Larson Group

Our group is focused on developing novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods, and facilitating their translation into clinical studies.

Our methods fall into two general categories:

  1. Hyperpolarized carbon-13 metabolic MRI (which have clinical potential as a non-invasive tool with applications such as cancer staging and monitoring treatment response)
  2. Semi-Solid MRI (for positive contrast of tissues such as tendons, bone, lung, and myelin that are invisible with conventional techniques)



Peder Larson, received his PhD in Electrical Engineering under Dwight Nishimura at Stanford University in 2007, and has been at UCSF since then.  The group is based in the Byers Hall at the UCSF Mission Bay campus, as a part of the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) at UCSF.  The primary facilites available for research include 3T and 7T MRI systems with 3 adjacent Hyperpolarizers, all of which are part of the Surbeck Laboratory for Advanced Imaging, and are supported in part by the NIH-funded Hyperpolarized MRI Technology Resource Center


  • Follow Dr. Larson on Twitter: @pezlarson
  • 12/22/2014: Wenwen Jiang's Concentric Rings MRSI paper published in Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.  Check out the great comparison of Accelerated MRSI techniques, and parallel imaging with concentric rings (with hyperpolarized 13C-pyruvate as well!).
  • 9/11/2014: Bertram Koelsch and Galen Reed's paper on diffusion mapping of hyperpolarized 13C agents published in Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.  They created a way to accurately map apparent diffusion coefficients (ADCs) of a hyperpolarized metabolic in 1-s, all within the limits of a clinical MRI system.
  • 8/22/2014: Shuyu Tang's bolus tracking in hyperpolarized 13C imaging published in Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.  He created a 2D RF pulse with spectral-selectivity for monitoring the bolus arrival of hyperpolarized 13C agents.
  • 5/2014: Misung Han's paper on high-resolution tendon imaging published in Investigative Radiology.  She shows some amazing images at 0.6 mm isotropic resolution, and was on the Most Popular list for Investigative Radiology in June.
  • 2/13/2014: Naeim Bahrami's methods for modeling hyperpolarized 13C MRI published in Quantitative Imaging in Medicine and Surgery.   They model both perfusion and metabolism, and can account for arbitrary RF excitation schemes.


Peder LarsonPeder Larson, PhD
Assistant Professor
Principal Investigator

Dr. Peder Larson got his PhD from the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University on "MRI of Semi-solid Tissues".  His research interests are in RF pulse design, pulse sequence development, novel imaging strategies, and optimized reconstruction methods for MRI, with an emphasis on applications in Hyperpolarized carbon-13 agents and semi-solid tissue imaging with ultrashort echo time (UTE) methods.

Peng Cao, PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar

Dr. Peng Cao completed his graduate studies The University of Hong Kong under the supervision of Prof. Ed X. Wu on methodologies and applications of magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS).  He is working on advanced hyperpolarized carbon-13 MRS methods.

Jeremy Gordon
Postdoctoral Scholar

Dr. Jeremy Gordon completed his graduate work under Prof. Sean Fain at the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 2013, on advanced hyperpolarized carbon-13 methods, and is continuing to work in that area at UCSF.

Wenwen Jiang
Bioengineering Graduate Student

Wenwen Jiang is a graduate student in the UC Berkeley - UCSF Graduate Group in Bioengineering, working jointly with Prof. Larson at UCSF and Prof. Michael Lustig at UC Berkeley.  She is developing accelerated hyperpolarized carbon-13 acquisition methods.

Andrew Leynes
Junior Specialist

Andrew Leynes is a graduate of the UCSF Masters of Biomedical Imaging Program and completed his PET/MR Master’s Thesis on “Tissue Segmentation and Classification for PET/MR MR-based Attenuation Correction using Zero-Echo Time (ZTE) MRI” in 2015.

Shuyu Tang
Bioengineering Graduate Student

Shuyu Tang is a graduate student in the UC Berkeley - UCSF Graduate Group in Bioengineering, and a graduate of the UCSF Master's of Biomedical Imaging program.  He is working on selective RF pulse designs for hyperpolarized carbon-13 MRI and advanced reconstruction methods for radial k-space trajectories.


  • Sonam Machingal, Biomedical Imaging Graduate Student. Sonam is a graduate of the UCSF Master’s of Biomedical Imaging Program. She completed her Master’s thesis on “Sampling Strategies for Hyperpolarized Carbon-13 Dynamic Imaging” in 2014 under Dr. Larson. 
  • the UCSF Master's of Biomedical Imaging program.  He worked with Dr. Larson on improving quantitation of hyperpolarized carbon-13 dynamic data, and completed a Master’s thesis on “Modeling Hyperpolarized 13C Pyruvate and Urea Concentration Kinetics With Multibanded RF Excitation MRI In Prostate Cancer” in 2013.
  • Yan Ann Xing, Biomedical Imaging Graduate Student. Ann was in the inaugural class of the UCSF Master's of Biomedical Imaging program.  She completed her Master's thesis on "Optimal Variable Flip Angle Schemes For Dynamic Acquisition Of Exchanging Hyperpolarized Substrates" in 2012 under Dr. Larson.