Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Center for Magnetic Resonance & Optical Imaging

Ari Borthakur, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Associate Director (Training and Dissemination), CMROI

Senior Research Investigator, Department of Radiology
Contact Information

Tel:(215) 573-8482
Fax: (215) 573-2113


B.S. 1994, Angelo State University (Physics)

Ph.D. 2000, University of Pennsylvania (Biophysics)

M.B.A. 2014 (Entrepreneurial & Strategic Management), The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Recent Work

Research Interests

  • Develop novel spin-lock (or T1p) MRI applications
  • Perform quantitative studies via MR relaxometry
  • Implement multi-nuclear & multiple-quantum-filtered MRI capability on clinical scanners via: pulse sequence development
  • RF coil design and construction

The goal of our research is to develop non-invasive and non-destructive MRI techniques for the study of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's Disease and Degenerative Disc Disease. We facilitate timely clinical diagnoses by inventing and improving MRI pulse sequences and hardware. Our multi-nuclear and relaxometric techniques are routinely applied in model systems as well as in clinical research. We maintain active partnerships with faculty from Pathology, Neurology, Orthopedic Surgery and Rheumatology departments and train doctoral candidates from Biophysics and Bioengineering graduate programs at the University of Pennsylvania.

Professional Experience

2016- present: Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics

2010-present: Faculty, Bioengineering Graduate Group, University of Pennsylvania

2009-present: Associate Director, Center for Magnetic Resonance & Optical Imaging

2005-present: Faculty, Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics Graduate Group, University of Pennsylvania

2004-present: Assistant Professor, Dept. of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania

2000-2004: Post-doctoral Researcher, Dept. of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania

1996-2000: Teaching Assistant, Dept. of Biophysics, University of Pennsylvania

1994-2000: Graduate Fellow, Dept. of Biophysics, University of Pennsylvania

Summer 1994: Research Assistant, Dept. of Radiology, University of Texas Medical School

Summer 1993: Intern, Dept. of Radiology, University of Texas Medical School

1992-1994: Lab Consultant, Microlab Facility, Angelo State University

Selected Publications

PubMed link

  • Borthakur A, Maurer PM, Fenty M, Wang C, Berger R, Yoder J, Balderston RA, Elliott DM. T1ρ MRI and Discography Pressure as Novel Biomarkers for Disc Degeneration and Low Back Pain. Spine 2011; 36(25):1-7.
  • Borthakur A, Reddy R. Imaging Cartilage Physiology-A review. Topics in Magnetic Resonance 2010; 21(5):291–296.
  • Clark CM, Davatzikos C, Borthakur A, Newberg A, Leight S, Lee VMY, Trojanowski JQ. Biomarkers for Early Detection of Alzheimer Pathology. Neurosignals 2008;16(1):11-18.
  • Borthakur A, Sochor M, Davatzikos C, Melhem ER, Trojanowski JQ, Clark CM. T1rho of Alzheimer's Disease. Neuroimage 2008;41:1199–1205.
  • Witschey WRT, Borthakur A, Elliott MA, Fenty M, Sochor M, Wang C, Reddy R. T1p-prepared balanced gradient echo for rapid 3D T1ρ MRI. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging 2008; 28(3):744-754.
  • Auerbach JD, Johannessen W, Borthakur A, Wheaton AJ, Dolinskas CA, Balderston RA, Reddy R, Elliott DM. Quantitative in vivo Assessment of Human Lumbar Disc Degeneration Using T1p-weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging. European Spine Journal 2006; 15:338-344.
  • Borthakur A, Gur T, Wheaton AJ, Corbo M, Trojanowski JQ, Lee VM, Reddy R. In vivo Measurement of Plaque Burden in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging 2006; 24:1011-1017.
  • Borthakur A, Mellon E, Niyogi S, Witschey W, Kneeland JB, Reddy R. Sodium and T1p MRI for Molecular and Diagnostic Imaging of Articular Cartilage (Review Article). NMR in Biomedicine 2006; 19: 781–821.