Our research integrates quantitative magnetic susceptibility with multi-shell diffusion and relaxometry-based MRI models of brain tissue microstructure to develop atlases applicable to neurological diseases. We apply these techniques to research in both animal models and human neurological diseases at field strengths of 3T, 7 T and 9.4 T. We also combine computational biophysical modeling of MRI data with ground truth information derived from optical/electron microscopy and antibody/chemical staining.
QUANTITATIVE MRI (qMRI) OF NEUROLOGICAL DISEASE
Our research seeks to extend the prognostic value of MRI by developing fast, efficient qMRI methods which can be leveraged in clinical settings. We combine several quantitative MRI methods (QSM/Relaxometry/Temporal Diffusion Spectroscopy/Chemical Exchange Imaging) with advanced reconstruction and RF pulse design techniques to cater MRI protocols to specific neurological diseases. Some of our current applications include the imaging of cortical pathology and repeat demyelination episodes in MS, the identification of cortical dysplasia in epilepsy and the qMRI of novel contrast agents and metastatic brain tumours in animal models.
ULTRA-HIGH FIELD TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
The advent of ultra high field (UHF > 3T) MRI technologies has introduced the possibility of visualizing in vivo changes in human tissue structure with an unprecedented level of accuracy. UHF MRI also involves the application of new MRI physics/engineering strategies. Accordingly, research in our lab integrates customized radiofrequency (RF) transmit/receive coil technology with dynamically-driven, multi coil shim arrays. RF coil technology is developed for both proton and non-proton MRI, as well as magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) applications.