Christian Beaulieu, PhD

Professor, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry - Radiology & Diagnostic Imaging Dept

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Professor, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry - Radiology & Diagnostic Imaging Dept
(780) 492-0908
3-50D University Terrace
8303 112 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2T4


Area of Study / Keywords

magnetic resonance imaging MRI technical development neurological disorders brain imaging


Dr. Christian Beaulieu is a Canada Research Chair (Tier 1), Scientific Director of the Peter S Allen MRI Research Centre, and currently cross-appointed as a Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and in the Department of Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. I am currently the University of Alberta representative as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) University Delegate and was elected to the CIHR University Delegate Executive Committee (UDEC).

Education: BSc in Chemistry at University of Manitoba (1986-90), PhD in Biomedical Engineering at University of Alberta (1990-95), and PDF in Radiology at Stanford University (1995-99)


See Google Scholar for a full list of publications (and how many times each has been cited by other papers): ‪‪

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a versatile, non-invasive technology that plays a vital role in diagnosing and understanding many human diseases. Over the past 30 years, MRI has let us peer inside the living body and examine and measure brain structure, function and metabolism. However, the brain damage we can see using standard MRI may be just the tip of the iceberg in many neurological disorders.

Engineering and scientific advances in hardware, as well as the development of novel imaging methods, have led to vastly improved MRI technology. These better images can show tissue abnormalities that would not be detected using standard MRI. The goal of the lab is to drive the next generation of technologies to detect and quantify micro-structural features in the brain that cannot currently be measured with MRI. He and his research team aim to reveal “invisible” injuries through images that will reflect a disease’s overall impact more precisely and thoroughly.

Working with clinical researchers, the lab will test imaging innovations on patients with stroke, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and neurodevelopment disorders. They will also test the same imaging innovations on healthy people at different ages for comparison, in order to understand what is typical in the brain across the lifespan before identifying what is wrong.

By supporting advances in MRI technology, this research will help unravel the mysteries of many brain disorders. It will also improve our ability to diagnose and treat patients, and make the best possible use of new, powerful tools in health care.

Although the core focus is on human brain (mainly diffusion and sodium MRI), the lab is also investigating MRI of prostate cancer.

Current lab funding is from Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, and Neuroscience and Mental health Institute Ward grant.


BME 564 Fundamentals of MRI (co-instructor with Dr. Richard Thompson)


MRI graduate student (MSc/PhD) projects are suitable for a wide range of multi-disciplinary backgrounds including past students with undergraduate degrees in engineering (e.g. biomedical, electrical, computer), physics (including medical physics), biology, psychology, medicine, neuroscience, computing science, physiology, etc. The MRI projects can be on developing and/or optimizing new pulse sequences and methods (i.e. programming), image processing and analysis (e.g. big data), hardware design and construction (e.g. radiofrequency coils), and/or human clinical and healthy development/aging studies using existing methods/protocols. If you are interested and would like to learn more about being a summer student, graduate student or postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Beaulieu's lab, please email him. Learn more about the power and diversity of MRI from the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (


BME 564 - Fundamentals of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, MRI

Designed for graduate and advanced undergraduate students requiring a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of imaging by means of nuclear magnetic resonance, NMR. Topics include the principles of NMR as applied to imaging, image processing, imaging techniques for achieving specific types of contrast, image artefacts, and typical applications. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

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