Center for Clinical Spectroscopy Staff

Alexander P. Lin, PhD

Dr. Lin is the director of the Center for Clinical Spectroscopy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Assistant Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Lin is a graduate of the California Institute of Technology, where he completed his Masters degree in Bioengineering and his doctoral degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics. He began his training as a research associate in 1997 and was appointed Director of Clinical Services and Senior Scientist at the Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Unit at the Huntington Medical Research Institutes in 2003. Since that time, he has been a visiting research associate at the Center of MR Research at the University of Illinois Chicago. From 2007 to 2009, Dr. Lin had a research fellowship at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. Dr. Lin arrived at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2009.

Dr. Lin’s research interests include clinical applications of multinuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy in the brain, breast, and liver, and cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging. He was awarded the Young Investigator’s Award in 2003 for his work in 13C spectroscopy in Alzheimer’s disease and an NHLBI Fellows Research Award for his work in strain mapping of the carotid arteries in 2007.

He was recently awarded a Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program grant from the Department of Defense to study mild traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder in soldiers returning from the Iraq/Afghanistan wars. In addition, he has ongoing collaborations with the Boston University Center for Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy to examine the long-term effects of repetitive head injury using magnetic resonance spectroscopy. He has co-authored more than three dozen peer-reviewed publications, five book chapters, and 75+ conference abstracts.

Finally, Dr. Alexander Lin has also been recognized through awards and media reports for his efforts in supporting mentorship, particularly of students of diversity through the laboratory’s involvement in the Student Success Jobs Program and Harvard Catalyst summer research studies. He actively mentors Harvard Medical School students and received a Young Mentor Award from Harvard Medical School. Further, he is involved in education and training in several international workshops for MR spectroscopy.


  • BWH Biomedical Research Institute Clinical Research Excellence Award (2011)
  • Partners in Excellence Team Award (2011)
  • Harvard Medical School Excellence in Mentoring Award (2014)

James Balschi, PhD

Dr. Balschi is the director of the Physiological NMR Core Laboratory in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is an Associate editor of Circulation.

Jim completed his PhD in Chemistry at SUNY Stony Brook. He began at Harvard Medical School as Technical Director of the HMS NMR Laboratory and, a post-doctoral associate in myocardial metabolism. After which he was a faculty member at the Center for Nuclear Imaging Research at the University of Alabama Birmingham. He has been in BWH Cardiology since 1998.

Dr. Balschi has developed and applied novel NMR tools, e.g., shift reagents for cations, magnetization transfer measurements, as well as, 1H and 23Na MR relaxography, to address biomedical questions. He has extensive experience in the use of multinuclear MRS to the study cellular energetics, oxygen consumption, and metabolism. He has been an integral part of the Center for Clinical Spectroscopy efforts to develop 31P MRS of exercising skeletal muscle at BWH.

Brian D. Ross, DPhil (Oxon), FRCS

Brian D. Ross earned his D.Phil. degree in biochemistry at Trinity College, University of Oxford with Sir Hans Krebs, and MD at University College Hospital in London and University of Southern California. He is an accredited surgeon, pathologist, radiologist, and neurologist. Introduced to NMR by Ray Freeman and Sir Rex Richards, Dr. Ross has been a pioneer in developing clinical magnetic resonance spectroscopy, conducting his first MRS studies with Sir George Radda in Oxford in 1981.

He has authored more than 200 publications and instituted the first comprehensive clinical MRS service in the United States at Huntington Medical Research Institutes where he was director from 1988 to 2014. He was awarded a Gold Medal by the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine in 1995 in recognition of his work in this field. He has also trained hundreds of physicians, scientists, and technologists in the acquisition and interpretation of data in this essential diagnostic technique. He is currently a visiting associate at the California Institute of Technology and lecturer at Harvard Medical School.

Benjamin Rowland, DPhil (Oxon)

Dr Rowland received his D.Phil. in quantum physics at Worcester College, University of Oxford, where he was also a tutor in mathematical methods. He then transitioned to MR spectroscopy as an Experienced Researcher in the prestigious Marie Curie fellowship program, investigating pioneering radiotherapy techniques for treating brain tumors at the Institut Claudius Regaud, Toulouse. Ben is a recent addition to the Center for Clinical Spectroscopy, working as an MR physicist with the primary role of developing new processing methods for data analysis.

Huijun "Vicky" Liao, BS

Huijun "Vicky" Liao joined the Center for Clinical Spectroscopy in May 2012 as a clinical research study coordinator. She graduated from Boston University with a degree in Human Physiology. She has more than two years’ experience in clinical spectroscopy and continues receiving professional training using MR spectroscopy in the clinic and for research. She helps coordinate the study of mild traumatic brain injury both in sports related concussion and military blast injury. She also assists with studies in brain cancer, multiple sclerosis, and schizophrenia. In addition to neurospectroscopy, she is involved in MRS studies of the liver and leg muscle, including multinuclear 31P spectroscopy.

Joshua Ladner, BS

Josh is a research trainee at the Center for Clinical Spectroscopy. He is directly involved with the DOD funded research using MR spectroscopy to differentiate mild traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2006 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. His honors included the Superintendent’s List and the Brigadier General Clifton Carrol Carter Memorial Award for Excellence in Mechanical Engineering. Josh served two tours of duty in Iraq and one in Afghanistan with the 3rd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division; he was awarded three Bronze Stars for his service. Josh is currently a first year student at Harvard Medical School, and will serve as a physician in the US Army upon graduation.

Xi ‘April’ Long, MD

Xi Long is a clinical radiologist from Department of Radiology at Union Hospital in Wuhan. Dr. Long completed her master degree and is a PhD candidate in Radiology at Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, P.R. China. She is a visiting fellow at the Center for Clinical Spectroscopy of Radiology department at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, under the supervision of Dr. Alexander P. Lin. She studies 2-hydroxyglutarate detection by magnetic resonance spectroscopy in patients with brain tumors.

Praveen "Dev" Merugumala, BS

Dev Merugumala is a research trainee at the Center for Clinical Spectroscopy. He is a graduate of Baylor University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He was recently accepted by the Texas Tech University School of Medicine program and will be attending medical school in June.

Fatah Adan

Fatah Adan is a senior at New Mission High School and a research assistant through the BWH Student Success Jobs Program. He plays an important role at the Center for Clinical Spectroscopy by assisting with data processing of spectroscopy data including our brain injury studies. He will be attending Harvard University in September.

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