Laura Walkup, PhD

Research Associate

Dr. Walkup received her Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 2013 from Southern Illinois University where her dissertation work focused on the physics and production of hyperpolarized xenon-129 gas for magnetic-resonance applications.  She is currently a NIH K99-supported Research Associate in the Center for Pulmonary Imaging Research.  Her research focuses on all aspects of hyperpolarized-gas MRI research, including the design and construction of a xenon polarizer for pediatric pulmonary imaging.  She has worked to develop 129Xe MRI techniques to quantify regional lung ventilation and alveolar-airspace size in pediatric and adult lung diseases, with special focus on the clinical translation of MRI to describe rare-lung diseases like post-transplantation bronchiolitis obliterans and lymphangioleiomyomatosis.  She is an early-career scientist with passion for developing quantitative MRI-based methods to assess regional cardiopulmonary structure-function relationships and how these methods may be implemented to personalize patient care and improve outcomes.