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SRI profiles

Colleen Bailey


Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Ave., Room M6 605
Toronto, ON
M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-6100 ext. 61018

Administrative Assistant: Razia Haidar
Phone: 416-480-6100 ext. 64619


  • B.Sc., 2005, biophysics (co-op), University of Guelph, Canada
  • PhD, 2012, medical biophysics, University of Toronto, Canada
  • Postdoctoral fellowship, 2017, medical physics, University College, London, U.K.

Appointments and Affiliations:

Research Foci:

  • MRI biomarkers of cancer therapy response
  • Mathematical modelling of biological systems
  • Diffusion MRI; relaxation and water exchange; chemical exchange saturation transfer, or CEST

Research Summary:

The focus of Dr. Bailey’s research is the development of noninvasive MRI methods to monitor the efficacy of radiation treatment in cancer. This work includes the adaptation of conventional dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI to measure water exchange across the cell membrane, a feature related to permeability changes during cell death. The water exchange parameter distinguishes brain metastases that respond to radiotherapy from those that do not one week post-treatment, thereby allowing therapies to be adapted.

Dr. Bailey has also explored mathematical models to describe diffusion MRI signal in terms of vascular, cellular and extracellular components. The aim is to characterize tumours with more biologically relevant parameters and improve diffusion-based MRI biomarkers. This work has been used to characterize prostate and breast cancers as well as bone metastases. It includes histological validation using patient-specific 3-D-printed molds and image registration.

Furthermore, Dr. Bailey’s work has involved magnetization transfer studies of apoptotic cell death and the combination of MRI features with other modalities, such as microbubble ultrasound. The magnetic resonance linear accelerator at Sunnybrook, which integrates a linear accelerator for cancer treatment with a 1.5 T MRI for treatment planning and monitoring, provides new opportunities for monitoring treatment response with MRI.

Selected Publications:

See current publications list at PubMed.

  1. Bourne RM, Bailey C, Johnston EW, Pye H, Heavey S, Whitaker H, Siow B, Freeman A, Shaw GL, Sridhar A, Mertzanidou T, Hawkes DJ, Alexander DC, Punwani S, Panagiotaki E. Apparatus for histological validation of in vivo and ex vivo magnetic resonance imaging of the human prostate. Front Oncol. 2017 Mar 24;7:47. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2017.00047.
  2. Mehrabian H, Desmond KL, Chavez S, Bailey C, Rola R, Sahgal A, Czarnota GJ, Soliman H, Martel AL, Stanisz GJ. Water exchange rate constant as a biomarker of treatment efficacy in patients with brain metastases undergoing stereotactic radiosurgery. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2017 May 1;98(1):47-55. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2017.01.016.
  3. Bailey C, Siow B, Panagiotaki E, Hipwell JH, Mertzanidou T, Owen J, Gazinska P, Pinder SE, Alexander DC, Hawkes DJ. Microstructural models for diffusion MRI in breast cancer and surrounding stroma: an ex vivo study. NMR Biomed. 2017 Feb;30(2). doi: 10.1002/nbm.3679.
  4. Bailey C, Moosvi F, Stanisz GJ. Mapping water exchange rates in rat tumor xenografts using the late-stage uptake following bolus injections of contrast agent. Magn Reson Med. 2014 May;71(5):1874–87. doi: 10.1002/mrm.24847.
  5. Bailey C, Desmond KL, Czarnota GJ, Stanisz GJ. Quantitative magnetization transfer studies of apoptotic cell death. Magn Reson Med. 2011 Jul;66(1):264–9. doi: 10.1002/mrm.22820.

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