The Evolution of a Hypoxia Scientist

Jeff F. Dunn


This article is about my career path and my research. Hypoxia and imaging are the main themes. Hypoxia is a condition of low oxygen. I began as a comparative biochemist studying how species adapt to live in low oxygen conditions. Jobs looked tight in comparative research and so I moved into more medically applied research. I worked in one of the main laboratories developing what was then a new technology—MRI. I spent the rest of my career developing and applying MRI methods to study disease progression in a range of conditions including stroke, cancer, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, kidney disease, heart failure and high altitude exposure. I applied my knowledge of biochemistry and physiology to direct our MRI development research, which resulted in two ongoing programs: one was to study disease processes, the other to study technology development. Successes include a paper published in the journal PLoS One: “Training the brain to survive stroke”, where we stimulated natural hypoxia adaptive mechanisms in brain and showed that stroke outcome was greatly improved. Much of my work is in animal models but we translate technologies to patient care as well.


medicine; hypoxia; oxygen;



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