John M. Pauly

Reid Weaver Dennis Professor of Engineering


My interests are in medical imaging, and particularly magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). I am Co-Director of the Magnetic Resonance Systems Research Laboratory, which is focused on MRI systems engineering. We have a number of active projects:

  • MRI imaging and image reconstruction
    I am interested in all aspects of MRI imaging, including pulse sequences, acquisition methods, and image reconstruction. Our lab works on RF pulse design for selective excitation, non-Cartesian acquisition methods, compressed sensing, and image reconstruction using optimization and machine learning.

  • Wireless, flexible, receive arrays for MRI systems
    Current MRI receive arrays are bulky, often inflexible, and have large cables. These can be uncomfortable and awkward, resulting in patient motion and failed studies. We are working on a new generation very flexible receive arrays that are complete wireless and printed on fabric. This will be much more comfortable, particularly for pediatric patients who are often challenging to image successfully. This is a joint project with Shreyas Vasanawala in Stanford Radiology, Miki Lustig and Ana Claudia Arias from UC Berkeley EECS, and GE Medical Systems.

  • Safety of implanted devices in MRI
    There are an increasing number of patients with implanted devices, such as pacemakers and deep brain stimulators. Typically these patients are excluded from MRI, due to the potential for RF heating of the devices, and the resulting tissue burns. We are developing methods for detecting and quantifying dangerous interactions, and then modifying the RF transmit field to eliminate the interactions by using an array of programmable transmit channels.

  • Cryo-Electron Microscope Tomography
    Cryo-Electron Microscopy has the potential to image biological samples at moloecular resolution. By collecting projection images at a range of angles, a 3D volume can be recontructed. However, the range of angles is limited by the geometry of the system. Our lab s interested in reconstruction algorithms for these limited angle projection data sets. This is work with Wah Chiu and Mike Schmid at SLAC.

  • Collaborations
    We have a number of collaborations. One is a collaboration with the Stanford Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Imaging (CNI) for neuroscience applications of MRI. Another collaboration is with the Hyperpolarized MRI Technology Resource Center at UCSF in the development of MR spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) techniques for hyperpolarized 13C.


The classes I have recently taught are listed on the left.

Other Interests

I am interested in amateur radio, as this is a great way to learn about many aspects of electrical engineering. We run classes to help you get your FCC license(s), and offer the FCC exams here on campus. See the links on the left.

I am also into astrophotography. Some recent examples are available in the link on the left.