More About For Research Scientists Minus iconIcon indicating subtraction, or that the element can be closed. Plus IconIcon indicating addition, or that the element can be opened. Arrow (down) icon.An arrow icon, usually indicating that the containing element can be opened and closed.

Ellen Ackerstaff, PhD

Pictured: Ellen Ackerstaff, PhD

I am an assistant attending physicist in the Imaging and Spectroscopic Physics Service of the Department of Medical Physics.

I am working with my colleagues at Memorial Sloan Kettering to develop magnetic resonance techniques that provide novel data and identify clinically relevant biomarkers with the potential to improve patient care.

I studied physics in Germany, with an emphasis on biophysics and medical physics. My graduate research focused on the design and development of detector systems for matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Starting with my doctoral research, I acquired extensive knowledge of in vitro and in vivo multi-nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS).

In my current research, I am investigating the effects of the tumor microenvironment — characterized by hypoxia (oxygen deprivation), acidic pH, and nutrient deprivation — on breast and prostate tumor metabolism and blood vessel development during tumor progression and treatment. My research employs multi-nuclear MRI/MRS, PET, and optical imaging as well as other techniques to study tumor cells.