F. M. Kirby Research Center for Functional Brain Imaging
At the Kennedy Krieger Institute

James J. Pekar, PhD

Manager and Research Coordinator
F. M. Kirby Research Center, Kennedy Krieger Institute
Research Scientist
Kennedy Krieger Institute
Associate Professor
Department of Radiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
James Pekar, PhD

The manager and research coordinator of the Kirby Center, Dr. James Pekar.

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Pekar completed his undergraduate degree in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and went on for a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1988. After fellowships at the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in Bethesda, Dr. Pekar served as an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Director of the Neurobiological Magnetic Resonance Laboratory at the Institute for Cognitive and Computational Sciences at Georgetown University Medical Center. Currently, Dr. Pekar serves as Manager and Research Coordinator of the F.M. Kirby Research Center for Functional Brain Imaging.

Research Summary

How do we see, hear, and think? More specifically, how can we study living people to understand how the brain sees, hears, and thinks? Recently, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a powerful anatomical imaging technique widely used for clinical diagnosis, was further developed into a tool for probing brain function. By sensitizing magnetic resonance images to the changes in blood oxygenation that occur when regions of the brain are highly active, we can make "movies" that reveal the brain at work. Dr. Pekar works on the development and application of this MRI technology.

Dr. Pekar is a biophysicist who uses a variety of magnetic resonance techniques to study brain physiology and function. Dr. Pekar serves as Manager of the F.M. Kirby Research Center for Functional Brain Imaging, a research resource where imaging scientists and neuroscientists collaborate to study brain function using unique state-of-the-art techniques in a safe comfortable environment, to further develop such techniques, and to provide training and education. Dr. Pekar works with center staff to serve the center's users and to keep the center on the leading edge of technology.

Contact Information

Office Address
The F. M. Kirby Research Center for Functional Brain Imaging
707 N. Broadway, Room G-25
Baltimore, MD 21205

Contact: Heather Mackey, 443-923-9500

Curriculum Vitae

  • Current Appointments
    • Associate Professor, Department of Radiology
      01/2002 to Present
      Assistant Professor, Department of Radiology: 01/1999 - 12/2001
      Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
    • Manager and Research Coordinator
      01/1999 to Present
      F. M. Kirby Research Center for Functional Brain Imaging
      Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
  • Education and Training
    • PhD, Biophysics
      12/1988
      University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
      Thesis: "Multiple-Quantum NMR Studies of 23-Na in Model and Biological Systems"
    • BS, Physics
      06/1981
      Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
      Thesis: "Proton-Neutron Transition Differences in Inelastic Proton Scattering from 18-O"
  • Professional Experience
    • Director, Neurobiological Magnetic Resonance Laboratory
      1995 - 1988
      Institute for Cognitive and Computational Sciences
      Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, D.C
    • Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology
      1995 - 1998
      Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, D.C.
    • Senior Staff Fellow, Laboratory of Diagnostic Radiology Research
      1992 - 1995
      National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
    • Senior Staff Fellow, Physical Chemistry Section
      1991 - 1992
      National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Bethesda, MD
    • National Research Council Associate, In Vivo NMR Research Center
      1988 - 1991
      National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

Publications

For a list of Dr. Pekar's most recent publications searched from the NIH's PubMed Database, please use this Search Link or to the frame below.