Dr. Cooley’s research interests lie in the development of high-impact imaging systems based on new approaches to hardware, image encoding, and signal processing. Her primary scientific contribution has been the development of a portable MRI brain scanner that uses a new image encoding technique. Low-cost, portable MRI systems have the potential to make MR imaging possible at sites where it is currently unavailable (due to cost and siting requirements). Conventional MRI scanners rely on a large homogeneous superconducting magnet and linear fast-slewing gradient magnetic fields for image encoding. It is infeasible to scale down a scanner with these design constraints to a truly portable human brain scanner. Instead, we developed a new approach which uses a lightweight, low-cost permanent magnet array to produce an inhomogeneous magnet field. Instead of considering this field variation as a nuisance, Dr. Cooley and colleagues use it to their advantage for image encoding in lieu of a linear read-out gradient system. Careful measurements and modeling of the system is conducted to enable a generalized encoding-matrix based generalized image reconstruction.

Dr. Cooley is also involved in the Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI) hardware development effort at MGH. MPI shows great potential as a clinical, tracer-based imaging method with much higher sensitivity than MRI. Although the potential has been demonstrated in rodents for applications like angiography and cell-tracking, functional brain imaging has not been demonstrated. She and colleagues have developed a single-sided MPI detector to produce a low-distortion AC drive field and record the non-linear response of injected superparamagnetic iron-oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs). The measured signal tracks the local blood volume of a rat under the detector. They have recently obtained experimental results clearly demonstrating a dynamic MPI signal corresponding to CBV changes with hypercapnia. This work is has been expanded to the development of a functional MPI (fMPI) scanner for rats. Their work is now ongoing to develop the first human-scale MPI scanner for fMPI.


PhD in Electrical Engineering

Select Publications

1. Cooley CZ, McDaniel PC, Stockmann JP, Srinivas SA, Cauley SF, Śliwiak M, Sappo CR, Vaughn CF, Guerin B, Rosen MS, Lev MH, Wald LL. A portable scanner for magnetic resonance imaging of the brain. Nat Biomed Eng. 2020 Nov 23. doi: 10.1038/s41551-020-00641-5. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33230306.

2. Cooley CZ, Haskell MW, Cauley SF, Sappo C, Lapierre CD, Ha CG, Stockmann JP, Wald LL. Design of sparse Halbach magnet arrays for portable MRI using a genetic algorithm. IEEE Trans Magn. 2018 Jan;54(1):5100112. doi: 10.1109/TMAG.2017.2751001. Epub 2017 Oct 23. PMID: 29749974; PMCID: PMC5937527.

3. Cooley CZ, Mandeville JB, Mason EE, Mandeville ET, Wald LL. Rodent Cerebral Blood Volume (CBV) changes during hypercapnia observed using Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI) detection. Neuroimage. 2018 Sep;178:713-720. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.05.004. Epub 2018 May 5. PMID: 29738908; PMCID: PMC6344028.


2020: MGH Department of Radiology Shore Award

2014: ISMRM Rabi Young Investigator Award