Ulrike Dydak, Ph.D.

Research Interests / Training Areas


  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Spectrometry (MRS)

  • In vivo GABA & Glutathione mapping by MR spectroscopic imaging
  • Manganese Neurotoxicity

  • Neurodegenerative Diseases (Parkinson Disease, Essential Tremor)

  • Multi-nuclear MRSI (31P MRS) to monitor response to radiation treatment


After studying physics and mathematics at the University of Vienna, Austria, Dr. Dydak received her PhD and postdoctoral training in physics and engineering of Magnetic Resonance Imaging at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich, Switzerland. Dr. Dydak’s research is focused on the development of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) techniques for the noninvasive in-vivo assessment of metabolite and neurotransmitter concentrations, and their application to study physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms. A long-term goal of this research is to translate these novel MRS methods into viable clinical diagnostic procedures that aid in early disease detection as well as assessment of treatment response. Her work on using neuroimaging to study the effects and mechanisms of environmental and occupational exposure was awarded the Outstanding New Environmental Scientist (ONES) award by NIH/NIEHS. Special emphasis of her work lies on the development of the in vivo detection and quantification of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an inhibitory neurotransmitter, as well as glutathione (GSH), a marker for oxidative stress, to study manganese-induced parkinsonian neurotoxicity in welders and in neurodegenerative disorders. A second focus of her work lies on the development of whole-liver phosphorous (31P) magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging of the human liver to improve treatment monitoring in liver cancer. 

Dr. Dydak is the Director of the Purdue Life Science MRI Facility and Associate Director of the Women’s Global Health Institute at Purdue.

Dr. Dydak holds an adjunct appointment at the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences at IU School of Medicine. She also holds an adjunct appointment at the Department of Biomedical Engineering at IUPUI, and a courtesy appointment with the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at Purdue University.

Recent / Representative Publications

Edmondson DA, Helie Sebastien, Dydak U. Whole-brain R1 predicts manganese exposure and biological effects in welders. Arch Toxicol. 2020; 94(10), 3409-3420. doi: 10.1007/s00204-020-02839-7.

Alhulail AA, Patterson DA, Xia P, Zhou X, Lin C, Thomas MA, Dydak U, Emir UE. Musculoskeletal Fat Imaging and Quantification by High-Resolution Metabolite Cycling Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging at 3 T: A Fast Method to Generate Separate Distribution Maps of Lipid Components. Magn Reson Med. 2020 Sep;84(3):1126-1139.

Ma RE, Murdoch JB, Bogner W, Andronesi O, Dydak U. Atlas-based GABA-mapping with 3D MEGA-MRSI: Cross-correlation to single voxel MRS. NMR in Biomed, 2020, doi:10.1002/nbm.4275

Edmondson DA, Xia P, McNally Keehn R, Dydak U, Keehn B. A Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Study of Superior Visual Search Abilities in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism Res. 2020 Jan 7. doi: 10.1002/aur.2258.

Edmondson DA, Ma RE, Yeh CL, Ward E, Snyder S, Azizi E, Zauber SE, Wells EM, Dydak U. Reversibility of neuroimaging markers influenced by lifetime occupational manganese exposure. Toxicol Sci. 2019. Epub 2019/08/08. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfz174. PMCID: PMC6813746. 6. Guilarte TR, Yeh CL, McGlothan JL, Perez J, Finley P, Zhou Y, Wong DF, Dydak U, Schneider JS. PET imaging of dopamine release in the frontal cortex of manganese-exposed non-human primates. J Neurochem. 2019 Feb 5. doi: 10.1111/jnc.14681.

