Changho Choi, Ph.D., received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1987 from Korea University, South Korea. He then earned a Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo, Canada, where he used nuclear magnetic resonance for studying quantum tunneling of protons at low temperatures. Following several years of research in in-vivo MR spectroscopy (MRS), he joined the Advanced Imaging Research Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center in 2007.

Dr. Choi’s research has been focused on both technical and clinical developments of MR spectroscopy in brain tumors and neuropsychiatric disorders. MRS methodology development has been carried out to provide meaningful measurements of clinically-important hard-to-detect brain metabolites, including 2-hydroxyglutarate (2HG), citrate, GABA, glycine, glutamate and glutamine, etc.  Specifically, 2HG, which is a direct consequence of IDH mutation in gliomas, appears to be an unprecedented imaging biomarker in brain tumors.

Research is going on to accomplish a fast, high-precision 2HG imaging modality, in parallel with translation of previously-developed methods into clinics. The clinical utility of 2HG, glycine and citrate in brain tumors is investigated in collaboration with neuro-oncologists. Also, several MRS studies are conducted to evaluate the alterations in metabolic profiles in neurological diseases, including schizophrenia, asthma and autism, in collaboration with psychiatrists.


Korea University (1987), Physics
Graduate School
Korea University (1989), Physics
Graduate School
University of Waterloo (1996), Physics

Research Interest

  • Applications of MRS in cancer and neuropsychiatric diseases
  • In vivo 1H and 13C MR spectroscopy
  • Quantum mechanical simulations of spin dynamics
  • RF pulse and MRS sequence design


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Spectrobiopsy in neurodiagnostics: the new era.
Di Ieva A, Choi C, Magnussen JS Neuroradiology 2017 Dec
Measurement of glycine in healthy and tumorous brain by triple-refocusing MRS at 3 T in vivo.
Tiwari V, An Z, Ganji SK, Baxter J, Patel TR, Pan E, Mickey BE, Maher EA, Pinho MC, Choi C NMR Biomed 2017 May
Noninvasive assessment of isocitrate dehydrogenase mutation status in cerebral gliomas by magnetic resonance spectroscopy in a clinical setting.
Tietze A, Choi C, Mickey B, Maher EA, Parm Ulhøi B, Sangill R, Lassen-Ramshad Y, Lukacova S, Østergaard L, von Oettingen G J. Neurosurg. 2017 Mar 1-8
Detection of 2-hydroxyglutarate in brain tumors by triple-refocusing MR spectroscopy at 3T in vivo.
An Z, Ganji SK, Tiwari V, Pinho MC, Patel T, Barnett S, Pan E, Mickey BE, Maher EA, Choi C Magn Reson Med 2016 Jul
In vivo detection of 2-hydroxyglutarate in brain tumors by optimized point-resolved spectroscopy (PRESS) at 7T.
Ganji SK, An Z, Tiwari V, McNeil S, Pinho MC, Pan E, Mickey BE, Maher EA, Choi C Magn Reson Med 2016 Mar
Integration of 2-hydroxyglutarate-proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy into clinical practice for disease monitoring in isocitrate dehydrogenase-mutant glioma.
de la Fuente MI, Young RJ, Rubel J, Rosenblum M, Tisnado J, Briggs S, Arevalo-Perez J, Cross JR, Campos C, Straley K, Zhu D, Dong C, Thomas A, Omuro AA, Nolan CP, Pentsova E, Kaley TJ, Oh JH, Noeske R, Maher E, Choi C, Gutin PH, Holodny AI, Yen K, DeAngelis LM, Mellinghoff IK, Thakur SB Neuro-oncology 2015 Dec