Dr. Robert Bartha, PhD has been appointed as Acting Chair, Department of Medical Biophysics

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Robert Bartha, PhD has been appointed as Acting Chair, Department of Medical Biophysics, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University effective from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.

Dr. Bartha is currently a Professor in the Department of Medical Biophysics, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University; with cross appointments in Medical Imaging and Psychiatry. He is also a Scientist in the Imaging Research Group at Robarts Research Institute.

His research has focused on the development of high-field magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy methods for the early diagnosis of disease and monitoring of treatment response; specifically related to neurodegeneration and aging. He specializes in high magnetic field imaging utilizing a 7 Tesla human MRI scanner; the only one of its kind in Canada. As well he uses a 3 Tesla human scanner and a 9.4 Tesla small animal MRI scanners at the Centre for Functional and Metabolic Mapping at Robarts Research Institute.

Dr. Bartha develops imaging biomarkers of disease progression and evaluates novel MRI tracers that highlight pathological aspects of a disease process. He has developed strong collaborations with experts in chemistry, cell biology, and medicine. These collaborations have been leveraged to develop new contrast agents sensitive to physiological conditions such as temperature and pH, new contrast agents targeted to specific proteases upregulated in Alzheimer’s disease and cancer, and to validate new endogenous metabolic and anatomical biomarkers of disease progression in subjects with Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Bartha heads an exciting team that includes research associates, post-doctoral fellows, technicians, and students, with expertise in imaging, biology, and chemistry. Most recently, the team has expanded to incorporate expertise in software design and image processing as the group develops novel anatomical biomarkers of disease progression utilizing large databases for validation such as that created by the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative.

Dr. Bartha is a co-author on more than 80 publications, with more than 250 abstracts and numerous invited presentations. He holds funding from the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Ontario Institute of Cancer Research (OICR), and the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI). He was the recipient of the Ivey BMO Financial Group Scientist in Brain Disorders Imaging Research Chair and he was awarded a Premier’s Research Excellence Award from the Province of Ontario.

He received his BSc in Physics from the University of Waterloo, and his PhD in Medical Biophysics from the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry/ He then completed his Post-Doctoral Fellowships at Robarts Research Institute and the Centre for Magnetic Resonance Research, University of Minnesota.

Dr. Bartha is a respected and innovative leader whose research has directly resulted in a positive impact in health care.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Bartha on his appointment.

Dr. Michael J. Strong, Dean
Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry