Peter B. Barker, D.Phil.

Headshot of Peter B. Barker
  • Director, Magnetic Resonance Research Division
  • Professor of Radiology and Radiological Science


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Neuroradiology


Dr. Peter B. Barker is a director of Magnetic Resonance Research Division in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He specializes in neuroradiology, in particular magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and imaging (MRI) techniques for the understanding and diagnosis of neurological, psychiatric and oncological diseases.

Dr. Barker received a B.A. degree in chemistry and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in physical chemistry from Oxford University in the United Kingdom. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at California Institute of Technology before joining the Division of Magnetic Resonance Research at Johns Hopkins in 1989. In 1994 he accepted a position in the Department of Neurology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI, while teaching as an adjunct Associate Professor of Medical Physics at Oakland University in Rochester, MI. He returned to Johns Hopkins in 1997 as Associate Professor of Radiology in the division of Neuroradiology, and was promoted to full Professor in 2002.

Dr. Barker has been active in magnetic resonance research for over 30 years, since starting his graduate studies on the development of techniques for high resolution NMR spectroscopy at Oxford in 1982. After moving to Johns Hopkins in 1989, his primary research interest has been in the applications of ‘physiological’ MR techniques (e.g. MRS, perfusion imaging, and other techniques) to the human brain. Dr Barker has published more than 230 original, peer-reviewed journal articles, edited 3 books (on Clinical MR Neuroimaging, Clinical Brain MRS, and Clinical MR Perfusion), authored 36 review articles/book chapters, and given over 160 invited lectures worldwide. He is a member of the Johns Hopkins Institutional Review Board (IRB), and has served as a grant reviewer for the NIH for more than 10 years, including for the recent ‘Obama BRAIN initiative’. He has been a deputy editor for the journal  ‘Magnetic Resonance in Medicine’ and a member of the editorial board of the ‘Journal of Neuroimaging’, and is a Fellow and Trustee of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM).

Dr. Barker has been the recipient of numerous NIH grants and has been presented with the American Heart Association Established Investigator Award. He has served on the executive and research committees of the American Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR), and is a member of the neuroradiology program committee of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). He has served as a reviewer for more than 30 international journals, including the American Journal of Neuroradiology, Cancer Research, Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Journal of Neurological Sciences, Medical Physics, Nature Medicine, Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, NMR in Biomedicine, Radiology, Science Translational Medicine, and Schizophrenia Bulletin. more


  • Director, Magnetic Resonance Research Division
  • Professor of Radiology and Radiological Science

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes


Additional Training

  • California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, 1988, Postdoctoral Research; Huntington Medical Research Institutes and California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, 1988, In Vivo MR Spectroscopy

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Barker’s research projects include the development of new techniques for proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy in humans. These techniques are being applied to investigate brain metabolism in diseases such as brain tumors, HIV and schizophrenia.

Selected Publications

  1. Lin DD, Barker PB, Lederman HM, Crawford TO. “Cerebral abnormalities in adults with Ataxia-Telangiectasia.” AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2013 Jul 25. [Epub ahead of print]
  2. Foerster BR, Pomper MG, Callaghan BC, Petrou M, Edden RA, Mohamed MA, Welsh RC, Carlos RC, Barker PB, Feldman EL. “An imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis revealed by use of 3-T proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy.” JAMA Neurol. 2013 Aug; 70(8):1009-16. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2013.234.
  3. Allen RP, Barker PB, Horská A, Earley CJ. “Thalamic glutamate/glutamine in restless legs syndrome: increased and related to disturbed sleep.” Neurology. 2013 May 28; 80(22):2028-34. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e318294b3f6. Epub 2013 Apr 26.
  4. Gao F, Edden RA, Li M, Puts NA, Wang G, Liu C, Zhao B, Wang H, Bai X, Zhao C, Wang X, Barker PB. “Edited magnetic resonance spectroscopy detects an age-related decline in brain GABA levels.” Neuroimage. 2013 Sep; 78:75-82. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.04.012. Epub 2013 Apr 13.
  5. Subhawong TK, Wang X, Machado AJ, Mammen AL, Christopher-Stine L, Barker PB, Carrino JA, Fayad LM. “1H Magnetic resonance spectroscopy findings in idiopathic inflammatory myopathies at 3 T: feasibility and first results.” Invest Radiol. 2013 Jul; 48(7):509-16. doi: 10.1097/RLI.0b013e3182823562.

Activities & Honors


  • Special Consultant to the Editor (Physics), American Journal of Neuroradiology, 2009
  • Fellow, International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), 2011
  • Outstanding Teacher Award, ISMRM, 2007 - 2011
  • Editors Recognition Award for Distinction in Reviewing, Radiology, 1995
  • Established Investigator Award, American Heart Association, 1996


  • American Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR)
  • Eastern Neuroradiology Society (ENRS)
  • International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM)
  • Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)
  • The American Heart Association, Stroke Council
  • The Johns Hopkins Medical and Surgical Association
  • The United Leukodystrophy Foundation

Patient Ratings & Comments

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to physician related questions on the national CG-CAHPS Medical Practice patient experience survey through Press Ganey. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Comments are also gathered from our CG-CAHPS Medical Practice Survey through Press Ganey and displayed in their entirety. Patients are de-identified for confidentiality and patient privacy.

Is this you? Edit Profile
back to top button