Brian D Ross, PhD
Radiology Research Professor
Professor of Radiology
Professor of Biological Chemistry
Associate Chair of Radiology Basic Science Research
Department of Radiology
109 Zina Pitcher Place, BSRB Room 2071
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2200
[email protected]

Available to mentor

Brian D Ross, PhD
  • About
  • Links
  • Qualifications
  • Center Memberships
  • Research Overview
  • Recent Publications
  • About

    Brian D. Ross, Ph.D., completed his Doctorate in Biophysics at the University of California at Davis before completing an American Brain Tumor Foundation fellowship at the University of and Minnesota in the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research with Dr. Kamil Ugurbil.

    Dr. Ross joined the Department in September 1990 and is currently the Roger A. Berg Research Professor of Radiology and also serves as the Associate Chair for Basic Science Research, Director of the Center for Molecular Imaging (CMI) and is a Professor in the Department of Biological Chemistry.

    Dr. Ross has been active in pioneering development of quantitative imaging biomarkers for detection of tumor response to therapy and more recently, his lab extended these discoveries to develop the Parametric Response Map CT-based analytical approach allowing for detection of small airways disease in patients with interstitial lung diseases such as COPD.

    As Director of CMI, Dr. Ross established a Core resource which serves as the institutional core for radiological imaging of small animal models of human disease. Dr. Ross has also worked extensively on clinical translation and commercialization of image-based quantitative biomarkers developed in his lab with ongoing clinical trials in the use of MRI for myelofibrosis staging and treatment response assessment.

    Over his years here at Michigan, Dr. Ross has been the Principle Investigator of numerous multi-investigator NIH grants including P01, P20, P50 grants along with S10 instrumentation awards. He was also awarded the National Cancer Institute Outstanding Investigator Award (OIA) given to investigators with outstanding records of productivity in cancer research to allow an extended 7 years of funding to continue or embark on projects of unusual potential in cancer research. Dr. Ross was among the first group of 50 individuals to receive the award and was the first investigator in a Radiology department.

    • CMI Website
    • Postdoctoral Research Fellow
      University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1990
    • PhD
      University of California, Davis, 1987
    • MS
      University of California, Davis, 1983
    • BS
      University of California, Davis, 1981
    Center Memberships
    • Center Member
      Biosciences Initiative
    • Center Member
      Rogel Cancer Center
    Research Overview

    Throughout my career, research activities have yielded a logical progression of a series of seminal advances in the fields of oncologic imaging and therapeutics. During this time, I have been involved with Dr. Chenevert in pioneering the use of quantifying the diffusion of water molecules within tumors with first in rodents and first in human publications demonstrating use as a quantitative, early imaging biomarker of treatment response. Initial diffusion-magnetic resonance imaging results revealed intra-tumor response heterogeneity. This required further significant insight and development of novel image analysis approaches leading to the next breakthrough, the first voxel-based image analysis approach using serially registered image-generated quantitative diffusion maps. These studies laid the groundwork for a first in human prospective imaging clinical trial confirming the original hypothesis that diffusion could serve as an early imaging biomarker of treatment response for solid tumors. This has been independently confirmed by many other labs and across all tumor types studied and is under active investigation in clinical trials worldwide.

    We subsequently developed voxel-based analysis of serially registered image-derived maps for providing a universal solution for achieving outstanding sensitivity for detection of pathological spatially varying changes across imaging modalities including MRI (i.e., DW-MR, DCE-MR, DSC-MR), CT and PET. These developments facilitated further advancements in lung CT voxel-based analysis methods which allowed for detection of the inflammatory component (small airways disease) in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which had been masked by emphysema up to that time. Further work in my lab has also shown that this imaging approach could be applied for early detection of graft versus host disease known as bronchiolitis obliterans in cancer patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplant to allow for much earlier treatment intervention.

    One of the disappointing issues encountered during development of quantitative imaging biomarkers was the realization most treatments are sub-optimal therefore detection of treatment response was less important than development of a more efficacious therapeutic intervention. To merge the imaging biomarker work with drug development, I established a fully functional synthetic medicinal chemistry laboratory at the North Campus Research Complex (NCRC) (ex. Pfizer site) enabling my lab to develop a new class of multi-targeted kinase inhibitors which we discovered were lymphatically absorbed and coined the term ‘lymphatropic’ agents to describe these first-in-class agents. The significance of this finding cannot be overstated, and I consider it to be a transformative, once in a generation opportunity to advance an entirely new class of therapeutics. The overall advances in imaging and chemistry has focused on advancement of lymphatropic drug development integrated with innovations in molecular imaging of bone marrow for the treatment of the myeloproliferative neoplasm, myelofibrosis. The overall research activities provide and unprecedented opportunity to improve treatment management and outcomes for cancer patients.

