Ronald T. Wakai

Credentials: PhD

Position title: Professor, Medical Physics
Chair, Medical Physics Admissions Committee


Phone: (608) 265-4988

1163 Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research
UW-Medical Physics, Biomagnetism
Madison, WI 53705

Ron Wakai is a primary advisor in the Department of Medical Physics.


B.S., (Physics) Cornell University

M.S., (Physics) University of Illinois

Ph.D., (Physics) University of Illinois

Department Affilations

Medical Physics


  • 06/1987-07/1988 Research Scientist, Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
  • 07/1988-06/1995 Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
  • 07/1988-06/1995 Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
  • 07/1995-06/2002 Associate Professor, Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
  • 07/2002-pr Professor, Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

Research Interests

Fetal Biomagnetism and Adult MEG

Awards and Honors

  • B.A. with Honors in Physics, Cornell University
  • University Fellow, University of Illinois


  • R.T. Wakai, M. Wang, and C.B. Martin, “Spatiotemporal Properties of Fetal Magnetocardiogram,” Am. J. Obstet, Gynecol, 70: 770-776 (1994).
  • E.W. Howland, R.T. Wakai, B. Mjaanes, J. Balog, and C. Cleeland, “Whole-head Mapping of Magnetic Fields Following Painful Electric Finger Stimulation,” Cognitive Brain Res. 2: 162-172 (1995).
  • R.T. Wakai, M. Wang, and C.B. Martin, “Fetal Magnetocardiogram Amplitude Modulation Associated with Respiratory Sinus Arrythmia and Fetal Rate Accelerations,” Physiol. Meas. 16: 49-54 (1995).
  • R.T. Wakai, S. Swerdloff, M. Wang, M. Ruegsegger, F. Tipu, and O. Sloot, “Visualization of Dipole Solutions to the Neuromagnetic Inverse Problem,” Int. J. Biomed. Comp. 39: 257-262 (1995).
  • O. Baffa, R.T. Wakai, P.L. Sousa, and R.M.M. Verzola, “Fetal Heart Rate Monitored by Magnetocardiogram,” Braz. J. Med. Bio. Res. 28: 1333-1337 (1995).
  • R.T. Wakai, A.C. Leuthold, and C.B. Martin, “Fetal Auditory Evoked Response Detected by Magnetoencephalography,” Am J. Obstet. Gynecol 74: 1484-1486 (1996).
  • R.T. Wakai, A.C. Leuthold, A.D. Wilson, and C.B. Martin, “Association of Fetal Junctional Rhythm and Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia Magnetocardiography,” J. Ped. Cardiol. 18(3): 201-203 (1997).
  • R.T. Wakai, A.C. Leuthold, and C.B. Martin, “Atrial and Ventricular Fetal Heart Rate Patterns in Congenital Complete Heart Block Detected Magnetocardiography,” Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 179(1): 258-260 (1998).
  • A.C. Leuthold, R.T. Wakai, and C.B. Martin, “Noninvasive in Utero Assessment of PR and QRS Interval from the Fetal Magnetocardiogram,” Early Human Dev. 54(3): 235-243 (1999).
  • R.T. Wakai, A.C. Leuthold, S.M. Weber, and C.B. Martin, “MEG of the Neonate During Sleep, in Recent Advances in Biomagnetism, ed. T. Yoshimoto, M. Kotani, S. Kuriki, and H. Karibe (Tohoku University Press, Sendai, 1999).
  • R.T. Wakai, M. Chen, A. Leuthold, J. Lengle, and C.B. Martin, Neuromagnetic detection of neonatal and intrauterine fetal brain activity, Frontiers in Fetal Health 1(5):13-15, 1999.
  • R.T. Wakai, A.C. Leuthold, L. Cripe, and C.B. Martin, “Assessment of Fetal Rhythm in Congenital Complete Heart Block by Magnetocardiography, PACE 23, 1047-1050 (2000).
