Vanderbilt University
Institute of Imaging Science

Changho Choi, Ph. D.

Professor of Radiology & Radiological Sciences

Contact Information
(615) 875-6448


My research is focused on development of magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and identification of metabolic imaging biomarkers in brain cancers. Technical development is performed with tailoring of traditional MRS sequences, triple-refocusing MRS, and J-difference editing at 3T and 7T, along with high-resolution 3D spectroscopic imaging. Metabolites of interest include 2-hydroxyglurate (2HG), glycine, GABA, glutamate, glutamine, glutathione, lactate, etc.


We carry out or plan to conduct several projects in collaboration with clinicians. 1) Translation of MRS into clinics. A brain tumor MRS pipeline can enable clinicians to noninvasively assess the cellular and genetic alterations in brain cancers. 2) Brain cancer biomarker study. We examine association of metabolite levels with cancer cell proliferation, treatment response, and clinical outcomes. 3) Real-time metabolism study. We aim to identify the sources of metabolic alterations in brain tumors by measuring the changes in 1H MRS signals following administration of 13C labeled substrates in patients. 4) Deep-leaning MRS. We aim to build up a fast MRS analysis algorithm that can provide user-independent quantification of metabolites in gliomas. 5) MRS in neuro-psychiatric disorders. We use optimized MRS to identify metabolic alterations in schizophrenia, asthma, and depression.


2-Hydroxyglutarate detection by magnetic resonance spectroscopy in IDH-mutated glioma patients. Choi C, Ganji SK, DeBerardinis RJ, Hatanpaa KJ, Rakheja D, Kovacs Z, Yang XL, Mashimo T, Raisanen JM, Marin-Valencia I, Pascual JM, Madden CJ, Mickey BE, Malloy CM, Bachoo R, Maher EA. Nature Medicine. 2012;18(4):624-629.

Glycine by MR spectroscopy is an imaging biomarker of glioma aggressiveness. Neuro-oncology. Tiwari V, Daoud EV, Hatanpaa KJ, Gao A, Zhang S, An Z, Ganji SK, Raisanen JM, Lewis CM, Askari P, Baxter J, Levy M, Dimitrov I, Thomas BP, Pinho MC, Madden CJ, Pan E, Patel TR, DeBerardinis RJ, Sherry AD, Mickey BE, Malloy CR, Maher EA, Choi C. Neuro-Oncology 2020;22(7):1018-1029.

3D high-resolution imaging of 2-hydroxyglutarate in glioma patients using DRAG-EPSI at 3T in vivo. An Z, Tiwari V, Baxter J, Levy M, Hatanpaa KJ, Pan E, Maher EA, Patel TR, Mickey BE, Choi C. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 2019;81(2):795-802.

Distinction of the GABA 2.29 ppm Resonance using Triple Refocusing at 3T In Vivo Tiwari V, An Z, Wang Y, Choi C. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 2018;80(4):1307-1319

Prospective longitudinal analysis of 2-hydroxyglutarate MR spectroscopy identifies broad clinical utility for the management of IDH-mutant glioma patients. Choi C, Raisanen JM, Ganji SK, Zhang S, McNeil SS, An Z, Madan A, Hatanpaa KJ, Vemireddy V, Sheppard CA, Oliver D, Hulsey KM, Tiwari V, Mashimo T, Battiste J, Barnett S, Madden CJ, Patel TV, Pan E, Malloy CR, Mickey BE, Bachoo RM, Maher EM. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2016;34(33):4030-4039.