Erik M. Shapiro
Erik M. Shapiro graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry from SUNY Binghamton in 1995, with an emphasis on NMR. He then received a M.S. in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997, working with Dr. Stanley J. Opella. There he helped advance solid-state NMR techniques for determining the structure of large membrane proteins.
Erik then went on to earn his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 2001, working under Drs. John S. Leigh and Ravinder Reddy. His thesis project, entitled “Multi-nuclear Magnetic Resonance Methods for Evaluating Cartilage Degeneration” developed novel 1H and 23Na MRI for both research and clinical evaluations of early cartilage degeneration. For this work, Dr. Shapiro won the 2001 Young Investigator’s Award from the Osteoarthritis Research Society International.
Erik did a post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Alan P. Koretsky at the National Institutes of Health. There, he pioneered the use of micron sized iron oxide particles (MPIOs) for MRI-based cell tracking. He then used these particles to demonstrate for the first time that MRI can be robustly used to detect individual single cells, in vivo. For this work, Dr. Shapiro was one of two finalists for the 2005 ISMRM Young Investigator’s Award. Dr. Shapiro further pioneered the use of MRI to detect endogenous neural stem cell migration, where previously every other stem cell study was a transplant. This research garnered Erik a Fellow’s Award for Research Excellence from the National Institutes of Health.
Erik next spent six years as Assistant Professor of Diagnostic Radiology and Biomedical Engineering at Yale University School of Medicine. Major research efforts included biocompatible nanomaterials for MRI-based cell tracking and further development of the use of MRI to track neural stem cell migration in vivo. For these efforts, Erik was awarded an NIH Director’s New Innovator Award in 2008. Erik was also the recipient of the inaugural Yale University School of Medicine Clinical and Translational Scientist Award.
Now, Erik serves as Research Director for the Department of Radiology at Michigan State University. His research program continues to revolve around molecular and cellular MRI, particularly in the use of MRI to track specific cell populations. This includes cell transplants as well as immune cells. Furthermore, his lab emphasizes the fabrication of novel biocompatible nanomaterials for use in MRI investigations.