Maria Altbach, PhD

Clinical and Translational Oncology Program

Biography

Maria I. Altbach PhD obtained her PhD in Chemistry from Louisiana State University working on solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance of small molecules. Her work transitioned to the field of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) during postdoctoral training focusing on technology development with an emphasis on improving the diagnosis of disease. She is currently Professor and Vice-chair for Research in the Department of Medical Imaging at the University of Arizona with a joint appointment in Biomedical Engineering. Her research provides unique training for engineer and basic science students interested in medical imaging. Her group has been funded by the NIH since 1997. 

Cancer Focus

Dr. Altbach’s work is at the interface of engineer and medicine. Her work related to cancer focuses on the development of MRI technology for the early diagnosis of disease through non-invasive imaging. Technology being developed by her group is based on novel parametric MRI techniques for the characterization of cancerous lesions and tissue changes leading to cancer. Currently, she is leading an academic industrial partnership funded by the NIH for the clinical translation of technology for early detection of liver metastases.  Another area of interest is in the non-invasive staging of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis as a preventative measure for liver cancer.