Samuel C. Grant, Ph.D.
Associate Professor & Graduate Program Coordinator
(850) 410-6158


  • B.S. (Hon.), Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1995
  • M.S., Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1998
  • Ph.D., Bioengineering, University of Illinois, Chicago, 2001

Research Interests

  • Magnetic Resonance Microscopy
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases
  • Muscular Degeneration
  • Bioengineered Constructs & Materials
  • High Field MRI Contrast Mechanisms & Agents
  • Single Cell Analysis – Diffusion, Spectroscopy & Osmoregulation

Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy are extremely powerful analytical methods that provide not only high information content but are non-invasive and non-destructive to the sample under analysis.

My research laboratory is focused on the development of high resolution techniques to investigate the biophysical origins of MR signals under a variety of perturbations. We utilize high magnetic fields to achieve high sensitivity and spatial/ spectral resolution on specimen ranging from single isolated neurons to fixed neurological tissues (brains and spinal cords) to in vivo animal models. Our close affiliation with the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory provides access to the highest magnetic fields in the world, including the one-of-a-kind ultrawide bore 21.1-T system for MR imaging and spectroscopy.

In particular, we employ high fields MR microscopy to examine neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and stroke. In collaboration with neurologists, clinicians and biologists, we make use of genetic, toxic and surgical models to identify biomarkers of disease progression that might have diagnostic or therapeutic value clinically. Furthermore, we evaluate potential treatments (e.g. stem cell and drug therapy) with MR techniques in order to judge their efficacy in restoring normal cellular function.

MR microscopy also lends itself to the study of biomaterials and bioartificial devices. Because it is non-destructive, MR techniques can be utilized to analyze engineered constructs during their in vitro development to map growth patterns and cell-material interactions. Following implantation, constructs can be monitored in vivo to assess immunoresponse, mechanical integrity and integration into existing bioprocesses. Throughout this continuum, MR microscopy provides information about the biomaterial substrate, cellular component and functionality of these engineered constructs.

To make the most of high field MR techniques in these evaluations, my laboratory is actively involved in MR sequence development, modeling of cellular compartmentalization & function and Radio Frequency coil design. In addition, we are interrogating new and emerging contrast mechanisms at high field. These efforts include endogenous (e.g. magnetic susceptibility and dipolar fields) and exogenous (e.g. nanoparticle agents and current density imaging) contrasts that may provide new insights into the biophysical changes that occur during pathology or regeneration.

Professional Affiliations and Qualifications

Professional Memberships


  • Certificate of Service, National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (2009).
  • Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Award to John Walsh: Sodium MRI of Isolated Neurons Under Perturbation, $4,000. Summer research stipend. Role: Mentor. (2009).
  • Bess H. Ward Honors Thesis Grant awarded to Aimee K. Howard: Characterization of Sarcopenic Skeletal Muscle using MR Imaging and Spectroscopy Techniques. Graduate award for research and travel. $1,000 award, Role: mentor. (2008).
  • Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Award to Aimee K. Howard: Characterization of Sarcopenic Skeletal Muscle using MR Imaging and Spectroscopy Techniques. Summer research stipend.$1,000, Role: mentor. (2008).
  • Bess H. Ward Honors Thesis Grant awarded to Timothy M. Gould: Diffusion Tensor Imaging of Neurodegeneration in Genetic and Environmental Models of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Graduate award for research and travel. $1,000, Role: mentor. (2008).
  • Bess H. Ward Honors Thesis Grant awarded to Jose A. Muniz: Analysis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Rodent Models. Graduate award for research and travel.$1,000, Role: mentor. (2007).
  • 2nd Place Poster Award: Other Applications and Techniques: "High Resolution Sodium Imaging of Isolated Neurons.", International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine: 15th Scientific Meeting and Exhibition (2007).
  • McDonnell-Douglas Scholar, 1991-1995, Boeing Inc (1995). ($10,000).
  • Flour-Daniels Corp. Engineering Scholarship, 1992-1995, Flour-Daniels Corp (1995).
  • University of Illinois James Scholar, 1991-1995, University of Illinois (1995).
  • Mars Engineering Exposition Scholarship, Mars, Inc (1993).
  • Electrical Manufacturing & Coil Winding Association Scholarship, Electrical Manufacturing & Coil Winding Association (1993).
  • Illinois Society of Professional Engineers Scholarship, Illinois Society of Professional Engineers (1991).


Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

  • A.G.Webb and S.C.Grant, J. Magn. Reson. Ser. B, 113: 83-7 (1996). "Signal-to-noise and magnetic susceptibility trade-offs in solenoidal microcoils for NMR."
  • S.C.Grant, H.D.Plant, S.Gibbs, N.R.Aiken, A.G.Webb, T.H.Mareci and S.J.Blackband, Magn. Reson. Med., 44: 19-22 (2000). "NMR Spectroscopy of Single Neurons."
  • S.C.Grant, L.A.Murphy, R.L.Magin and G.Friedman, IEEE Trans. Magn., 37(4): 2989-98 (2001). "Analysis of Multilayer RF Microcoils for NMR Spectroscopy."
  • S.C.Grant, D.L.Buckley, S.Gibbs, A.G. Webb, S.J.Blackband, Magn. Reson. Med., 46(6): 1007-12 (2001). "MR Microscopy of Multiple Component Water Diffusion in Isolated Single Neurons."
  • B.Beck, H.D.Plant, S.C.Grant, P.E.Thelwall, X.Silver, T.H.Mareci, H.Benveniste, M.Smith, C.Collins, S.Crozier, S.J.Blackband, MAGMA, 13(3): 152-7 (2002). "Progress in High Field MRI at the University of Florida."
  • P.E.Thelwall, S.C.Grant, S.J.Blackband, Magn. Reson. Med., 48: 649-57 (2002). "Human Erythrocyte Ghosts: Exploring the origins of multiexponential water diffusion in a model biological tissue with magnetic resonance."
  • N.E.Simpson, S.C.Grant, S.J.Blackband and I.Constantinidis, Biomaterials, 24: 4941-4948 (2003). "NMR Properties of Alginate Microbeads."
  • J.M.B.Wilson, M.S.Petrik, S.C.Grant, S.J.Blackband, J.Lai and C.A.Shaw, NeuroImage, 33: 336-343 (2004). "Quantitative Measurement of Neurodegeneration in an ALS-PDC Model Using MR Microscopy."
  • S.C.Grant, S.Celper, I.Gauffin-Holmberg, N.E.Simpson, S.J.Blackband and I.Constantinidis, J. Mater. Sci.: Mater. Med., 16: 511-14 (2005). "Alginate Assessment by NMR Microscopy."
  • R.Sadleir, S.C.Grant, S.U.Zhang, B.I.Lee, H.C.Pyo, S.H.Oh, C.Park, E.J.Woo, S.Y.Lee, O.Kwon and J.K.Seo, Physiol. Meas., 26: 875–84 (2005). "Noise analysis in magnetic resonance electrical impedance tomography at 3 and 11 T field strengths."
  • R.Fu, W.W.Brey, K.Shetty, P.Gor'kov, S.Saha, J.R.Long, S.C.Grant, E.Y.Chekmenev, J.Hu, Z.Gan, M.Sharma, F.Zhang, T.M.Logan, R.Bruschweller, A.Edison, A.Blue, I.R.Dixon, W.D.Markiewicz and T.A.Cross, J. Magn. Reson., 177(1): 1-8 (2005). "Ultra-wide bore 900MHz high-resolution NMR at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory."
  • Y.Ma, P.R.Hof, S.C.Grant, S.J.Blackband, R.Bennett, L.Slatest, M.D.McGuigan and H.Benveniste. Neuroscience, 135(4): 1203-15 (2005). "A three-dimensional digital atlas database of the adult C57BL/6J mouse brain by magnetic resonance microscopy."
  • J.P.Marques, S.C.Grant, S.J.Blackband and R.W.Bowtell, J. Chem. Phys., 123(16): 164311 (2005). "Intermolecular Multiple Quantum Coherences at High Magnetic Field: the Non-Linear Regime."
  • I.Constantinidis, N.E.Simpson, S.C.Grant, S.J.Blackband, R.C.Long Jr, A.Sambanis, Adv. Exp. Med. Biol., 585: 261-76 (2006). "Non-invasive monitoring of tissue engineered pancreatic constructs by NMR techniques."
  • N.E.Simpson, S.C.Grant, L.Gustavssond, V.M. Peltonen, S.J.Blackband and I.Constantinidis. Biomaterials, 27: 2577-2586 (2006). "Biochemical consequences of alginate encapsulation: A NMR study of insulin-secreting cells."
  • R.Sadleir, S.C.Grant, S.U.Zhang, S.H.Oh, B.I.Lee and E.J.Lee, Physiol. Meas., 27: S261-S270 (2006). "High Field MREIT: Setup and tissue phantom imaging at 11 T."
  • I.Constantinidis*, S.C.Grant*, S.Celper, I.Gauffin-Holmberg, K.Agering, J.A. Oca-Cossio, J.D.Bui, J.Flint, C.Hamaty, N.E. Simpson and S.J. Blackband, Biomaterials, 28(15): 2438-45 (2007). "Non-invasive evaluation of alginate/poly-L-lysine/alginate microcapsules by Magnetic Resonance Microscopy." * co-first authors
  • H.Benveniste, Y.Ma, J.Dhawan, A.Gifford, S.D.Smith, I.Feinstein, C.Du, S.C.Grant and P.R.Hof, NY Acad. Sci., 1097: 12-29 (2007). "Anatomical and Functional Phenotyping of Mice Models of Alzheimer's Disease by MR Microscopy."
  • M.S.Petrik, J.M.B.Wilson, S.C.Grant, S.J.Blackband, R.C.Tabata, X.Shan, C.Krieger and C.A.Shaw, NeuroMolecular Med., 9(3): 216-29 (2007). "Magnetic resonance microscopy and immunohistochemistry of the central nervous system of the mutant SOD murine model of ALS."
  • Constantinidis, I., Grant, S.C., Simpson, N.E., Oca-Cossio, J.A., Sweeney, C.A., Mao, H., Blackband, S.J., and Sambanis, A., "Use of Magnetic Nanoparticles to Monitor Alginate-Encapsulated βTC-tet Cells," Magn Reson Med, 61(2): 282-90 (2009).
  • Schweitzer, K.J., Foroutan, P., Dickson, D.W., Broderick, D.F., Klose, U., Berg, D., Wszolek, Z.K., & Grant, S.C. A novel approach to dementia: High resolution 1H MRI of the human hippocampus performed at 21.1 T. Neurology, 74(20), 1654-1654. (2010).
  • Schepkin, V.D., Brey, W.W., Gor'kov, P.L., & Grant, S.C. Initial in vivo rodent sodium and proton MR imaging at 21.1 T. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 28(3), 400-407. (2010).
  • Sadleir, R.J., Grant, S.C., & Woo, E. J. Can high-field MREIT be used to directly detect neural activity? Theoretical considerations. NeuroImage, 52(1), 205-216. (2010).
  • Rosenberg, J. T., Kogot, J. M., Lovingood, D. D., Strouse, G. F., & Grant, S. C. Intracellular Bimodal Nanoparticles Based on Quantum Dots for High-Field MRI at 21.1 T. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 64(3), 871-882. (2010).
  • Fujioka, S., Murray, M. E., Foroutan, P., Schweitzer, K. J., Dickson, D. W., Grant, S. C., & Wszolek, Z. K. Magnetic resonance imaging with 21.1T and pathological correlations – diffuse Lewy body disease. Rinsho Shinkeigaku, 51(8), 603-607. (2011).
  • Crowe, J. J., Grant, S. C., Logan, T. M., & Ma, T. A magnetic resonance-compatible perfusion bioreactor system for three-dimensional human mesenchymal stem cell construct development. Chemical Engineering Science, 66, 4138-4147. (2011).
  • Masad, I. S., & Grant, S. C. A Retunable Surface Coil for High Field 31P and 1H Magnetic Resonance Evaluation of the Living Mouse Leg. Physiological Measurement, 32(8), 1061-1081. (2011).
  • Rosenberg, J. T., Sachi-Kocher, A., Davidson, M., & Grant, S. C. (in press). Intracellular SPIO Labeling of Microglia: High Field Considerations and Limitations for MR Microscopy. Contrast Media and Molecular Imaging. (2011).

Book Chapters

  1. Constantinidis, I., Simpson, N. E., Grant, S. C., Blackband, S. J., Long Jr, R. C., & Sambanis, A. (2006). Chapter 18: Non-invasive Monitoring of Tissue-Engineered Pancreatic Constructs by NMR Techniques. In J. P. Fisher (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology: Tissue Engineering (ISBN-13: 978-0387-32664) (pp. 261-276). New York: Springer.
  2. G.A.Walter, S.Santra, B.Thattaliyath and S.C.Grant, Nanoparticles in Biomedical Imaging: Emerging Technologies and Applications, J.W.M. Bulte and M.M.J Modo (Eds.), Springer (2008) "Use of (Para)magnetic nanoparticles for labeling and tracking of stem cells and progenitors." ISBN-13: 978-0387720265.


  1. Grant, S.C. (2001). MR Microscopy and Localized Spectroscopy of Isolated Single Cells with RF Microcoils. (Doctoral Dissertation, University of Illinois, Chicago, 2001).
  2. Grant, S.C. (1998). Resolution and Signal-to-Noise Analysis of Solenoidal Microcoils for NMR Spectroscopy. (Masters Thesis, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1998).

Student Dissertations

  1. Foroutan, P., graduate. (2011). HIGH FIELD MAGNETIC RESONANCE ASSESSMENTS OF NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASE AT 21.1 T. PH.D. Florida State University, 2011.
  3. Rosenberg, J. T., graduate. (2011). INTRACELLULAR MRI CONTRAST AGENTS FOR HIGH MAGNETIC FIELDS. PH.D. Florida State University, 2011.