Secondary Appointments

Biomedical Engineering


  • Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, 2005
  • M.S. Chemical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, 1999
  • B.S. Chemical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, 1992

Research Summary

Childhood and adult obesity is one of the leading causes for the rapid, recent world-wide increase in chronic diseases such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and type II diabetes (T2D). It is now estimated that 1/3rd of all adults in the U.S. have early-stage NAFLD with children now also being diagnosed with advanced disease. Without proper treatment and patient management, these widespread, chronic diseases can progress to lethal end-stage disease such as liver cancer (Hepatocellular Carcinoma) and renal failure (end-stage diabetic nephropathy). Unfortunately, the only accurate tool currently available for physicians to monitor disease progression is biopsy which is invasive and practically useless for longitudinal assessments of these chronic diseases, especially in children.

The overall goal of Dr. Flask’s laboratory is to develop quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging techniques as noninvasive imaging biomarkers of disease progression in these chronic diseases. Through both preclinical and clinical MRI capabilities within the Case Center for Imaging Research as well as both basic science and clinical collaborators, Dr. Flask’s lab has the unique opportunity to develop and rigorously validate these imaging biomarkers in animal models and then immediately translate these techniques for clinical use. Specific technical developments by Dr. Flask are robust MRI acquisitions to assess cellular and phsysiologic effects of disease on molecular diffusion, chemical exchange processes, and inflammation. In addition to enhancing the development of therapeutic strategies, the successful development of these imaging biomarkers will identify patients at risk for advanced disease at an early time point where treatments may be effective. This same approach is currently being applied to Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease and Sickle Cell Kidney Disease where therapies are either extremely limited or non-existent.

Awards and Honors

Member – ISMRM Annual Program Committee
External Advisory Board: Ohio State University Small Animal Imaging Center
Co-Author for 2005 AHA Young Investigator Award
Invited Representative to Meeting of Nobel Laureates – 2003.
Biomedical Engineering Student Teaching Award – 2001
Case Prime Fellowship – 1999
Robert J. Adler Award in Chemical Engineering – 1992


Johnson DH, Narayan S, Wilson DL, Flask CA, Body Composition Analysis of Obesity and Hepatic Steatosis in Mice by Relaxation Compensated Fat Fraction (RCFF) MRI. JMRI Submitted Apr 2011.

Lu L, Gulani V, Sedor JR, Schelling JR, O’Brien A, Flask CA, Dell KM, Renal Diffusion Tensor Imaging: A Potential MRI Marker of Diabetic Nephropathy. AJN, submitted Apr 2011.

Liao X, Sharma N, Kapadia F, Zhou G, Lu Y, Mahabaleshwar GH, Dalmas E, Venteclef N, Flask CA, Kim J, Doreian BW, Lu KQ, Kaestner KH, Hamik A, Clément K, Jain MK, Myeloid Krüppel-like factor 4 regulates macrophage polarization. JCI, submitted March 2011.

Fan W, Tang Z, Yin L, Morrison B, Hafez-Khayyata S, Fu P, Huang H, Bagai R, Jiang S, Kresak A, Howell S, Vasanji A, Flask CA, Halmos B, Koon H, Ma PC. MET-Independent early resistant lung tumor survivor cells evading EGFR kinase inhibitors are therapeutically susceptible to BCL-2 homology domain 3(BH3)-mimetic. Cancer Research, Submitted Feb 2011.

Sheth VR, Li Y, Chen LQ, Howison CM, Flask CA, Pagel MD. Measuring in vivo tumor pHe with CEST-FISP MRI. Magn. Res. Med. Submitted Apr 2011.

Wang W, Barakat N, Costa DB, Kobayashi S, Muzic R, Erowku B, Flask C, Koon H. The mTor Complex 1 Mediates Transformation in EML4-ALK Lung Cancer. Clinical Cancer Research, Submitted Aug 2010.

Narayan S, Huang F, Johnson D, Gargesha M, Flask CA, Zhang GQ, Wilson DL. Fast Lipid And Water Levels by Extraction with Spatial Smoothing (FLAWLESS): 3-D Volume Fat/Water Separation at 7T. JMRI In press (Jan 2011).

Moise AR, Lobo GP, Erokwu B, Wilson DL, Peck D, Alvarez S, Domínguez M, Alvarez R, Flask CA, de Lera AR, von Lintig J, Palczewski K. Increased adiposity in the retinol saturase-knockout mouse. FASEB J. 2010 Apr;24(4):1261-70. PMID: 19940255.

Johnson DH, Narayan S, Flask CA, Wilson DL. Improved fat-water reconstruction algorithm with graphics hardware acceleration. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2010 Feb;31(2):457-65. PMID: 20099358.

Sandhu GS, Solorio L, Broome AM, Salem N, Kolthammer J, Shah T, Flask C, Duerk JL. Whole animal imaging. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Syst Biol Med. 2010 Jul-Aug;2(4):398-421. Review. PMID: 20836038.

Shah T, Lu L, Dell KM, Pagel MD, Griswold MA, Flask CA. CEST-FISP: a novel technique for rapid chemical exchange saturation transfer MRI at 7T. Magn Reson Med. 2011 Feb;65(2):432-7. PMID:

Wu C, Wang C, Popescu DC, Zhu W, Somoza EA, Zhu J, Condie AG, Flask CA, Miller RH, Macklin W, Wang Y. A novel PET marker for in vivo quantification of myelination. Bioorg Med Chem. 2010 Dec 15;18(24):8592-9. PMID: 21071233.

