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Sheng-Kwei “Victor” Song, PhD

Sheng-Kwei “Victor” Song, PhD, professor of radiology, is honored as a distinguished investigator for his innovative contributions focused on novel techniques to image the central nervous system (CNS).

He is an internationally known imaging scientist whose work is widely applicable to many CNS diseases as well as some cancers. He was among the first to demonstrate that decreased water diffusion is an effective biomarker of prostate cancer. His work has resulted in the “Song Hypothesis,” which simply uses water diffusion changes to detect damage to nerve cell projections called axons and to their protective myelin sheath — and to differentiate between the two types of injuries.

Song recently developed two innovative diffusion MRI technologies — diffusion functional magnetic resonance imaging (diffusion fMRI) and diffusion basis spectrum imaging (DBSI) — both of which noninvasively visualize the functional activation of nerves and the damage resulting from various diseases and injury. He has extended the use of DBSI to detect and distinguish inflammation versus solid tumors in the brain and prostate. This work is now poised to improve clinical diagnosis for neurological disorders and various cancers. He is now translating the use of DBSI to image patients with multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, cervical spondylotic myelopathy, HIV, Alzheimer’s disease and glaucoma.

In 2016, Song was named a Distinguished Investigator of the Academy of Radiology Research. He also is a strong mentor of students, junior faculty and staff scientists. Song earned his doctoral degree in chemistry from Washington University in 1990. After serving as a research associate and senior scientist/operations director for the Biomedical MR Laboratory, he joined the Washington University faculty at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology in 2000.

Published: 09/13/2017