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SRI Profiles

NIlesh Ghugre
Nilesh Ghugre


Sunnybrook Research Institute,
2075 Bayview Ave, Room M7 510
Toronto, ON, M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-6100, ext. 85053
Fax: 416-480-5003

Senior Administrative Assistant (Research): Tasneem Dalal
Phone: 416-480-4975
Fax: 416-480-5003


  • B.E., 1999, electronics and telecommunications engineering, University of Pune, India
  • M.S., 2001, biomedical engineering, University of Southern California, U.S.
  • M.S., 2002, electrical engineering, University of Southern California, U.S.
  • PhD, 2008, biomedical engineering, University of Southern California, U.S.

Appointments and Affiliations:

Research Foci:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Imaging in cardiac regenerative medicine
  • Cardiac blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) imaging
  • Microvascular dysfunction in heart disease
  • Development of novel preclinical models of heart disease

Research Summary:

Acute myocardial infarction, known as a heart attack, occurs when blood supply to the heart muscle is interrupted. This can destroy the heart cells and severely compromise pumping action, resulting in progression toward heart failure. Dr. Ghugre’s research focus is to utilize advanced cardiac MRI biomarkers to characterize the post-infarct “remodeling” process and potentially identify and determine efficacy of novel therapeutic interventions to prevent heart failure. He is also involved in exploring novel experimental models that represent clinical manifestation of heart disease.

His lab is developing MRI tools to probe noninvasively cardiac pathophysiology parameters including viability, edema and inflammation, hemorrhage, perfusion, strain and microvascular integrity and function. Quantitative T1, T2 and T2-star MRI relaxation mechanisms form the basis for this in vivo tissue characterization, allowing for intra- and inter-subject comparisons. Another focus has been the in vivo assessment of microvascular dysfunction, including abnormal blood flow and perfusion reserve in patients with diabetes or severe infarction. This assessment is done using cardiac blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) imaging and arterial spin-label imaging.

His lab is also advancing image-guidance technologies for cardiac regenerative medicine. Given that the human heart lacks regenerative capacity, stem cell-based therapies are a revolutionary means to repopulate lost cells in scar tissue and regain lost contractile function. The lab aims to develop MRI-based technologies that will facilitate minimally invasive and accurate cell delivery to the infarct scar, and image cell fate, tissue response and outcomes, all within the same framework.

Well-designed preclinical studies in association with new imaging biomarkers could act as a precursor to clinical trials to interrogate emerging drug candidates and regenerative therapies for heart failure.

Selected Publications:

See current publications list at PubMed.

  1. Ghugre NR, Pop M, Thomas R, Newbigging S, Qi X, Barry J, Strauss BH, Wright GA. Hemorrhage promotes inflammation and myocardial damage following acute myocardial infarction: Insights from a novel preclinical model and cardiovascular magnetic resonance. J. Cardiovasc. Magn. Reson. 2017 Jul 4;19:50.
  2. Roifman I, Ghugre NR, Zia MI, Farkouh ME, Zavodni A, Wright GA, Connelly KA. Diabetes is an independent predictor of right ventricular dysfunction post ST-elevation myocardial infarction. Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2016 Feb 18;15(1):34.
  3. Ghugre NR, Pop M, Barry J, Connelly KA, Wright GA. Quantitative magnetic resonance imaging can distinguish remodeling mechanisms after acute myocardial infarction based on the severity of ischemic insult. Magn Reson Med. 2013 Oct;70(4):1095–1105.
  4. Zia MI, Ghugre NR, Connelly KA, Strauss BH, Dick AJ, Wright GA. Characterizing myocardial edema and hemorrhage using quantitative T2 and T2* mapping at multiple time intervals post ST elevation myocardial infarction. Circ Cardiovasc Imaging. 2012 Sep 1;5(5):566–72.
  5. Ghugre NR, Ramanan V, Pop M, Yang Y, Barry J, Qiang B, Connelly K, Dick AJ, Wright GA. Myocardial BOLD imaging at 3T using quantitative T2: Application in a myocardial infarct model. Magn Reson Med. 2011 Dec;66(6):1739–47.
  6. Ghugre NR, Ramanan V, Pop M, Yang Y, Barry J, Qiang B, Connelly K, Dick AJ, Wright GA. Quantitative tracking of edema, hemorrhage and microvascular obstruction in sub-acute myocardial infarction in a porcine model by MRI. Magn Reson Med. 2011 Oct;66(4):1129–41.

Related News and Stories:

  • Pioneering science rewarded: Canada Foundation for Innovation invests in image-guided therapeutics research (Oct. 12, 2017)
  • Poster competition turns on the heat: Summer students showcase diverse research projects at the 2015 Best Summer Research Project competition hosted by SRI (Aug. 26, 2015)
  • Sunnybrook Schulich Heart Research Program featured by ISMRM TV 2015 (June 18, 2015)
  • Bleeding heart: Redefining hemorrhage as a major contributor to reperfusion injury opens up new avenues for treatment (SRI Magazine, 2015)
  • A scar runs through it: Scars tell stories of battles fought and won. For many people, they are a source of pride, but when it comes to the heart, these scars are often a harbinger of troubles to come (SRI Magazine, 2015)
  • Researchers get some hearty funding: Five scientists at Sunnybrook Research Institute received grants-in-aid from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario through its September 2011 competition (Nexus, Spring/Summer 2012)

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