diseases and, more specifically, tumor characterization. In addition, knowing subject-specific electrical property distributions is also important in quantifying radiofrequency-coil-induced heating, which is a major safety concern in high-field (3T and above) MRI applications. My research team dedicates ourselves to developing and promoting Electrical Properties Imaging techniques, and integrating such techniques with applications in biomedical imaging and MRI engineering problems. The ultimate goal of this research endeavor concerns high-resolution in-vivo quantitative imaging of electrical properties of the brain and other biological tissues, aiming at 1) aiding diagnosis of pathological conditions,2) proactively managing local radiofrequency heating at high-field, and 3) fully exploiting the entire range of benefits inherently offered by high-field MRI.


Selected Publications:

1.   X. Wu†, X. Zhang† (co-first author), J. Tian, S. Schmitter, B. Hanna, J. Strupp, J. Pfeuffer, M. Hamm, D. Wang, J. Nistler, B. He, T. Vaughan, K. Ugurbil, and P-F. Van de Moortele. “Comparison of radiofrequency body coils for MRI at 3 Tesla: a simulation study using parallel transmission on various anatomical targets”, NMR in Biomedicine, 28(10): 1332-1344, 2015

2.   X. Zhang, P-F. Van de Moortele, J. Liu, S. Schmitter, and B. He. “Quantitative Prediction of Radio Frequency Induced Local Heating Derived from Measured Magnetic Field Maps in Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A Phantom Validation at 7 Tesla”, Applied Physics Letters, 105(24): 244101, 2014 (Cover article)

3.   X. Zhang, J. Liu, and B. He. “Magnetic Resonance Based Electrical Properties Tomography: A Review”, IEEE Reviews in Biomedical Engineering, 7: 87-96, 2014 (Review article)

4.   X. Zhang, S. Schmitter, P.-F. Van de Moortele, J. Liu, and B. He. “From Complex B1 Mapping to Local SAR Estimation using Multi-channel Transceiver Coil”, IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, 32(6): 1058-1067, 2013

5.   X. Zhang, P.-F. Van de Moortele, S. Schmitter, and B. He. “Complex B1 Mapping and Electrical Properties Imaging of the Human Brain using a 16-channel Transceiver Coil at 7T”, Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 69(5): 1285-1296, 2013

6.   X. Zhang, S. Zhu, and B. He. “Imaging Electric Properties of Biological Tissues by MRI”, IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, 29(2): 474-481, 2010

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