Elliot R. McVeigh

Professor, Bioengineering, UC San Diego

Before joining the University of California, San Diego, Dr. McVeigh was chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, where he founded the Medical Imaging Laboratory. In 1999, Dr. McVeigh joined forces with the Laboratory of Cardiac Energetics at the National Institutes of Health to develop a research program in cardiovascular interventional MRI. Dr. McVeigh had been on the Johns Hopkins faculty since 1988, immediately after earning his Ph.D. in medical biophysics at the University of Toronto, where he also earned a bachelor’s in physics in 1984.

Dr. McVeigh is the co-director of the Center for Translational Imaging (CTI) and has a 30-year history of research in medical imaging, particularly cardiovascular MRI. Throughout that time he has worked in a collaborative environment with industry, engineering faculty, and physicians creating new ways to use cardiovascular imaging toward precise diagnosis and therapy for individual patients.  He pioneered multiple applications of MRI tagging to characterize the mechanical consequences of local myocardial ischemia and dyssynchronous mechanical activation of the LV.  His laboratory was the first to measure “mechanical activation” with MRI and simultaneously measure the corresponding electrical activation with epicardial surface arrays in vivo.  His lab was the first to demonstrate MRI guided direct myocardial injection of stem cells, and MRI guided TAVI implantation of a prosthetic aortic valve in the beating heart.  All of these projects involved biomedical engineers and physicians at all levels of training: undergraduates, graduate students, residents, fellows and faculty.  Upon becoming chair of Hopkins BME he lead the growth and development of the Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design from an undergraduate design course to a major center of activity for innovation and commercialization of products designed by teams of engineers at physicians at Johns Hopkins.  Dr. McVeigh’s lab continues to develop novel scanning and image analysis techniques in MRI and CT for individualized care of cardiovascular patients.

Dr. McVeigh aims to develop imaging techniques that give patients and their doctors exactly the information they need to put them on a path to avoid heart attacks, which remain the leading cause of death in the United States despite years of progress in research and treatments. Dr. McVeigh and his team plan to develop ultra-low dose CT angiography techniques that will identify those people at substantially higher risk for heart disease. This will allow physicians to guide the right patients into aggressive therapy, such as stents and bypass surgery and identify those who need to begin a course of medical therapy, such as statins, and those who need to change their lifestyle—and stick to those changes. The ultimate goal is to create a completely new imaging paradigm for cardiac care.

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