Francisco (Paco) Martínez Santiesteban


Research Associate
PhD, MSc, BS

I am a Research Associate working for Dr. Scholl since 2010. I am in charge of the operation and basic maintenance of the “Hypersense”, a Dynamic Nuclear Polarizer (DNP), and the “Spinmaster”, a Fast Field Cycling Nuclear Magnetic Relaxometer.

In addition of keeping this equipment in working conditions, I assist the students on their projects involving hyperpolarized media, fast field cycling techniques, sodium imaging and quantitative MRI.

Furthermore, in the last few years we have collaborated with other scientists at Western University, the University of Toronto and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studying the Spin-Lattice Relaxation Time (T1) of different contrast agents that in the future may be used in Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

I am an avid Matlab user and I currently use it to characterize the T1 of hyperpolarized and thermally polarized contrast media at different magnetic fields. I am developing image processing techniques that are helping us to understand the magnetic field dependence of the Spin-Lattice relaxation time for different tissues and contrast agents that may be used for the study of cancer.

Given my background on Electrical Engineering, I also develop RF coil for MRI and MR compatible animal monitoring systems. Occasionally I also train new users of the gradient insert coils used on the 1.5T or 3T GE MRI scanners.  


Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering 
The University of Michigan
Dissertation: “Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study of Silicon Microelectrodes”
Ann Arbor, MI. USA

 M.Sc. Electronics Engineering
Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM)
Thesis: “Surface Laplacian Map applied to the Evoked Potentials of the Human Brain”.
Monterrey, M.L. México

 B.S. Electronics and Communications Engineering
Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM)
Design Project: “EEG recording with a portable computer”
Monterrey, M.L. México


Professional Services in Support of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Curriculum Development
Sept. 2009 - Present
Fanshawe College
London Ontario, Canada

Postdoctoral Associate
July 2007 - Present
Robarts Research Institute
London Ontario, Canada

Postdoctoral Fellow
Sept. 2006 - June 2007
Robarts Research Institute
London Ontario, Canada

Research Fellow
June - August 2006
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI. USA

Adjunct Professor of Electrical Engineering Department
June 1998 - July 1999
Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM)
Monterrey, M.L. México


  • University of Michigan - College of Engineering.
    2007 and 2002, Scholar POWER Award. Recognition to underrepresented minority engineering high achievers. 
  • Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies 
    National Travel Grant (Washington D.C, USA), November 2005. International Travel Grant (Capri Island, Italy), March 2003. 
  • NINDS Neural Interfaces Workshop, Competitive Travel Assistance Program
    Travel Grant (Bethesda, Maryland, USA), September 2005. 
  • Institute of International Education
    Professional Development Award (Honolulu, Hawaii, USA), May 2002. 
  • Fulbright Scholar
    1999-2002 Fellowship $43,000 USD 
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica Scholarship Programs
    Academic years 1999/2000 and 2000/2001. $4,000.00 USD/year grant. 
  • “Rómulo Garza” Technologic Innovation Grant / ITESM
    January-May 1997, $1,000.00 USD for masters degree project development. 
  • Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM)
    1998, “Mención Honorífica de Excelencia”. Graduated with highest honors Masters degree (97/100)
    1989, “Mención Honorífica de Excelencia”. Graduated with highest honors Bachelors degree (9.71/10) 
  • Ateneo Nacional de Artes, Letras, Ciencia y Tecnologia – Diario de Mexico
    1989, “Los Mejores Estudiantes de Mexico” (“The Best Mexican Students” award).

