Dr. Zhu started magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) research in 1995 under Dr. Michael Buonocore at University of California Davis when he was in graduate school. He developed high-resolution echo planar imaging, arterial spin labeling and phase contrast pulse sequences, and associated analytical techniques for clinical applications. Dr. Zhu joined GE Healthcare in 2000 after he completed his PhD. He worked on various MR methodology developments, including fast spin echo imaging and fast volumetric imaging. He also participated in the development of the new EXCITE MR system. In late 2002, Dr. Zhu joined the Brain Research Imaging Center at the University of Chicago as an MRI physicist to continue his research in MR imaging techniques, specifically, spiral imaging for functional MRI (fMRI) applications, T1 mapping of the brain and the quantification of cerebrospinal fluid dynamics for the study of hydrocephalus. He also expanded his interest to fMRI applications.
Dr. Zhu joined the faculty at Michigan State University in 2005. He has been collaborating with clinical experts to develop MRI techniques to detect and characterize plaques at the carotid artery, with chemists on MR molecular imaging, and with psychologists and neuroscientists to apply fMRI and other neuroimaging methods to study visual cognition, attention, memory, language processing, social cognition, concussion, normal aging and Alzheimer's disease. Currently, he is leading the Imaging Core of an NIH funded clinical trial aimed to reduce the risks of Alzheimer's disease.