Ergin Atalar - Biography#

Ergin Atalar received his B.S. degree from Bogazici University, Istanbul in 1985, M. S. degree from Middle East Technical University, Ankara in 1987, and Ph.D. degree from Bilkent University, Ankara Turkey in 1991, all in Electrical Engineering. During his PhD period, he developed methods of reduction respiratory motion artifacts in magnetic resonance images. Immediately after graduation, he joined the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore Maryland (JHU), as a postdoctoral fellow. In early JHU years, he specialized on magnetic resonance imaging of heart wall. Later he studied the magnetic resonance technologies for coronary artery imaging.

After becoming a faculty member at Hopkins, Dr. Atalar became one of the first researchers in the field of magnetic resonance imaging guided cardiovascular interventions. His research group has developed miniature receivers that can be placed on catheters. With the aid of these receivers (called catheter coils), his group showed feasibility of some cardiovascular interventions including coronary catheterization under the guidance of magnetic resonance imaging. His group also studied non-vascular interventions by developing suitable interventional devices including endobiliary, transesophageal and endourethral catheters. Dr. Atalar also led the efforts on magnetic resonance guided prostatic interventions.

During the development phase of interventional studies, Dr. Atalar formed SurgiVision Inc. (now known as MRI Interventions Inc.). In recognition of his contributions to the field of interventional MRI, he was promoted to the title of Professor of Radiology, Biomedical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering at JHU and he became the director of the cardiovascular MRI section of the Radiology Department.

In 2002 he spent a sabbatical year in Bilkent University. Between 2002 and 2005 while he was forming a research group in Bilkent, he also continued leading a research group at JHU. In 2005, he left JHU to join Bilkent University as Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering. In 2007 he founded Troyka Med A. S. Since 2009, he is the director of National Magnetic Resonance Research Center at Bilkent University. While he continues working in the field of interventional MRI, his research group in Bilkent University is mainly focused on the safety of magnetic resonance imaging. His group studied in depth the interactions between metallic implants and MRI scanners and developed novel medical implantable devices and magnetic resonance imaging methods for conducting safe diagnostic imaging.

Dr. Atalar works in a field that requires collaborations with investigators in different disciplines. He worked closely with cardiologists, radiologists, urologists and radiation oncologists. Recently he is expanding his research are by working with neurologists and neurosurgeons. Although he has electrical engineering background, he supervised radiologists. He also worked closely with biomedical engineers, chemical engineers, computer scientists and mechanical engineers. Currently, at Bilkent he has very close collaboration with two researchers from Department of Psychology and one from Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics. Their collaborative studies resulted in Genome Research and Nature Genetics publications.

In 1995 Dr. Atalar became Frank T. McClure fellow. His students and fellows won American Heart Association Young Investigator Awards in three consecutive years (1999-2001). In 2006, Dr. Ergin Atalar won the TUBITAK (Scientific and Technological Counsel of Turkey) science award. In 2011, he became the “fellow” of international society of magnetic resonance in medicine and biology. Dr. Atalar has authored 96 journal papers and five book chapters. 31 United States patents are issued with his name.

He is married to Selale, and the father of Melis and Deniz.
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