Louis Bouchard Ph.D.


Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Young Hall 3048B | Young Hall 2042, 2104 (labs)


  • BSc, McGill University, 1996
  • MSc, University of Toronto, 1999
  • MS, Princeton University, 2003
  • PhD, Princeton University, 2005
  • Post-doctorate, University of California, Berkeley, 2005-08


  • 2015      ΑΧΣ (UCLA) Glenn T. Seaborg Award
  • 2015      Chinese Academy of Sciences | CAS President’s International Fellowship
  • 2014      Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center | Seed Grant Award
  • 2014      UCLA Diversity & Faculty Development | Faculty Career Development Award
  • 2013      UCLA Diversity & Faculty Development | Faculty Career Development Award
  • 2013      Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center | Seed Grant Award
  • 2012      Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation | Beckman Young Investigator Award
  • 2012      Exploratory Research Space | RWTH Aachen University
  • 2012      UCLA Diversity & Faculty Development | Faculty Career Development Award
  • 2011      Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center | Seed Grant Award
  • 2011      UCLA Council on Research | Faculty Research Grant Award
  • 2010      Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh | Starter Grant Award
  • 2008      Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation | New Faculty Award


  • 2015     Visiting Scientist, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan Institute of Physics & Mathematics
  • 2014-   Associate Member, The Molecular Biology Institute, UCLA
  • 2012     Visiting Scientist, RWTH Aachen University
  • 2009-    Member, California NanoSystems Institute, UCLA
  • 2009-   Affiliate Faculty | Department of Bioengineering, UCLA
  • 2008-   Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, UCLA

Research Interests

Our laboratory conducts experimental research in physical & analytical chemistry, materials science and bioengineering.  We have projects that deal with the development of novel materials, contrast agents & drug delivery systems for biomedical imaging, the study of flows in biological systems, high frequency electromagnetic, condensed matter and heterogeneous catalysis.   We combine a range of laboratory and techniques ranging from chemical synthesis to instrumentation development and various spectroscopies based on specific needs of the research.   Projects are available for chemistry and engineering students.


Hyperpolarized MRI
Magnetic resonance imaging provides excellent soft-tissue contrast, but detection sensitivity is poor.   Clinical MRI images are based on the acquisition of signals from water protons due to their high natural abundance and concentration.   Hyperpolarization techniques are being developed by which the polarization of nuclear spins is increased beyond the levels normally achieved through thermal equilibrium.   One such technique is parahydrogen induced polarization (PHIP).   Our lab is developing molecules and catalysts that can achieve high nuclear spin polarization for in vivo biomedical applications.
Contrast Agent Development for MRI
Another way to increase detection sensitivity of MRI experiments is to inject magnetic particles, which perturb the magnetic field, resulting in enhancement of the signal from water protons.   Our group is developing some of the most sensitive MRI contrast agents to date, and we are pursuing their development for in vivo use by developing highly magnetic nanocrystals, controlling their delivery in vivo through surface chemistry and incorporating drug delivery capabilities as well as capabilities for multi-modality detection.
Medical Image Processing
There are many scenarios where the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of medical images is low.    Low SNR makes it impossible to establish a reliable diagnosis.  This usually arises in cases where the concentration of the species to be detected is low.  For example, the NMR signal from sodium nuclei is very weak, making its detection challenging.   MR spectroscopy of metabolites also results in low SNR due to the low concentration of metabolites in the body.  X-ray images at very low doses of x-rays also exhibit low SNR.    Positron emission tomograms (PET) at low concentrations of tracer molecules also have low SNR.   Our group develops new algorithms for noise removal and image reconstruction designed to cope with some of the most challenging situations.   Conditions of extreme noise requires entirely new approaches that are robust to the type of noise while preserving the anatomical details of the image.

Recent Papers

  1. Youssef K, Jarenwattananon NN, Bouchard LS, Feature-preserving noise removal, IEEE Trans. Med. Imag. 34, 1822-1829 (2015)
  2. Ertas YN, Jarenwattananon NN, Bouchard LS, Oxide-free gadolinium nanocrystals with large magnetic moments, Chem. Mater. 27, 5371-5376 (2015)
  3. Gloeggler SG, Wagner S, Bouchard LS, Hyperpolarization of amino acid derivatives in water for biological applications, Chem. Sci. 6, 4261-4266 (2015)
  4. Gloeggler SG, Grunfeld AM, Ertas YN, McCormick J, Wagner S, Schleker PPM, Bouchard LS, A nanoparticle catalyst for heterogeneous phase para-hydrogen-induced polarization in water, Angew. Chem. Intl. Ed. 54, 2452-2456 (2015)
  5. Compton R, Osher S, Bouchard L,   Hybrid regularization for MRI reconstruction with static field inhomogeneity correction, Inverse Probl. Imag. 7, 1215-1233 (2013)
  6. Zurbuchen M, Lake M, Leung B, Kohan S, Bouchard LS,   Nanodiamond landmarks for subcellular multimodal optical and electron imaging, Sci. Rep. 3, 2668 (2013)
  7. Mack JJ, Youssef K, Lake MP, Noel O, Wu A, Iruela-Arispe ML, Bouchard LS,   Real-time maps of fluid flow fields in porous biomaterials, Biomaterials 34, 1980-1986 (2013)
  8. Sharma R, Bouchard LS,   Strongly hyperpolarized gas from parahydrogen by rational design of ligand-capped nanoparticles, Sci. Rep. 2, 277 (2012) Download
  9. Youssef K, Mack JJ, Iruela-Arispe ML, Bouchard LS,   Macro-scale topology optimization for controlling internal shear stress in a porous scaffold bioreactor, Biotechn. Bioeng. 109, 1844-1854 (2012)
  10. Bouchard LS, Anwar MS, Liu GL, Hann B, Xie H, Gray JW, Wang X, Pines A, Chen FF,   Picomolar sensitivity MRI and photoacoustic imaging of cobalt nanoparticles, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106, 4085-4089 (2009)