This fall, Assistant Professor Joseph Zadrozny was awarded the Trailblazer R21 Award. This award provides an opportunity for New and Early Stage Investigators to pursue research programs of high interest to the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). The Trailblazer provides $400,000 in direct costs over three years to the young lab to probe potentially revolutionary ideas for which there are minimal or no preliminary data.
Zadrozny’s research will be studying molecules containing unpaired electrons that could be imaged in an analogous manner to traditional clinical MRI. Zadrozny stated that “being able to image these species would open new windows into the physiology of free radicals, dioxygen, or other biomolecules.” However, a major obstacle to imaging molecules with unpaired electrons is that high-frequency microwaves are required to “see” such species in a conventional MRI scanner. High frequency microwaves will not penetrate skin to any significant depth, limiting the type of imaging that can be done. Additionally, and more importantly, such microwaves are dangerous because they will heat water-rich tissues. Zadrozny was awarded the Trailblazer to design the first agents to enable biologically inert (safe) microwaves to be used for imaging of species with unpaired electrons at high magnetic fields.
Assistant Professor Joseph Zadrozny is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry, with the College of Natural Sciences at Colorado State University. His research group conducts synthetic and physical inorganic chemistry with the aim of controlling electronic and nuclear spin to solve challenges in chemistry.