Our research focuses on brain physiology and the use of functional imaging methods including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and optical imaging to study brain function in both healthy subjects and in patients with a variety of clinical disorders including stroke, epilepsy, neurodegenerative disease, traumatic brain injury, and migraine.
We are most widely known for seminal work in the development and validation of arterial spin labeled (ASL) perfusion MRI, a noninvasive quantitative perfusion method that has been translated to clinical practice. ASL MRI provides noninvasive quantification of cerebral blood flow (CBF), which is tightly coupled to regional neural activity, and hence provides a means of quantifying regional brain function.
Because ASL MRI can quantify brain function in absolute units, it is suitable for measuring regional brain function at very low temporal frequencies, including trait effects, brain development, and drug effects. While most of our ASL MRI work has focused on the brain, some lines of inquiry also extend to other organs.
We are also active in other areas of neuroimaging research, such as the development and applications of MRI based brain glutamate mapping based on GluCEST in collaboration with the Reddy lab in Radiology and the development and applications of brain oximetry and oxygen consumption mapping in collaboration with the Wehrli lab in Radiology. A limitation of MRI is its requirement of costly an immovable instrumentation. Accordingly, we are also working closely with the Yodh lab in physics on the development and applications of transcranial optical blood flow methods that can be used at the bedside.
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