Greg Metzger, PhD

Dr. Metzger received his B.S. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992 and his Ph.D. from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Minnesota in 1997. His graduate research, conducted under the mentorship of Dr. Xiaoping Hu, focused on novel magnetic resonance chemical shift imaging techniques. After his graduate studies, Dr. Metzger accepted a position with Philips Medical Systems as a clinical scientist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. In this position, he expanded his knowledge in clinical research with specific work on breast, kidney, cardiac and brain MRI applications. In his final two years of his eight year tenure with Philips, he worked at NIH as a senior clinical scientist focusing on diagnostic prostate imaging and MRI guided prostate interventions. With a desire to return to academia, he accepted a position at the University of Minnesota in 2005 with a joint appointment in the departments of Radiology and Urologic Surgery.


PhD, University of Minnesota, 1997

BS, University of Pennsylvania, 1992

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Research Summary/Interests

  • Prostate Cancer
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Ultra-high field MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) represents a promising method to determine the clinical significance of prostate cancer. Most men diagnosed with prostate cancer have small tumors with low inherent biological propensity for invasive growth and metastasis. These patients may be best treated through observation, or limited therapies. To the contrary, some patients have extensive, biologically aggressive tumors best treated by prostatectomy. Unfortunately, current diagnostics methods, short of pathologic examination of prostatectomy specimens, cannot reliably determine disease extent (volume and spread outside the prostate) and biological aggressiveness.

Dr. Metzger’s lab is investigating the potential of magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy to non-invasively determine the extent and aggressiveness of prostate cancer in clinical studies. This information would be used to improve diagnosis and staging, target therapy and monitor treatment. Initial research objectives involve the development of a multi-parametric statistical model to non-invasively determine cancer probability maps based on anatomic and functional 3 Tesla MRI data. This statistical model will use registered pathology sections as a gold standard of tumor extent and co-localized molecular studies as a gold standard of aggressiveness. A second major focus of Dr. Metzger’s lab involves the development of novel RF coils and imaging methods necessary to make prostate imaging at ultra-high magnetic fields feasible. The increased spatial and spectral resolution of an optimized 7 Tesla prostate imaging platform will improve the ability to track small changes in prostate cancer biomarkers facilitating the study of local disease progression and treatment response.


  • Metzger GJ, Auerbach EJ, Akgun C, Simonson J, Bi X, Ugurbil K, van de Moortele PF. Dynamically applied B1+ shimming solutions for non-contrast enhanced renal angiography at 7.0 Tesla. Magn Reson Med 2013;69(1):114-126.
  • Li X, Metzger GJ. Feasibility of measuring prostate perfusion with arterial spin labeling. NMR Biomed 2013;26(1):51-57.
  • Suttie JJ, Delabarre L, Pitcher A, van de Moortele PF, Dass S, Snyder CJ, Francis JM, Metzger GJ, Weale P, Ugurbil K, Neubauer S, Robson M, Vaughan T. 7 Tesla (T) human cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging using FLASH and SSFP to assess cardiac function: validation against 1.5 T and 3 T. NMR Biomed 2012;25(1):27-34.
  • Snyder CJ, Delabarre L, Moeller S, Tian J, Akgun C, Van de Moortele PF, Bolan PJ, Ugurbil K, Vaughan JT, Metzger GJ. Comparison between eight- and sixteen-channel TEM transceive arrays for body imaging at 7 T. Magn Reson Med 2012;67(4):954-964.
  • Rizzardi AE, Johnson AT, Isaksson Vogel R, Pambuccian SE, Henriksen J, Skubitz AP, Metzger GJ, Schmechel SC. Quantitative comparison of immunohistochemical staining measured by digital image analysis versus pathologist visual scoring. Diagn Pathol 2012;7(1):42.
  • Metzger GJ, Dankbar SC, Henriksen J, Rizzardi AE, Rosener NK, Schmechel SC. Development of multigene expression signature maps at the protein level from digitized immunohistochemistry slides. Plos ONE 2012;7(3):e33520.
  • Metzger GJ, van de Moortele PF, Akgun C, Snyder CJ, Moeller S, Strupp J, Andersen P, Shrivastava D, Vaughan T, Ugurbil K, Adriany G. Performance of external and internal coil configurations for prostate investigations at 7 T. Magn Reson Med 2010;64(6):1625-1639.
  • Snyder CJ, DelaBarre L, Metzger GJ, van de Moortele PF, Akgun C, Ugurbil K, Vaughan JT. Initial results of cardiac imaging at 7 Tesla. Magn Reson Med 2009;61(3):517-524.
  • Singh AK, Krieger A, Lattouf JB, Guion P, Grubb RL, 3rd, Albert PS, Metzger G, Ullman K, Smith S, Fichtinger G, Ocak I, Choyke P, Menard C, Coleman J. Patient selection determines the prostate cancer yield of dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging-guided transrectal biopsies in a closed 3-Tesla scanner. BJU Int 2008;101(2):181-185.
  • Metzger GJ, Snyder C, Akgun C, Vaughan T, Ugurbil K, Van de Moortele PF. Local B1+ shimming for prostate imaging with transceiver arrays at 7T based on subject-dependent transmit phase measurements. Magn Reson Med 2008;59(2):396-409.
  • Ocak I, Bernardo M, Metzger G, Barrett T, Pinto P, Albert PS, Choyke PL. Dynamic contrast- enhanced MRI of prostate cancer at 3 T: a study of pharmacokinetic parameters. AJR Am J Roentgenol 2007;189(4):849.