Jerome Ackerman, PhD

Professional Information


Associate Professor in Radiology, Harvard Medical School
Assistant in Physics, Massachusetts General Hospital
Director, Biomaterials Laboratory, Martinos Center


PhD Physical Chemistry, MIT, 1976

Martinos Faculty


Mailing Address

Building 149, Room 2320
13th Street
Charlestown, MA 02129 USA

General Contact Information


Additional Information


   We develop instrumentation and methods for magnetic resonance applications in interventional radiology and for studying bone and synthetic biomaterials.

   We have developed a compact extremity (arm and leg) MRI scanner based on a novel cryogen-free tilted superconducting magnet intended for multinuclear solid state MRI measurements of bone matrix and mineral as a radiation-free information-rich screening technique for metabolic bone disease. Radically different in design from conventional superconducting MRI magnets, this magnet has three bores: a central active bore and two side bores to accept the unscanned leg, enhancing patient comfort. The magnet uses no liquid cryogens, but rather is maintained at superconducting temperature with a cryocooler.

   Recent work encompasses what we have named MRI Therapy, in which the MRI scanner serves not only in its conventional diagnostic role, but simultaneously also in an active role to  carry out therapy. For example, MR Radiofrequency Ablation employs the MRI scanner as a therapeutic tool by performing tumor ablations with RF heating using the scanner as the energy source. Extending this technology in a novel method called MR Coagulation, we coagulate intravascularly delivered biomaterials using scanner-derived RF energy to repair vascular defects. In both cases, the scanner guides the intervention and monitors its progress and outcome, while also applying energy to conduct the therapeutic procedure.

   In the Biomaterials Laboratory we study bone and synthetic biomaterials with conventional and solid state magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy. Among the areas of interest are the compositional characterization of bone during growth and maturation, and quantitative solid state MR imaging of bone mineral and matrix to characterize metabolic bone disease. Other materials of interest are dental materials and appliances, bone implant materials, calcified tissues, polymers, ceramics and composites.