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Peter J. Niedbalski, Ph.D.

Professional Background

Dr. Peter Niedbalski is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center. During the course of his career, Dr. Niedbalski has transitioned from basic-science research in physical chemistry to translational magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Dr. Niedbalski received his Ph.D. in Physics from The University of Texas at Dallas, where he researched mechanisms of 13C dynamic nuclear polarization. From there, he completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Center for Pulmonary Imaging Research at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. During this post-doc, he developed new methods of quantifying lung structure and function using hyperpolarized 129Xe MRI. Building on this work, he came to the University of Kansas Medical Center to begin a hyperpolarized 129Xe MRI research program.

Education and Training
  • BS, Physics/Mathematics, Benedictine College, Atchison, KS
  • MS, Physics, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX
  • PhD, Physics, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX
  • Post Doctoral Fellowship, Pulmonary Imaging, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH
Professional Affiliations
  • International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, Hyperpolarized Media Study Group, Secretary, 2023 - 2024
  • American Thoracic Society, PhD and Basic Scientist Working Group, Member, 2022 - 2023
  • American Heart Association, Member, 2021 - Present
  • American Thoracic Society, Respiratory Structure and Function Programming Committee, Member, 2021 - 2022
  • American Thoracic Society, Early Career Professionals Working Group, Member, 2021 - Present
  • Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute, Member, 2021 - Present
  • American Thoracic Society, Member, 2018 - Present



I am a Research Assistant Professor in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine. My research is centered on pulmonary MRI using hyperpolarized 129Xe. Xenon is an inert gas that can be made visible to MRI using a process known as hyperpolarization. Once hyperpolarized, xenon can be inhaled and imaged, providing images of regional pulmonary function. Specifically, 129Xe MRI can be used to quantify ventilation, pulmonary microstructure dimensions, and pulmonary gas exchange non-invasively and with no ionizing radiation.

I am interested both in the development of new imaging methods and in using current methods for the characterization and monitoring of pulmonary disease. In particular, I am interested in developing imaging and analysis methods than can provide improved quantitative biomarkers of pulmonary function. These biomarkers can then be used to better understand the pathophysiology, progression, and treatment of diseases including asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, and many others.

Current Research and Grants
  • Developing Hyperpolarized 129Xe MRI biomarkers for Evaluation of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, American Heart Association, PI
  • MRI for Screening and Monitoring Systemic Sclerosis Interstitial Lung Disease, Scleroderma Foundation, PI
  • Niedbalski, Peter., J., Bier, Elianna., A., Wang, Ziyi, Willmering, Matthew., M., Driehuys, Bastiaan, Cleveland, Zackary., I.. 2020. Mapping cardiopulmonary dynamics within the microvasculature of the lungs using dissolved Xe-129 MRI. JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSIOLOGY, 129 (2), 218-229
  • Niedbalski, Peter., J., Willmering, Matthew., M., Robertson, Scott., H., Freeman, Matthew., S., Loew, Wolfgang, Giaquinto, Randy., O., Ireland, Christopher, Pratt, Ronald., G., Dumoulin, Charles., L., Woods, Jason., C., Cleveland, Zackary., I.. 2019. Mapping and correcting hyperpolarized magnetization decay with radial keyhole imaging. MAGNETIC RESONANCE IN MEDICINE, 82 (1), 367-376
  • Niedbalski, Peter., J., Cochran, Alexander., S., Akinyi, Teckla., G., Thomen, Robert., P., Fugate, Elizabeth., M., Lindquist, Diana., M., Pratt, Ronald., G., Cleveland, Zackary., I.. 2020. Preclinical hyperpolarized Xe-129 MRI: ventilation and T-2* mapping in mouse lungs at 7 T using multi-echo flyback UTE. NMR IN BIOMEDICINE, 33 (7)
  • Niedbalski, Peter, Kiswandhi, Andhika, Parish, Christopher, Wang, Qing, Khashami, Fatemeh, Lumata, Lloyd. 2018. NMR Spectroscopy Unchained: Attaining the Highest Signal Enhancements in Dissolution Dynamic Nuclear Polarization. JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY LETTERS, 9 (18), 5481-5489