Shokouhimehr M, Soehnlen ES, Hao J, Griswold M, Flask CA, Fan X, Basilion JP, Basu S, Huang SD, Prussian Blue Nanoparticles for Cellular Imaging: Towards A New Generation of T1-Weighted MRI Contrast Agents, Materials Chemistry, December 2009, in press.

Jain TK, Foy SP, Erokwu B, Dimitrijevic S, Flask CA, Labhasetwar V. Magnetic resonance imaging of multifunctional pluronic stabilized iron-oxide nanoparticles in tumor-bearing mice. Biomaterials. 2009 Dec;30(35):6748-56. Epub 2009 Sep 17. PMID: 19765817.

Ali MM, Liu G, Shah T, Flask CA, Pagel MD. Using two chemical exchange saturation transfer magnetic resonance imaging contrast agents for molecular imaging studies. Acc Chem Res. 2009 Jul 21;42(7):915-24.

LaManna JC, Salem N, Puchowicz M, Erokwu B, Koppaka S, Flask C, Lee Z. Ketones suppress brain glucose consumption. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2009;645:301-6.PMID: 19227486

Johnson DH, Flask CA, Ernsberger PR, Wong CK, Wilson DL. Reproducible MRI Measurement of Adipose Tissue Volumes in Genetic and Dietary Rodent Obesity Models. J. Magn Reson Imaging. 2008 Oct;28(4):915-27. PMID: 18821617

Jain TK, Richey J, Strans M, Leslie-Pelecky DL, Flask CA, Labhasetwar V. Magnetic nanoparticles with dual functional properties: drug delivery and magnetic resonance imaging. Biomaterials. 2008 Oct;29(29):4012-21. PMID: 18649936

Tang Z, Du R, Jiang S, Wu C, Barkauskas DS, Richey J, Molter J, Lam M, Flask C, Gerson S, Dowlati A, Liu L, Lee Z, Halmos B, Wang Y, Kern JA, Ma PC. Dual MET-EGFR combinatorial inhibition against T790M-EGFR-mediated erlotinib-resistant lung cancer. Br J Cancer, 2008, Aug 26, PMID: 18728650.

Lee UJ, Gustilo-Ashby AM, Daneshgari F, Kuang M, Vurbic D, Lin DL, Flask CA, Li T, Damaser MS.
Lower urogenital tract anatomical and functional phenotype in lysyl oxidase like-1 knockout mice resembles female pelvic floor dysfunction in humans. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2008 Aug;295(2):F545-55. PMID: 18495804

Shukla S, MacLennan GT, Flask CA, Fu P, Resnick MI, Gupta S. Blockade of beta-catenin signaling by plant flavonoid apigenin suppresses prostate carcinogenesis in TRAMP mice. Cancer Research, 2007 Jul 15;67(14):6925-35. PMID: 17520723

Lin HY, Flask CA, Lewin JS, Duerk JL. Rapid Dark-Blood Carotid Vessel-wall Imaging with Random Bipolar Gradients in a Radial SSFP Acquisition. JMRI, 2007 Jun;25(6):1299-304. PMID: 17520723

Jeyaraj D, Wilson LD, Zhong J, Flask C, Saffitz JE, Deschênes I, Yu X, Rosenbaum DS. Mechanoelectrical feedback as novel mechanism of cardiac electrical remodeling. Circulation. 2007 Jun 26;115(25):3145-55. PMID: 17562957

Lin HY, Dale BM, Flask CA, Duerk JL. Blood attenuation with SSFP-compatible saturation (BASS). J Magn Reson Imaging. 2006 Sep;24(3):701-7. PMID: 16892190

Fei B, Wang H, Muzic RF Jr, Flask C, Wilson DL, Duerk JL, Feyes DK, Oleinick NL. Deformable and rigid registration of MRI and microPET images for photodynamic therapy of cancer in mice. Med Phys. 2006 Mar;33(3):753-60. PMID: 16878577

Milliken EL, Zhang X, Flask C, Duerk JL, MacDonald PN, Keri RA. EB1089, a vitamin D receptor agonist, reduces proliferation and decreases tumor growth rate in a mouse model of hormone-induced mammary cancer. Cancer Lett. 2005 Nov 18;229(2):205-15. PMID: 16115727

Shillingford JM, Murcia NS, Larson CH, Low SH, Hedgepeth R, Brown N, Flask CA, Novick AC, Goldfarb DA, Kramer-Zucker A, Walz G, Piontek KB, Germino GG, Weimbs T. The mTOR pathway is regulated by polycystin-1, and its inhibition reverses renal cystogenesis in polycystic kidney disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Apr 4;103(14):5466-71. PMID: 16567633

Hwang K-P, Flask CA, Lewin JS, Duerk JL, "Selective missing pulse steady state free precession (MP-SSFP): inner volume and chemical shift selective imaging in a steady state sequence", J. Magn. Reson. Imag., 19:124-132, 2004. PMID: 14696229.

Flask CA, Dale BM, Lewin JS, Duerk JL, "Radial Alternating TE Sequence for Faster Fat Suppression", Magn. Reson. Med. , 50: 1095-1099. PMID: 14587021.

Flask CA, Salem K, Moriguchi H,, "Keyhole Dixon Method for Faster Fat Suppression With Perceptual Equivalence", J. Magn. Reson. Imag., 18:103-112, 2003. PMID: 12815645.

Flask C, Elgort D, Wong E, Shankaranarayanan A, Lewin J, Wendt M, Duerk JL, "A Method for Fast 3D Tracking Using Tuned Fiducial Markers and a Limited Projection Reconstruction FISP (LPR-FISP) Sequence", J. Magn. Reson. Imag., 14, 617-627, 2001. PMID: 11747015.


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