Slide 1

We are located at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance in Seattle, WA. SCCA provides world class patient care while engaging in cutting edge cancer research. Read more »


At the QBI lab we work hand in hand with clinicians, residents, and researchers to find ways to improve clinical imaging of breast cancer. Our research focuses primarily on developing new techniques for imaging breast cancer with MRI, including implementing and testing new scanner sequences, and facilitating the transition of research scans from academic research to clinical use.

Philips_Achieva_3T_MRI.jpg Our location in the SCCA breast imaging center gives us unique insight into the working clinic, and allows us to collaborate with physiciains and focus on solutions that have the highest impact for patient care. Two of our main areas of focus are dynamic contrast enhanced (DCE) MR and diffusion weighted imaging (DWI). Clinical research is performed on a state of the art Philips Achieva 3T MRI scanner with 16 channel breast coil.
Philips Achieve 3T scanner

Slide 2

Diffusion MRI is a promising new technique that provides the ability to measure the ability of water to move within tissue. Read more »

Diffusion Weighted Imaging

Diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) is an MR imaging technique to measure the diffusivity of water in tissue. Differences in the way water diffuses can indicate a change in the cellular microstructure of breast tissue, possibly due to a tumor. Research has shown that DWI offers promise for discriminating benign and malignant lesions, making it a potential method for reducing the number of unneccesary biopsies.

Breast tumor on three MR image types: DCE_DWI_ADC.jpg
Left: Gd enhanced T1 weighted image with tumor.
Middle: Diffusion weighted image showing hyperintense tumor.
Right: Apparent diffusion coefficient map with tumor exhibiting low ADC.

Slide 3

MRI contrast agents provide the best method of imaging breast tumors clinically. Pharmacokinetic modeling of contrast agent kinetics in vivo may provide more detailed information on tumor pathology, aggressiveness, and response to treatment. Read more »


Dynamic contrast enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) is the gold standard for clinical breast imaging. Malignant breast tumors aggressively recruit a disorganized blood vessel network. This local hypervascularity causes contrast agent to accumulate preferentially in malignant tumors, making Gadolinium contrast agents highly effective detection tool. However, the high sensitivity of DCE-MRI comes with the price of a high false positive rate. We focus on finding ways of increasing the specificity of DCE-MRI to potentially lower the rate of unneccessary biopsies, and better inform clinical care options for clinicians and patients.

A: DCE-MRI image showing tumor enhancement. B: Low temporal resolution kinetics map showing areas of potential aggressiveness. C: Pharmacokinetic map (Ktrans) based on Tofts-Kety modeling.

Welcome to the QBI Lab

At the Partridge lab we research better ways to detect and diagnose breast cancer with MRI. Together with our world class team of physicians and scientists we carry out cutting edge research in imaging techniques that are improving the way breast cancer is detected and treated. Our primary areas of focus are new imaging protocols such as diffusion MRI (DWI), contrast enhanced MR for phamacokinetic analysis, and MR spectroscopy.

About Seattle Cancer Care Alliace

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is a world-class cancer treatment center that unites doctors from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Medicine and Seattle Children's.

About UW Radiology

The Department of Radiology at the University of Washington is an academic department providing highly specialized care to patients who need state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging or imaging-guided therapies.