Photo of Dan Wu

Biotechnology & medicine

Dan Wu

Unconventional research paths to magnetic resonance

Year Honored


In school, Dan Wu considered herself to be a true mold breaker. In 2009, Wu Dan graduated from Zhejiang University with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, ranking first among 92 students. She then continued her postgraduate and Ph.D. study in biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University, which is the  #1 program in the U.S. At the same time, she received her master's degree in electrical and computer engineering. It is worth mentioning that it took three and a half years for Dan Wu to complete her Ph.D. study, while the average length of the university's doctorate study is six years.

Just over one year after graduation, Dan Wu started her career at Johns Hopkins University as an assistant professor. At that time, she was the Principle Investigator on the R01, R21, and R03 projects from the National Institutes of Health. However, in 2018, Dan Wu officially resigned from Johns Hopkins University and returned to Zhejiang University through the national "Young Thousand" program to start a new career.

As a biomedical engineer, Dan Wu has devoted herself in the past 10 years to the development of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), medical image analysis techniques, and their biomedical applications. For example, the three-dimensional high-resolution diffusion MRI sequence developed by her group has currently achieved the highest spatial resolution for in vivo neuroimaging at high fields and it has been adopted by several esteemed research labs around the word.

Besides, she is a pioneer in the field of time-dependent diffusion MRI, and her team at Johns Hopkins University is one of the first to transform this technology from pure physics to in vivo imaging. Based on this technique, they overcame the physical limit of MRI resolution and they could quantitatively map the microstructural tissue properties on a cellular scale and monitor pathological changes in neurological diseases, such brain tumors and stroke. In addition, she is also an expert on MRI atlas based medical big data analysis. Her work has been published in the top journals in the field of MRI, including NeuroImage and Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. To be specific, she has published a total of more than 40 articles with 22 first-author and 8 last-author articles.

Now, Dan Wu develops imaging and post-processing technologies for fetal brains and infant brains from two aspects: front-end imaging technology and back-end image processing technology. She hopes that her work on imaging sequence development will facilitate fast and robust acquisition of fetal brain MRIs. Her team is working on collecting large samples from top hospitals in the country to establish quantitative assessment indicators of early brain development.