  • R.T. Wakai, J.M. Lengle, and A.C. Leuthold, “Transmission of Electric and Magnetic Fetal Cardiac Signals in a Case of Ectopia Cordis: the Dominant Role of the Vernex Caseosa,” Phys. Med. Biol. 45, 1989-1995 (2000).
  • R. T. Wakai, M. Chen, H. Zhao, B. VanVeen, and J. Strasburger, Assessment of fetal rhythm at 20 weeks” gestation by magnetocardiography, Biomedizinische Technik 46:188-190, 2001.
  • M. Chen, R.T. Wakai, and B. VanVeen, Eigenvector-based spatial filtering of fetal biomagnetic signals, J. Perinat. Med. 29(6), 486-496, 2001.
  • J.M. Lengle, M. Chen, M., and R.T. Wakai, Improved detection of fetal and neonatal auditory evoked responses, Clin. Neurophysiol. 112(5), 785-92, 2001.
  • H. Zhao and R.T. Wakai, Simultaneity of fetal heart rate acceleration and fetal trunk movement determined by fetal magnetocardiogram actocardiography, Phys. Med. Biol. 47:839-46, 2002.
  • R.T. Wakai and W.J. Lutter, Matched filter template generation via spatial filtering: application to fetal biomagnetic recordings, IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng. 49(10):1214-1217, 2002.
  • A. Rodriguez, B. VanVeen, and R.T. Wakai, Use of Signal Related Variance for MEG/EEG Source Localization and Detection, IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng.50, 137-49, 2003.
  • R.T. Wakai, J.F. Strasburger, Z. Li., B. Deal, and N. Gotteiner, Magnetocardiographic Rhythm Patterns at Initiation and Termination of Fetal Supraventricular Tachycardia, Circulation 107:307-12, 2003.
  • Cuneo, B.F., Ovadia, M., Strasburger, J.F., Petropulos, T., Schneider, J., Zhao, H., Wakai, R.T., Prenatal Diagnosis and in utero Treatment of Torsades de pointes Associated with Congenital Long QT Syndrome, Am. J. Cardiol. 91:1395-8, 2003.
  • Horigome, H. and Wakai, R.T., Basic and clinical applications of fetal magnetocardiography, Ped. Cardiol. Cardiac Surg. 19: 468-75, 2003.
  • Lutter, W. J., Wakai, R. T., Maier, M. M., and Baryshnikov, B. V. MEG sleep pattern dependence of auditory evoked fields in young infants. Neurol Clin Neurophysiol 2004, 77, 2004.
  • Wakai, R.T., Assessment of fetal neurodevelopment via fetal magnetocardiography, Experimental Neurology, Experimental Neurology 190, S65–S71, 2004.
  • Baryshnikov, B., VanVeen, B.D., and Wakai, R.T., Maximum likelihood estimation of low rank signals for multiepoch MEG/EEG analysis, IEEE Trans. Biomed Eng. 51, 1981-93, 2004.
  • Li, Z., Strasburger, J.F., and Wakai, R.T., Giant Fetal Magnetocardiogram P-waves in Congenital Heart Block: A Marker of Cardiovascular Compensation?, Circulation 110:2097-2101, 2004.
  • Li, Z., R. T. Wakai, D. N. Paulson, and B. Schwartz, HTS magnetometers for fetal magnetocardiography. Neurol Clin Neurophysiol 2004:25, 2004.
  • de Araujo, D. B., Barros, A. K., Estombelo-Montesco, C., Zhao, H., da Silva Filho, A. C., Baffa, O., Wakai, R., and Ohnishi, N. Fetal source extraction from magnetocardiographic recordings by dependent component analysis. Phys Med Biol 50, 4457-4464, 2005.
  • Dubin, A.M., Cuneo, B.F., Strasburger, J.F., Wakai, R.T.,.Van Hare, G.F., Rosenthal, D.N., Congenital Junctional Ectopic Tachycardia and Congenital Complete Atrioventricular Block: A Shared Etiology?, Heart Rhythm 2(3):313-5, 2005.