 Selected Publications

  1. Lim H, Martinez-Santiesteban F, Jensen M, Chen A, Wong E, Scholl TJ, Monitoring early changes in tumor metabolism in response to therapy using hyperpolarized 13C MRSI in a preclinical model of glioma. Scientific Reports (in revision).
  2. Kim S, Martinez-Santiesteban F, Scholl TJ, Measuring the Spin-Lattice Relaxation Magnetic Field Dependence of Hyperpolarized [1-13C]pyruvate. Journal of Visual Experiments, 2019(151): p. e59399.
  3. Harris RA, Lone A, Lim H, Martinez F, Frame AK, Scholl TJ, Cumming RC, Aerobic Glycolysis Is Required for Spatial Memory Acquisition But Not Memory Retrieval in Mice. eNeuro, 2019. 6(1): p. ENEURO.0389-18.2019.
  4. Brzozowski P, Penev KI, Martinez FM, Scholl TJ,Mequanint K, Gellan gum-based gels with tunable relaxation properties for MRI phantoms. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 2019. 57: p. 40-49.
  5. Lim H, Albatany H, Martínez-Santiesteban F, Bartha R, Scholl TJ, Longitudinal Measurements of Intra- and Extracellular pH Gradient in a Rat Model of Glioma. Tomography, 2018. 4, (2): 46-54.
  6. Wang X, Milne M, Martínez F, Scholl TJ, Hudson RHE, Synthesis of a poly(Gd(III)-DOTA)-PNA conjugate as a potential MRI contrast agent via Post-Synthetic Click Chemistry Functionalization, RSC Advances, 2017. 7: p. 45222–45226.
  7. Araya YT, Martínez-Santiesteban F, Handler WB, Harris CT, Chronik BA, Scholl TJ, Nuclear magnetic relaxation dispersion of murine tissue for development of T1 (R1) dispersion contrast imaging. NMR in Biomedicine, 2017. 30(12): p. e3789.
  8. Martinez-Santiesteban FM, Dang TP, Lim H, Chen AP, Scholl TJ, T1 Nuclear Magnetic Relaxation Dispersion of the Sodium and Cesium Salts of Hyperpolarized 13C-Bicarbonate. NMR in Biomedicine, 2017. 30(9): e3749.
  9. Haedicke IE, Li T, Zhu YLK, Martinez F, Hamilton AM, Murrell DH, Nofiele JT, Cheng H-LM, Scholl TJ, Foster PJ, Zhang X-a, An enzyme-activatable and cell-permeable Mn-III Porphyrin as a Highly Efficient T1 MRI Contrast Agent for Cell Labeling. Chemical Science, 2016. 7: p. 4308–4317.
  10. Thind K, Jensen MD, Hegarty E, Chen AP, Lim H, Martínez F, Van Dyk J, Wong E, Scholl TJ, Santyr GE, Mapping metabolic changes associated with early Radiation Induced Lung Injury post conformal radiotherapy using hyperpolarized 13C-pyruvate Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging. Radiotherapy and Oncology, 2014. 110(2): p. 317-322.
  11. Cheng W, Ganesh T, Martínez F, Lam J, Yoon H, Macgregor R, Jr., Scholl TJ, Cheng H-L, Zhang X-a, Binding of a dimeric manganese porphyrin to serum albumin: towards a gadolinium-free blood-pool T1 MRI contrast agent. Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry, 2014. 19(2): p. 229-235.
  12. Cheng W, Haedicke IE, Nofiele J, Martínez F, Beera K, Scholl TJ, Cheng H-LM, Zhang X-a, Complementary Strategies for Developing Gd-Free High-Field T1 MRI Contrast Agents Based on Mn(III) Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 2014. 57(2): p. 516-520.
  13. Lim H, Thind K, Alejski A, Martínez F, Scholl TJ, Construction and Evaluation of a Switch-Tuned 13C - 1H Birdcage Radiofrequency Coil for Imaging the Metabolism of Hyperpolarized 13C-Enriched Compounds. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 2014. 40(5): p. 1082-1090.
  14. Harris CT, Handler WB, Araya Y, Martínez-Santiesteban F, Alford JK, Dalrymple B, Van Sas F, Chronik BA, Scholl TJ, Development and optimization of hardware for delta relaxation enhanced MRI. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 2014. 72(4): p. 1182-1190.
  15. Mallett CL, Lim H, Thind K, Chen Y, Ribot EJ, Martínez F, Scholl TJ, Foster PJ, Longitudinal anatomical and metabolic MRI characterization of orthotopic xenograft prostate tumors in nude mice. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 2014. 40(4): p. 848-856.
  16. Soleimani A, Martínez F,
Economopoulos V, Foster PJ, Scholl TJ, Gillies ER, Polymer cross-linking: a nanogel approach to enhancing the relaxivity of MRI contrast agents. Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 2013. 1(7): p. 1027-1034.
  17. Ta R, Suchy M, Tam JH, Li AX, Martínez-Santiesteban F, Scholl TJ, Hudson RH, Bartha R, Pasternak SH, A dual magnetic resonance imaging/fluorescent contrast agent for Cathepsin-D detection. Contrast Media and Molecular Imaging, 2013. 8(2): p. 127-39.
  18. Chattergoon N, Martínez-Santiesteban F, Handler WB, Ardenkjær-Larsen JH, Scholl TJ, Field dependence of T1 for hyperpolarized [1-13C] Contrast Media and Molecular Imaging, 2013. 8(1): p. 57-62.
  19. Nazemi A, Martínez F, Scholl TJ, Gillies ER, Biodegradable dendritic polymersomes as modular, high-relaxivity MRI contrast agents. RSC Advances, 2012. 2(21): p. 7971-7973.
  20. Brustad EM, Lelyveld VS, Snow CD, Crook N, Jung ST, Martínez FM, Scholl TJ, Jasanoff A, Arnold FH, Structure-Guided Directed Evolution of Highly Selective P450-Based Magnetic Resonance Imaging Sensors for Dopamine and Serotonin. Journal of Molecular Biology, 2012. 422(2): p. 245-262.
  21. Atkins KM, Martínez FM, Nazemi A, Scholl TJ, Gillies ER, Poly(para-phenylene ethynylene)s functionalized with Gd(III) chelates as potential MRI contrast agents. Canadian Journal of Chemistry, 2011. 89(1): p. 47-56.

Contact Information

Mailing Address
Imaging Research Laboratories
Robarts Research Institute
P.O. Box 5015, 100 Perth Drive
London, Ontario
Canada N6A 5K8

Phone: 519-663-5777,  ext. 24243