Pesch B, Casjens S, Woitalla D, Dharmadhikari S, Edmondson DA, Zella MAS, Lehnert M, Lotz A, Herrmann L, Muhlack S, Kraus P, Yeh CL2, Glaubitz B, Schmitdt-Wilcke T, Gold R, Van Thriel C, Brüning T, Tönges M, Dydak U* (2019). Impairment of Motor Function Correlates with Neurometabolite and Brain Iron Alterations in Parkinson’s Disease. Cells 2019 Jan 29;8(2). PMCID: PMC6406520

Cameron E, Dyke JP, Hernandez N, Louis ED, Dydak U* (2018). Cerebral Gray Matter Volume Losses in Essential Tremor: A Case- Control Study Using High Resolution Tissue Probability Maps. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2018 Jun;51:85-90. PMCID: PMC6005739

Pesch B*, Dydak U*#, Lotz A, Casjens S, Quetscher C, Lehnert M, Abramowski J, Stewig C, Yeh CL, Weiss T, Van Thriel C, Herrmann L, Muhlack S, Woitalla D, Glaubitz B, Schmidt-Wilcke T, Brüning T (2018). Association of exposure to manganese and iron with relaxation rates R1 and R2* - magnetic resonance imaging results from the WELDOX II study. Neurotoxicology. 2018 Jan; 64:68-77. PMCID: PMC6358438; # joint 1st author

Bowler RM, Yeh, CL, Adams SW, Ward EJ, Ma R, Dharmadhikari S, Snyder SA, Wright CW, Dydak U* (2018)Association of MRI T1 Relaxation Time with Neuropsychological Test Performance in Manganese-Exposed Welders. Neurotoxicology. 2018 Jan;64:19-29. PMCID: PMC5905426

Ward EJ, Edmondson DA, Nour M, Snyder S, Rosenthal FS, Dydak U*(2017). Evaluation of Human Toenails as a Biomarker of Manganese Exposure in United States Welders. Annals of WorkExposures and Health (formerly: Annals of Occupational Hygiene) 2017;62(1), 101-111. PMCID: PMC6248604

Haag L, Quetscher C, Dharmadhikari S, Dydak U, Schmidt-Wilcke T, Beste C* (2015). On the interrelation of resting state functional connectivity, striatal GABA levels and cognitive control processes. Human brain mapping. 2015; 36(11):4383-93.

Long Z, Dyke JP, Ma R, Huang CC, Louis ED, Dydak U* (2015). Reproducibility and effect of tissue composition on cerebellar γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) MRS in an elderly population. NMR Biomed. 2015 Oct;28(10):1315-23. PMCID: PMC4594865

Quetscher C, Yildiz A, Dharmadhikari S, Glaubitz B, Schmidt-Wilcke T, Dydak U, Beste C* (2015). Striatal GABA-MRS predicts response inhibition performance and its cortical electrophysiological correlates. Brain Struct Funct. 2015; 220(6):3555-64. PMCID: PMC4447607

Long Z, Jiang YM, Li XR, Fadel W, Xu J, Yeh CL, Long LL, Luo HL, Harezlak J, Murdoch JB, Zheng W, Dydak U (2014). Vulnerability of Welders to Manganese Exposure–A Neuroimaging Study, NeuroToxicology; 45:285-9. PMCID: PMC4177505

Long Z, Medlock C, Dzemidzic M, Shin YW, Goddard A, Dydak U (2013). Decreased GABA levels in Anterior Cingulate Cortext/Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Panic Disorder. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 44:131-5, PMCID: PMC3758115

Panda A, Jones S, Raghavan RS, Sandrasegaran K, Bansal N, Dydak U (2012). Phosphorus Liver MRSI at 3T Using a Novel Dual Tuned 8-Channel 31P/1H Coil. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 68:1346-56. PMCID: PMC 22287206

Dydak U, Jiang YM, Long LL, Zhu H, Chen J, Li WM, Edden RAE, Hu S, Fu X, Long Z, Meier D, Harezlak J, Aschner M, Murdoch JB, Zheng W (2011). In Vivo Measurement of Brain GABA Concentrations by Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in Smelters Occupationally Exposed to Manganese. Environ Health Perspect.119:219-224, 2011. Epub 2010 Sep 28. PMCID: PMC3040609. (Supplement)


Full publication list:


Curriculum Vitae

Click here for a full CV for Ulrike Dydak. (an Adobe Acrobat file)

Ulrike Dydak, Ph.D.

Professor of Health Sciences

Phone: 765-494-0550
Fax: 765-496-1377
E-mail: udydak@purdue.edu
Dydak Lab website

Purdue University, School of Health Sciences, 550 Stadium Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-1419, Fax: (765) 496-1377

© 2020 Purdue University| An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by HSCI

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact us.