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Jeff W.M. Bulte, M.S., Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Jeff W.M. Bulte, M.S., Ph.D.
  • Director of Cellular Imaging, The Johns Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering, Director of Scientific Communications, Department of Radiology
  • Professor of Radiology and Radiological Science

Research Interests

MRI; CEST; MPI; Molecular and Cellular Imaging; Contrast Agents; Nanoparticles; Stem Cells; Theranostics; Reporter Genes


Dr. Jeff W. M. Bulte is a Professor in the Johns Hopkins Departments of Radiology, Oncology, Biomedical Engineering, and Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. He serves as the Director of Cellular Imaging at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering. He specializes in molecular and cellular imaging.

Dr. Bulte has pioneered methods to label cells magnetically, making them visible by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). His team is developing MRI cell tracking techniques, reporter genes and immunoprotective semi-permeable microcapsules detectable by MRI, computed tomography, ultrasound, and bioluminescent imaging.

Dr. Bulte received his undergraduate degree in biology and a master''s in medical biology from the Free University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands. He earned his Ph.D. in medicine summa cum laude from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands in 1991. He subsequently spent 10 years with the National Institutes of Health, first as a postdoctoral fellow and then a staff scientist in the Laboratory of Diagnostic Radiology Research. Dr. Bulte joined the Johns Hopkins faculty as an Assistant Professor in 2001, became an Associate Professor in 2002, and a Professor in 2006.

He is a Fellow and Gold Medal awardee of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, a Distinguished Investigator of the Academy of Radiology Research, and has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles and  40 book chapters, and serves on the editorial boards of Radiology, Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, WIREs Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology, Contrast Media and Molecular Imaging, Molecular Imaging, and the Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging. more


  • Director of Cellular Imaging, The Johns Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering, Director of Scientific Communications, Department of Radiology
  • Professor of Radiology and Radiological Science
  • Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Professor of Oncology

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • Ph.D., Rijksuniversiteit Groningen - Fac Der Geneeskunde - Groningen (The Netherlands) (1991)
  • M.S., Free University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands) (1987)

Additional Training

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Diagnostic Radiology Research (NIH), 1992-1995

Research & Publications

Research Summary

New contrast agent and theranostics development as applied to molecular and cellular imaging, with particular emphasis on in vivo cell tracking.


The Bulte Lab has developed methods to label cells magnetically using tiny superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles in order to make them visible by magnetic resonance imaging; this technology has now been introduced in the clinic for several cell therapy applications. The lab has examined MRI cell tracking in animal models of dysmyelination, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, spinal cord, stroke, and diabetes.

Technology Expertise Keywords

MRI, CEST, MPI, molecular and cellular imaging, contrast agents, nanoparticles, stem cells, theranostics, reporter genes

Clinical Trial Keywords

Breast cancer, radiation-induced fibrosis, stem cells, dendritic cells, immunotherapy, cancer vaccination

Clinical Trials

19F Hot Spot MRI of Human Adipose-derived Stem Cells for Breast Reconstruction (CS-1000)

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation

Cellular and Molecular Medicine

Activities & Honors


  • Distinguished Investigator, Academy of Radiology Research, 2012
  • Semi-Finalist, HHMI Investigator Tri-Annual Open Competition, 2008
  • Gold Medal, International Society for Magnetic Resonance, 2014
  • Fellow, International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 2008
  • PhD "Summa Cum Laude", 1991
  • EUREKA Award, NIH, 2008
  • Fellow, World Molecular Imaging Society, 2019 - 2019
  • Thorsten Almen Award for Pioneering Research in Contrast Media Research, CMR, 2015

Professional Activities

  • Distinguished Investigator, Academy of Radiology

Videos & Media

Vascular Biology Program

Labeling and Tracking Stem Cells Used for Therapy

Dr. Jeff Bulte discusses his work engineering stem cells for use in non-invasive treatment of degenerative diseases.

MRI Reporter Gene

Tracking Transplanted Stem Cells, Part I

Jeff Bulte discusses the newest ways to track transplanted stem cells in the body.

Tracking Transplanted Stem Cells, Part II

Jeff Bulte discusses the latest techniques for tracking stem cells transplanted into the body.

Dr. Jeff Bulte | Using Nanoparticles to Reduce the Need for Biopsies

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

New Momentum Magnetic Particle Imaging Scanner to be installed in Baltimore, PR Newswire (August 29, 2019)

MRI Based On A Sugar Molecule Can Tell Cancerous From Noncancerous Cells, Johns Hopkins Medicine  (March 27, 2015)

Giving Transplanted Cells A Nanotech Checkup, Johns Hopkins Medicine (February 5, 2013)

New Technique to "See" and Protect Transplants Successful in Diabetic Animal Model, Johns Hopkins Medicine (August 6, 2007)

New Technique Developed for Tracking Cells in the Body, Johns Hopkins Medicine (March 20, 2007)

Tracking the Elusive Stem Cell, Johns Hopkins Medicine

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