My research focuses on computational methods for mapping the white-matter axon bundles through which the different regions of the human brain communicate with each other. Our goal is to do this non-invasively, to allow clinicians and researchers to study these connections in living human subjects. For this purpose, we develop algorithms for analyzing diffusion-weighted MRI brain scans. However, the resolution of these quick scans is not sufficient for reconstructing the full complexity of the wiring of the human brain, leaving room for errors and ambiguities. We try to resolve these by using multi-modal data with microscopic resolution that are only available post mortem. This includes ex vivo diffusion-weighted MRI data that we collect in specialized research MRI scanners, as well as optical imaging and anatomic tracing data collected by our collaborators. Our ultimate goal is to develop models of white-matter anatomy from these post mortem data that will allow us to resolve the ambiguities in the lower-resolution in vivo data, with the hope of providing a reliable tool for the study of brain connections in patients with neurologic and psychiatric conditions, based on a quick and safe MRI scan. More on current research projects >>

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