Dr. Giles Santyr, PhD

At a Glance

Dr. Giles Santyr is a medical biophysicist working with physicians and engineers to pioneer new techniques for imaging the lungs of children. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an attractive option since it does not involve x-rays, but is challenging in the lung due to very low signal. In the Santyr lab, the lung airways can be safely “illuminated” using MRI of a specially prepared inert gas (called hyperpolarized Xenon-129, or 129Xe) inhaled by the subject. Santyr’s lab is one of a handful in the world that is developing hyperpolarized xenon-129 gas MRI as well as other approaches to allow the exploration of the paediatric lung, providing for safer, earlier and more accurate diagnosis and monitoring of disease progression and treatment response. This research is expected to have a significant impact on the way physicians detect, diagnose and treat paediatric lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis, asthma and lung injury.


For additional information on Dr. Santyr’s research:
Check out the Youtube link to the left for a fun, in-depth, and closer look into how a hyperpolarized Xe-MRI study operates!

Recent Funding

A warm thank you to our collaborators and funders:

LiveCovidFree: Ontario Together Grant

A collaboration between 5 Ontario sites to investigate lung MRI of the post-sequalae of Covid infection

BOS: Garron Family Cancer Centre

A cross-sectional MRI study of bronchiolitis obliterans in children receiving bone marrow transplant

Post-LTx CLAD MRI: Pettit BTG

An MRI study to determine the clinical utility of 129Xe MRI in patient monitoring following Lung Transplant to  facilitate earlier diagnosis of Chronic Lung Allograft Dysfunction (CLAD)

PCD MRI: Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD) foundation 

A multi-center study between SickKids and BC Children’s to understand the measurement properties of Hyperpolarized Xenon MRI in pediatric PCD patients