Dennis L. Parker, PhD

Research Interests

  • Mathematics and Physics of Medical Imaging with Emphasis on Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • MR Angiography (Rapid Scanning and High Resolution)
  • Improved Small Vessel Detail in Magnetic Resonance Angiography
  • Human Carotid Artery Plaque Imaging and Analysis
  • MR-Guided High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound for Both transcranial MRgHIFU and a Breast-Specific MRgHIFU Device
  • MR Mammography
  • Composite MRI Gradient Systems
  • Custom MR Coils - Optic Nerve


Lab Website


  • English
  • French
  • German

Academic Information

  • Departments: Bioengineering - Adjunct Professor, Biomedical Informatics - Professor, Radiology and Imaging Sciences - Professor
  • Divisions: Radiology Research
  • Cancer Center Programs: Experimental Therapeutics

Academic Office Information

  • 801-581-8654
  • Imaging & Neurosciences Center
    Utah Center for Advanced Imaging Research (UCAIR)
    729 Arapeen Dr
    Salt Lake City, UT 84108

Academic Bio

Dr. Dennis Parker earned his MS in Physics from Brigham Young University and his PhD in Medical Biophysics and Computing from the University of Utah. He is the Mark H. Huntsman endowed Professor, in the Departments of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, and Biomedical Informatics. He served as the founding Director of the Utah Center for Advanced Imaging Research from 2003 to 2016. Dr. Parker is also an investigator of the Huntsman Cancer Institute and a member of the Experimental Therapeutics Program.

With more than 40 years of experience in medical imaging research and image guided therapies, Dr. Parker has published extensively in his areas of expertise. These areas include: physics and mathematics of medical imaging, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA), and MR guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (MRgHIFU) in breast and pancreatic cancer, as well as general cancer magnetic resonance imaging. He published the first paper on using MRI to measure temperature with the intent of guiding thermal therapy of cancer and has been one of the principal faculty in developing the University of Utah's program in MRgHIFU for thermal therapy applications.

Prior to joining the University of Utah in 1982 as an assistant professor, Dr. Parker was an assistant professor at the University of California at San Francisco. In 2000, he received the Distinguished Research Award from University of Utah and prior to this was appointed President of the Magnetic Resonance Angiography Club (1998). He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biomedical Engineers (2008) and of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (2015).

“After earning my BS in Physics, I read the book The Double Helix and realized that physics could be used in medical/biological research. During my PhD, I became interested in the great potential of computers and how they could be used, in combination with physics, to develop new methods of medical imaging. I found it very fulfilling to be able to use physics and computer science to develop technology that could see things in the body that have never been seen before. This has kept me on a challenging but fascinating journey, developing an educational/research program in medical imaging research.”

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Education History

Type School Degree
Doctoral Training University of Utah
Medical Biophysics & Computing
Graduate Training Brigham Young University
Undergraduate Brigham Young University

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Svedin BT, Payne A, Bolster BD Jr, Parker DL (2017). Multiecho pseudo-golden angle stack of stars thermometry with high spatial and temporal resolution using k-space weighted image contrast. Magn Reson Med, 79(3), 1407-1419.
  2. de Bever JT, Oden H, Hofstetter LW, Parker DL (2017). Simultaneous MR thermometry and acoustic radiation force imaging using interleaved acquisition. Magn Reson Med, 79(3), 1515-1524.
  3. Svedin BT, Parker DL (2017). Technical Note: The effect of 2D excitation profile on T1 measurement accuracy using the variable flip angle method with an average flip angle assumption. Med Phys, 44(11), 5930-5937.
  4. Iversen MM, Christensen DA, Parker DL, Holman HA, Chen J, Frerck MJ, Rabbitt RD (2017). Low-intensity ultrasound activates vestibular otolith organs through acoustic radiation force. J Acoust Soc Am, 141(6), 4209.
  5. Volland NA, Kholmovski EG, Parker DL, Hadley JR (2013). Initial feasibility testing of limited field of view magnetic resonance thermometry using a local cardiac radiofrequency coil. Magn Reson Med, 70(4), 994-1004.
  6. Mendes J, Parker DL, Kim SE, Treiman GS (2013). Reduced blood flow artifact in intraplaque hemorrhage imaging using CineMPRAGE. Magn Reson Med, 69(5), 1276-84.
  7. Diakite M, Payne A, Todd N, Parker DL (2013). Irreversible change in the T1 temperature dependence with thermal dose using the proton resonance frequency-T1 technique. Magn Reson Med, 69(4), 1122-30.
  8. Wang Y, Morrell G, Heibrun ME, Payne A, Parker DL (2013). 3D multi-parametric breast MRI segmentation using hierarchical support vector machine with coil sensitivity correction. Acad Radiol, 20(2), 137-47.
  9. Underhill HR, Yuan C, Zhao XQ, Kraiss LW, Parker DL, Saam T, Chu B, Takaya N, Liu F, Polissar NL, Neradilek B, Raichlen JS, Cain VA, Waterton JC, Hamar W, Hatsukami TS (2008). Effect of rosuvastatin therapy on carotid plaque morphology and composition in moderately hypercholesterolemic patients: a high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging trial. Am Heart J, 155(3), 584.e1-8.

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