James A. Hamilton

Professor of Physiology and Biophysics

Research Professor of Medicine


Indiana University, Ph.D.

General field of research:

Membrane and Structural Biology; MR imaging of human fat depots and atherosclerosis; Animal models of vulnerable plaque rupture

Affiliations other than medicine:

Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research

Physiology and Biophysics

Biomedical Engineering


Contact information:

700 Albany Street, W302 Boston, MA 02218-2526
Phone: (617)-638 5048

700 Albany Street, W302 Boston, MA 02218-2526
Phone:  (617)-638 5143
Fax: (617)-638 4041


Other research websites:



Research group information

Graduate Students:

Su Xu, xusu@bu.edu

Eileen R. Krenzel, ekrenzel@bu.edu

Ning Hua, huaning@bu.edu

Jun Cai, caijun@bu.edu

Post Doctoral Fellows:

Kellen Fontanini, Ph.D., hellenf@bu.edu

Chris Sucato, Ph.D., csucato@bu.edu

Zhongjing Chen, Ph.D., zchen@bu.edu

Alkystis Phinikaridou, Ph.D., alkystis@bu.edu


Elena Klimtchuk, Boston University

Jeffrey Simard, Max-Planck Institue, Germany

Charu Rewal

Volker Kurze, German Patent Office

Christian Lucke

Johann Wolfgang, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt

Shaoqing Peng, Lambda Solutions, Inc., Waltham, MA

ZhaoXing Sun

Ji-Kyung Choi, Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital


Rajini Anachi

Frank Caserta

Fengli Zhang, Worcester Poly Tech

Jet Ho, M.D., Private Practice

Wen Guo, Boston University School of Medicine

Frits Kamp, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany

Amir Salmon

John Boylan, Boston College

Marie Kenyon

Seiichi Era, Gifu University, Japan

Shastri Bhamidipati, USDA

Jonathan Vural, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Boston University

David H. Croll , Professor of Chemistry and Physics, Regis College, Weston, MA

Donna J. Cabral

Howard Lilly, GE Imaging

Dr. David P. Cistola, Washington University School of Medicine

Ye Qiao, Johns Hopkins

Jason Viereck, M.D. Ph.D., Clinical Practice

Nasi Huang, M.D., Boston University

Kevin Hallock, Ph.D., Boston University

Zifang Guo, M.S., North Carolina University


Fatty Acids; MRI; NMR; Atherosclerosis; Fluorescence; Obesity

Summary of research interest:

Membrane and Structural Biology; Imaging of fat depots and atherosclerotic plaque.

Research in our group is aimed at providing fundamental information relating to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and diseases related to fatty acid metabolism. An overall goal to is to develop novel approaches to biomedical issues by integrating physical-chemical and physiological/biochemical approaches. In our newest research this is achieved by assembling multi-disciplinary teams to translate basic research into clinical applications. We use physical and instrumental methods (including solution state 13C NMR spectroscopy, solid state and magic angle spinning multinuclear NMR, multidimensional NMR, MR imaging, and fluorescence) that are tailored to the specific questions we are addressing. These techniques are complemented with molecular modeling, molecular biology and other cell biology methods. Two major areas of our research are transport of fatty acids and monitoring atherosclerosis using MRI and NMR spectroscopy. Current efforts are directed towards developing MR imaging to detect vulnerable plaques in humans before they rupture and cause life-threatening events.




Recent publications:

Hamilton JA., Qiao Y, Farber A, Semaan E.  2008 Sep. Healing of an asymptomatic carotid plaque ulceration. Circulation; 118(10):e147-8.

Lucke, C., Y. Qiao, H.T.B. Van Moerkerk, J.H. Veerkamp, and J.A. Hamilton. 2006. Fatty-Acid-Binding Protein from the Flight Muscle of Locusta Migratoria: Evolutionary Variations in Fatty Acid Binding. Biochemistry 45 (20):6296-305.

Xie, W., J.A. Hamilton, J.L. Kirkland, B.E. Corkey, and W. Guo. 2006. Oleate-Induced Formation of Fat Cells with Impaired Insulin Sensitivity. Lipids 41 (3):267-71.

Meshulam, T., J.R. Simard, J. Wharton, J.A. Hamilton, and P.F. Pilch. 2006. Role of Caveolin-1 and Cholesterol in Transmembrane Fatty Acid Movement. Biochemistry 45 (9):2882-93.

Guo, W., N. Huang, J. Cai, W.S. Xie, and J.A. Hamilton. 2006. Fatty Acid Transport and Metabolism in Hepg2 Cells. American Journal Of Physiology-Gastrointestinal And Liver Physiology 290 (3):G528-G34.

Ruberg, F.L., J. Viereck, A. Phinikaridou, Y. Qiao, J. Loscalzo, and J.A. Hamilton. 2006. Identification of Cholesteryl Esters in Human Carotid Atherosclerosis by Ex Vivo Image-Guided Proton Mrs. Journal Of Lipid Research 47 (2):310-7.

Simard, J.R., P.A. Zunszain, J.A. Hamilton, and S. Curry. 2006. Location of High and Low Affinity Fatty Acid Binding Sites on Human Serum Albumin Revealed by Nmr Drug-Competition Analysis. Journal Of Molecular Biology 361 (2):336-51.

Technologies available for sharing upon request:

NMR (solution state 13C NMR spectroscopy, solid state and magic angle spinning multinuclear NMR, multidimensional NMR); MRI (12 Tesla)