Biographical Sketch

Dr. Bulte completed his undergraduate and masters degrees in Biology and Medical Biology, respectively, from the Free University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands. He received his PhD in Medicine summa cum laude from the University of Groningen in The Netherlands in 1991. Afterwards, he joined the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, where he completed a fellowship, then became a staff scientist. He was then recruited to become a professor in several departments at the Johns Hopkins University, including Radiology, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering. Currently, Dr. Bulte serves as the Director of the Cellular Imaging Section for the JHU Institute for Cell Engineering.

Research Summary

The clinical development of novel immune and stem cell therapies calls for suitable methods that can follow the fate of cells non-invasively in humans at high resolution. The Bulte lab has pioneered methods to label cells magnetically (using tiny superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles) in order to make them visible by MR imaging. Following years of extensive animal research, this technology has recently been introduced in the clinic for dendritic cell cancer vaccines. MRI cell tracking is further pursued in animal models of dysmyelination, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, spinal cord, stroke, and myocardial infarct. Novel reporter genes are also being developed that can provide contrast on MRI scans. Artificial proteins are being designed, cloned, and expressed in mammalian cells that contain specific proton exchangable groups of which the proton signal can be manipulated. A new direction is not directly labeling cells, but instead labeling semi-permeable microcapsules that offer immunoprotection of cellular therapeutics. The current focus is on encapsulated pancreatic beta cells that can cure diabetes in mice and are being used in a large animal (swine) model. While the lab is doing basic bench-type research, there is a strong interaction with the clinical interventional radiology and oncology groups in order to bring the methodologies into the clinic. 

More information can be found on Dr. Bulte's profile on the Johns Hopkins ICE Website:

Contact Information

Departmental Address 
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine 
Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science 
Division of MR Research 
217 Traylor Bldg, 720 Rutland Ave 
Baltimore, MD 21205 

Phone: 443-287-0996 or 410-614-2733 
Fax: 443-287-7945 

Assistant: Cindy Atkinson (, 410-955-4247

Curriculum Vitae

  • Current Appointments
    • Professor, Department of Radiology 
      2006 to Present 
      Associate Professor, Department of Radiology: 2002 - 2006 
      Assistant Professor, Department of Radiology: 2001 - 2002 
      The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
    • Professor, Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering 
      2007 to Present 
      The Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering, Baltimore, MD
    • Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering 
      2007 to Present 
      The Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering, Baltimore, MD
    • Director, Cellular Imaging Section 
      2006 to Present 
      JHU Institute for Cell Engineering 
      The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • Awards and Achievements
    • Fellow, ISMRM 
      2008, International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
    • Semi-Finalist, HHMI Investigator Tri-Annual Open Competition 
    • Top-Cited Paper and Annual Front Cover of NMR in Biomedicine 
    • First Place, Annual Citation Award 
      2005, 2007, Division of MR Research, Department of Radiology, Johns Hopkins University
    • Thomson ISI Top 1% Citation Certificate of Merit 
    • PhD Degree con judicium "summa cum laude" (>95% percentile) 
  • Education and Training
    • PhD, Medicine 
      University of Groningen, The Netherlands
    • MS, Medical Biology 
      Free University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    • BS, Biology 
      Free University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Professional Experience
    • Staff Scientist (Title 42 USC), Laboratory of Diagnostic Radiology Research (CC) 
      1996 - 2001 
      National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
    • Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Diagnostic Radiology Research 
      1992 - 1995 
      National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
    • Researcher, KWF (Dutch Cancer Society) 
      1987 - 1991 
      University of Groningen, The Netherlands
  • Affiliations
    • Study Sections: NIH, DOE, NAS, NMSS, CIRM (permanent scientific charter member)
    • Editorial Board: Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (MRM), Current Topics in Stem Cell Research, Nanomedicine, Contrast Media and Molecular Imaging (CMMI), Molecular Imaging, Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (JMRI)
    • Council Member: Society for Molecular Imaging (2004 - 2006)
    • Chair: ISMRM Molecular and Cellular Imaging Study Group (2006 - 2007)
    • Annual Meeting Program Council (AMPC): ISMRM (2008 - 2011)


For a list of Dr. Bulte's most recent publications searched from the NIH's PubMed Database, please use this Search Link.