Assistant Professor

Angus Lau

PhD, University of Toronto

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Odette Cancer Centre, M7-600, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario Canada M4N 3M5
Research Interests
Biomedical Imaging, Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy, Data Science and Computational Biology, Image-Guided Therapy and Device Development

At A Glance

  • Our lab focuses on MRI-guided radiation therapy, metabolic imaging, pulse sequence design, and MR image reconstruction techniques.
  • We are developing methods for an innovative treatment device called the MR-Linac, which integrates non-invasive MRI with external beam radiation therapy.
  • We collaborate extensively with other labs, clinicians, and clinician scientists.

Short Bio

Angus Lau is a Scientist at Sunnybrook Research Institute and the Odette Cancer Centre, and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. From 2013 to 2016, Dr. Lau was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine in the laboratories of Profs. Damian Tyler and Matt Robson. Dr. Lau earned a Ph.D. degree in Medical Biophysics from the University of Toronto. Before that, Dr. Lau earned an undergraduate biophysics degree at UBC.

Dr. Lau’s areas of research interests include MRI-guided radiation therapy, metabolic imaging, pulse sequence design, and MR image reconstruction techniques.

Research Synopsis

Our laboratory focuses on developing new MRI technologies to revolutionize how radiation treatment is delivered in the clinic. We are developing techniques for an advanced image-guided radiotherapy platform called the MR-Linac, which integrates an external-beam linear accelerator with a diagnostic 1.5T MRI scanner. This innovative device enables delivery of external beam radiation while the patient is within the MRI environment, which provides exquisite soft-tissue contrast noninvasively at treatment time.

Treatment response monitoring. Early changes in tumour size may not stabilize until several weeks or months following treatment. Repeated MRI contrast injection also carries known risks. We are investigating MR methods which can identify changes in the tumour microenvironment. Our aim is to enable daily imaging with the MR-Linac for improved tumour delineation, and to identify early responders to therapy.

Beam-on imaging for adaptive radiotherapy. The MR-Linac provides a unique opportunity to track the motion of both tumour target and nearby organs-at-risk, whilst radiation is delivered. These tissues of interest can move significantly during a single fraction of radiation due to unavoidable physiological motions (e.g. respiratory, cardiac, swallowing, or bowel motion). We are developing methods to image the treatment volume with high spatiotemporal resolution.

Recent Publications

  • Lau AZ, Miller JJ, Tyler DJ. Mapping of intracellular pH in the in vivo rodent heart using hyperpolarized [1-13C]pyruvate. Magn Reson Med. 2016 May 13. doi:10.1002/mrm.26260.
  • Lau AZ, Miller JJ, Robson MD, Tyler DJ. Simultaneous assessment of cardiac metabolism and perfusion using copolarized [1-13C]pyruvate and 13C-urea. Magn Reson Med. 2016 Jan 7. doi: 10.1002/mrm.26106.
  • Lau AZ, Miller JJ, Robson MD, Tyler DJ. Cardiac perfusion imaging using hyperpolarized 13C urea using flow sensitizing gradients. Magn Reson Med. 2016 Apr;75(4):1474-83. doi: 10.1002/mrm.25713.
  • Lau AZ, Tunnicliffe EM, Frost R, Koopmans PJ, Tyler DJ, Robson MD. Accelerated human cardiac diffusion tensor imaging using simultaneous multislice imaging. Magn Reson Med. 2015 Mar;73(3):995-1004. doi: 10.1002/mrm.25200.
  • Lau AZ, Chen AP, Gu Y, Ladouceur-Wodzak M, Nayak KS, Cunningham CH. Noninvasive identification and assessment of functional brown adipose tissue in rodents using hyperpolarized 13C imaging. Int J Obes (Lond). 2014 Jan;38(1):126-31. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2013.58.
  • Lau AZ, Chen AP, Hurd RE, Cunningham CH. Spectral-spatial excitation for rapid imaging of DNP compounds. NMR Biomed. 2011 Oct;24(8):988-96. doi: 10.1002/nbm.1743.
  • Lau AZ, Chen AP, Ghugre NR, Ramanan V, Lam WW, Connelly KA, Wright GA, Cunningham CH. Rapid multislice imaging of hyperpolarized 13C pyruvate and bicarbonate in the heart. Magn Reson Med. 2010 Nov;64(5):1323-31. doi: 10.1002/mrm.22525.

View Dr. Lau's profile on Google Scholar.

Graduate Students

Matt Hemsley
Liam Lawrence