  • Rodriguez, A., Baryshnikov, B.V., Van Veen, B.D., Wakai, R.T., MEG and EEG Source Localization in Beamspace, IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng., 53:430-441, 2005.
  • W.J. Lutter, M. Maier, and R.T. Wakai, Development of MEG Sleep Patterns and Magnetic Auditory Evoked Responses During Early Infancy, Clin. Neurophysiol., 117, 522-30, 2006.
  • Cuneo, B. F.,Strasburger, J. F., Wakai, R. T., Ovadia, M. Conduction system disease in fetuses evaluated for irregular cardiac rhythm, Fetal Diagn Ther 21, 307-13, 2006
  • Chen, M., Van Veen, B., and Wakai, R.T., Linear Minimum Mean Square Error Filtering for Evoked Responses: Application to Fetal MEG, IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng. 53(5):959-963, 2006.
  • Limpiti, T., VanVeen, B., Wakai, R.T., Cortical Patch Basis Model for Spatially Extended Neural Activity, IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng. 53, 1740-54, 2006.
  • Zhao, H., Strasburger, J.F., Cuneo, B.F., and Wakai, R.T., Fetal Cardiac Repolarization Abnormalities, Am. J. Cardiol. 98, 491-6, 2006.
  • Li, Z., Wakai, R.T., and Walker, T.G., Parametric Modulation of an Atomic Magnetometer, Appl. Phys. Lett., 89, 134105, 2006.
  • Estombelo-Montesco, C. A., de Araujo, D. B., Silva Filho, A. C., Moraes, E. R., Barros, A. K., Wakai, R. T., Baffa, O. Dependent component analysis for the magnetogastrographic detection of human electrical response activity, Physiol. Meas. 28(9), 1029-44, 2007.
  • Zhao, H., Chen, M., Van Veen, B.,D., Strasburger J.S., and Wakai, R.T., Simultaneous Fetal Ultrasound/Doppler and Magnetocardiography, IEEE Trans. Biomed Eng. 54(6), 1167-71, 2007.
  • Wakai, R. T., W. J. Lutter, and M.M. Maier, “On and Off magnetic auditory evoked responses in early infancy: A possible marker of brain immaturity.” Clin Neurophysiol 118(7): 1480-7, 2007.
  • Cuneo, B.F., Zhao, H., Ovadia, M., Strasburger, J. F., Huhta, J., and Wakai, R. T., Atrial and Ventricular Rate Response and Patterns of Heart Rate Acceleration during Maternal-Fetal Terbutaline Treatment of Fetal Complete Heart Block, Am. J. Cardiol. 100, 661-6, 2007
  • Zhao, H., Cuneo, B.F., Strasburger, J.F., Gotteiner, N.L., Huhta, J., and Wakai, R. T., Electrophysiologic Characteristics of Fetal AV Block, J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. 51(1), 77-84, 2008.
  • Das, B., Cuneo, B.F., Ovadia, M., Strasburger, J.F., Johnsrude, C., Wakai, R.T., Magnetocardiography-Guided Management of an Unusual Case of Isoimmune Complete Atrioventricular Block Complicated by Ventricular Tachycardia, Fetal Diagn Ther 24:282-285, 2008.
  • Strasburger, J. F., B. Cheulkar, Wakai, R.T., “Magnetocardiography for fetal arrhythmias.” Heart Rhythm 5(7): 1073-6, 2008.
  • Cuneo, B. F., J. F. Strasburger, Wakai, R.T., “Magnetocardiography in the evaluation of fetuses at risk for sudden cardiac death before birth.” J Electrocardiol 41(2): 116 e1-6, 2008.
  • Cuneo, B. F.,Strasburger, J. F., Niksch, A., Ovadia, M., Wakai, R. T., An expanded phenotype of maternal SSA/SSB antibody-associated fetal cardiac disease, J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med 22(3), 233-8, 2009


  • American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM)