MR Imaging Development

With the combined ability to control a select population of neurons and readout global activity patterns with fMRI, there is an increasing need to parallelize these processes to bring ofMRI studies to their full potential. To this end, we have developed a specialized system for massively parallel, high-throughput ofMRI measurements. Using principles from medical imaging and electrical engineering, we have developed new pulse sequences, compressed sensing techniques, and other means of optimization such as GPU parallelization. Pushing these processes to their limit remains an active area of research in our lab.

Visualization of
Global Brain Dynamics

We have developed a novel platform for controlling spatially and genetically defined neurons in vivo, while simultaneously visualizing global brain dynamics with fMRI. Using this technique, which we call optogenetic fMRI (ofMRI), we have begun to characterize the functional connectivity of several brain structures and their implications in disease. For example, we are currently investigating the contribution of regions such as the hippocampus and thalamus to epileptic behavior. We have also begun to visualize stem cell-driven regeneration of the central nervous system, which has implications for pathologies such as spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and stroke.