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Imaging My Brain 

Presented by:

R. Nick Bryan, M.D., Ph.D.

Director, Diagnostic Radiology Department, and Associate Director for Radiologic Imaging Sciences,Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health

R. Nick Bryan, M.D., Ph.D.

Ever wondered what the inside of your brain looks like? You're not alone. Fascination with seeing inside the human body spurred the development of one of the most important diagnostic tools available to medical professionals: radiology, or x-rays. In the past decade, the newer imaging techniques of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), and positron emission tomography (PET) have provided doctors with powerful tools to diagnose illnesses. These techniques are now being used to take doctors on "virtual tours" of internal organs, offering a noninvasive way to examine, for example, the lungs or colon. Tonight you'll take a "virtual tour" of the brain of our speaker, Dr. R. Nick Bryan.

Dr. Bryan says his "business and bizarre hobby is looking at the human brain." He was named director of the Diagnostic Radiology Department and associate director for radiologic imaging sciences at the Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) this past January. In addition to his Clinical Center responsibilities, Dr. Bryan holds a joint appointment with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

As associate director for radiologic imaging sciences, Dr. Bryan oversees the Nuclear Medicine Department, the PET Department, and the Laboratory of Diagnostic Radiology Research (LDRR). The LDRR was established at NIH in 1989 to focus efforts on basic research in medical imaging and to supplement teaching programs in imaging research.

Dr. Bryan's primary research interests are stroke and functional brain imaging. He served from 1988 until 1998 as professor of radiology and neuroradiology and as director of the neuroradiology division at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He was a professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery from 1990 to 1998 and was a Fulbright senior scholar in Marseilles in 1994 and 1995.

After completing his pre-med work at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Bryan earned his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Texas Medical Branch. After an internship and residency there, he held an NIH postdoctoral fellowship in neuroanatomy at the Marine Biomedical Institute and an NIH special fellowship in neuroradiology at the Neurological Institute of New York.

Prior to his Hopkins appointment, Dr. Bryan was at Baylor College of Medicine, where he directed the Biomedical Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Center, served as professor of radiology, and as professor in the Center for Biotechnology. He also directed MRI services at the Methodist Hospital in Houston.

A past president of the American Society of Head and Neck Radiology and of the American Society of Neuroradiology, Dr. Bryan is on the board of directors of the Radiological Society of North America. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, is deputy editor of the American Journal of Neuroradiology, and is on the editorial advisory board of Neuroscience Forum.

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For more information about the Clinical Center and its Medicine for the Public lecture series, contact CC Communications (, (301) 496-2563.

National Institutes of Health, Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center, Bethesda, Maryland 20892. 9/98

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This page last reviewed on 04/12/10

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