    Recent Publications See All Publications
    • Journal Article
      Quantitative MRI reveals heterogeneous impacts of treatment on diseased bone marrow in a mouse model of myelofibrosis.
      Robison TH, Lee W, Luker KE, Pettit K, Talpaz M, Chenevert TL, Ross BD, Luker GD. Magn Reson Med, 2024 Jun; 91 (6): 2568 - 2578. DOI:10.1002/mrm.30016
      PMID: 38265182
    • Journal Article
      MRI Reliably Captures Bone Marrow Metrics in Myelofibrosis
      Robison T, Levinson A, Lee W, Pettit KM, Malyarenko D, Johnson TD, Chenevert T, Ross B, Talpaz M, Luker G. Blood, 2023 Nov 28; 142 (Supplement 1): 4556 DOI:10.1182/blood-2023-189869
    • Journal Article
      Co-Clinical Imaging Metadata Information (CIMI) for Cancer Research to Promote Open Science, Standardization, and Reproducibility in Preclinical Imaging.
      Moore SM, Quirk JD, Lassiter AW, Laforest R, Ayers GD, Badea CT, Fedorov AY, Kinahan PE, Holbrook M, Larson PEZ, Sriram R, Chenevert TL, Malyarenko D, Kurhanewicz J, Houghton AM, Ross BD, Pickup S, Gee JC, Zhou R, Gammon ST, Manning HC, Roudi R, Daldrup-Link HE, Lewis MT, Rubin DL, Yankeelov TE, Shoghi KI. Tomography, 2023 May 11; 9 (3): 995 - 1009. DOI:10.3390/tomography9030081
      PMID: 37218941
    • Journal Article
      Animal Models and Their Role in Imaging-Assisted Co-Clinical Trials.
      Peehl DM, Badea CT, Chenevert TL, Daldrup-Link HE, Ding L, Dobrolecki LE, Houghton AM, Kinahan PE, Kurhanewicz J, Lewis MT, Li S, Luker GD, Ma CX, Manning HC, Mowery YM, O'Dwyer PJ, Pautler RG, Rosen MA, Roudi R, Ross BD, Shoghi KI, Sriram R, Talpaz M, Wahl RL, Zhou R. Tomography, 2023 Mar 16; 9 (2): 657 - 680. DOI:10.3390/tomography9020053
      PMID: 36961012
    • Journal Article
      Improved Repeatability of Mouse Tibia Volume Segmentation in Murine Myelofibrosis Model Using Deep Learning.
      Kushwaha A, Mourad RF, Heist K, Tariq H, Chan H-P, Ross BD, Chenevert TL, Malyarenko D, Hadjiiski LM. Tomography, 2023 Mar 7; 9 (2): 589 - 602. DOI:10.3390/tomography9020048
      PMID: 36961007
    • Journal Article
      Repeatability of Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging Biomarkers in the Tibia Bone Marrow of a Murine Myelofibrosis Model.
      Ross BD, Malyarenko D, Heist K, Amouzandeh G, Jang Y, Bonham CA, Amirfazli C, Luker GD, Chenevert TL. Tomography, 2023 Feb 28; 9 (2): 552 - 566. DOI:10.3390/tomography9020045
      PMID: 36961004
    • Journal Article
      A lymphatic-absorbed multi-targeted kinase inhibitor for myelofibrosis therapy.
      Ross BD, Jang Y, Welton A, Bonham CA, Palagama DSW, Heist K, Boppisetti J, Imaduwage KP, Robison T, King LR, Zhang EZ, Amirfazli C, Luker KE, Lee WY, Luker GD, Chenevert TL, Van Dort ME. Nat Commun, 2022 Aug 17; 13 (1): 4730 DOI:10.1038/s41467-022-32486-8
      PMID: 35977945
    • Journal Article
      Quantitative MRI Identifies Heterogeneous Bone Marrow Treatment Responses in a Mouse Model of Myelofibrosis
      Robison TH, Solipuram M, Lee WY, Luker K, Pettit KM, Talpaz M, Malyarenko D, Chenevert T, Ross B, Luker G. Blood, 2022 Nov 15; 140 (Supplement 1): 3860 - 3861. DOI:10.1182/blood-2022-166797