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Translational Medicine

Macgowan Lab

Principal Investigator

Christopher Macgowan, PhD

Research Analyst
Gregory Stortz

Post-doctoral Fellow
Eric Schrauben

Graduate Students
Datta Goolaub
Chris Roy
Sharon Portnoy

Research Activities

My research involves the development of new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods to improve the detection and evaluation of cardiovascular disease in children. In particular, I am interested in the measurement of blood flow and vascular function in congenital heart disease, and the translation of these methods into clinical practice. Previous work in my lab has involved the study of rapid (real-time) MRI measurements of blood flow, optimization of contrast-enhanced pulmonary MR angiography in children and image-processing methods to segment and classify pulmonary veins versus arteries. We have also investigated methods to assess pulmonary vascular impedance non-invasively using velocity-sensitive MR imaging, to better understand how patients with pulmonary hypertension respond to therapy.

Recent work in my lab has focused on cardiovascular physiology in the developing human fetus. Using advanced MRI methods, we are mapping the distribution of blood flow throughout the feto-placental circulation, and measuring the oxygen saturation of blood supplied to the fetus. The creation of an image processing approach (metric-optimized gating) that has enabled the first dynamic MR images of the fetal heart and blood flow has been critical to this research.


Roy CW, Seed M, Macgowan CK.  Radial sampling strategies for motion robust CINE magnetic resonance imaging of the fetal heart J. Cardiov. Magn. Reson. Status:  Accepted January 2017, Impact Factor 5.75, (Trainee Publication, Chris Roy was a PhD student at the time), (SRA)

Portnoy S, Seed M, Sled JG, Macgowan CK. Non-invasive evaluation of blood oxygen saturation and hematocrit from T1 and T2 relaxation times: in-vitro validation in fetal blood  Magn. Reson. Med.  Status:  Accepted December 2016, Impact Factor 3.27 (Trainee Publication, Sharon Portnoy was a PhD student at the time), (SRA)

Roy CW, Seed M, Macgowan CK. Accelerated magnetic resonance imaging of the fetal heart using compressed sensing and metric optimized gating  Magn. Reson. Med. (2016) – doi:10.1002/mrm.26290, Impact Factor 3.27, (Trainee Publication, Chris Roy was a PhD student at the time), (SRA)

Portnoy S, Osmond M, Zhu MY, Seed M, Sled J, Macgowan CK.  Relaxation properties of human umbilical cord blood at 1.5 tesla  Magn. Reson. Med. (2016) – doi: 10.1002/mrm.26231, Impact Factor 3.27 (Trainee Publication, Sharon Portnoy was a PhD student at the time), (SRA)

Tsai-Goodman B, Zhu MY, Al-Rujaib M, Seed M, Macgowan CK. Foetal blood flow measured using phase contrast cardiovascular magnetic resonance – preliminary data comparing 1.5 T with 3.0 T. J. Cardiov. Magn. Reson. 17:30 (2015) – doi:10.1186/s12968-015-0132-2, Impact Factor 4.72 (SRA)

Sun L, Macgowan CK, Sled JG, Manlhiot C, Porayette P, Grosse-Wortmann L, Jaeggi E, McCrindle BW, Kingdom J, Hickey E, Miller S, Seed M. Reduced fetal cerebral oxygen consumption is associated with smaller brain size in fetuses with congenital heart disease. Circulation 131:1313-1323 (2015) – doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.013051, Impact Factor 15.07 (Co-PA)

Macgowan CK, Chan KY, Laughlin S, Marrie RA, Banwell B. Cerebral arterial and venous blood flow in pediatric multiple sclerosis patients and age-matched controls using phase contrast MRI J. Magn. Reson. Imag. 40(2):341-347 (2014) – doi:10.1002/jmri.24388, Impact Factor 2.79 (PA)

Roy CW, Seed M, van Amerom JFP, Al Nasifi B, Grosse-Wortmann L, Yoo SJ, Macgowan CK. Dynamic imaging of the fetal heart using metric optimized gating. Magn. Reson. Med.   doi: 10.1002/mrm.24614 (2013)

Seed M, van Amerom JFP, Yoo SJ, Al Nafisi B, Grosse-Wortmann L, Jaeggi E, Jansz MS, Macgowan CK.  Feasibility of quantification of the distribution of blood flow in the normal human fetal circulation using CMR: a cross-sectional study. J. Cardiov. Magn. Reson. 14(79), (2012) – doi:10.1186/1532-429X-14-79

Contact Information

Senior Secretary
PGCRL Room 08-9800
Tel. 416-813-8593

Mailing Address
The Hospital for Sick Children
Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning
686 Bay Street, Room 08.9714
Toronto, ON  M5G 0A4  Canada

Tel.: (416) 813-1069
Fax: (416) 813-7362
email: christopher.macgowan@sickkids.ca