Our department and its affiliates conducts a broad array of research in the clinical and developmental application of imaging technology. Below is a list of many of our ongoing projects.

Core Research

Traumatic Brain Injury Imaging: Diagnosing Concussions (Drs. Michael Zeineh and Max Wintermark)

The clinical diagnosis of concussion is complicated. We are developing new imaging methods to diagnose subtle manifestations of traumatic brain injury. These advanced imaging techniques, which includes diffusion tensor imaging, perfusion imaging and resting state functional MRI, will help diagnose concussion in athletes, in our military personnel, but also in pediatric patients involved in contact sports.

Stroke Imaging: Prognosticating Tissue Fate and Selecting Patients for Treatment (Drs. Max Wintermark, Michael Marks and Greg Zaharchuk)

Stroke is a devastating condition but new treatments are available that can be helpful if offered to the appropriate patients. We are pioneering new imaging methods to better understand which acute stroke patients will benefit most from revascularization therapy.

Cerebral hemodynamics and collaterals in acute ischemic stroke (Drs. Greg Zaharchuk and Max Wintermark)
In acute ischemic stroke, collateral flow may play a central role in sustaining tissue viability and reducing the risks of complications. However, there has been no study of the role of collateral flow in acute stroke patients to date. We are investigating how to best incorporate collateral perfusion assessments with MRI into patient-selection algorithms for endovascular therapy. Investigation of collaterals will provide a more comprehensive framework for predicting infarct growth and patient outcome in the work-up of acute stroke.

Brain Connectivity Mapping in Cerebrovascular Diseases (Dr. Greg Zaharchuk)
Spontaneous fluctuations of the MR BOLD signal are usually acquired to explore the brain’s functional organization in resting-state studies. We are investigating how the brain's functional organization is affected by diseases such as stroke and moyamoya.

Fast Pediatric MRI Protocols (Drs. Greg Zaharchuk and Kristen Yeom)
MRI provides excellent contrast between the different soft tissues of the body, which makes it especially useful in imaging brain pathology. The main disadvantage of MRI is that is lengthy, and can take up to one hour at our institution – due to the need for the rescanning of motion-corrupted exams. Particularly in a pediatric setting, long protocols increases the risk of motion artifacts in the acquired images, thus general anesthesia is often used – at the expense of patient throughput, comfort, and cost. We are working on new techniques to shorten the overall scan time of pediatric MRI.


Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping (Drs. Michael Iv, Kristen Yeom and Greg Zaharchuk)
High field MR allows us to acquire images with excellent T2*-weighted contrasts in a sub-mm spatial resolution and to differentiate subtle changes in magnetic susceptibility that permit scientific and clinical investigations of brain structures with superb conspicuity and delineation. High resolution venograms can also be created using the great contrast existing between blood vessels and surrounding tissues. We are evaluating this technique in pediatric patients with brain tumors.

Magnetic Resonance Fingerprinting (Dr. Greg Zaharchuk)

We are developing a new approach to MRI in which numerical simulations of the MRI signal are used in conjunction with the concept of fingerprinting, comparing the a short acquisition to a dictionary of curves obtained using numerical simulations of the same experiment. Using this approach, regular MR images can be obtained with good accuracy and robust behavior in the presence of noise and other acquisitions errors.

Depression Imaging (Dr. Max Wintermark in collaboration with Dr. Lea Williams)

Depression ranks as the primary emotional problem for which help is sought. The mechanism of depression is not completely fully understood and this affects adversely the treatment options. We are using advanced neuroimaging techniques to understand the nature of the neural circuitry and brain structure and function that underlies the different types of depression, and to guide depression treatment.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Dr. Michael Zeineh)

It is not uncommon for patients with chronic fatigue sydnrome to face several mischaracterizations of their condition, or even suspicions of hypochondria. Our team found distinct differences between the brains of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and those of healthy people. The findings could lead to more definitive diagnoses of the syndrome and may also point to an underlying mechanism in the disease process.

Iron and Alzheimer Disease (Dr. Michael Zeineh)

There are in excess of 5 million Americans with Alzheimer disease. Alzheimer disease has traditionally been characterized as pathological accumulations of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. A growing field of investigation in Alzheimer disease is the role of neuroinflammation led by microglia, the inflammatory cells of the brain. Microglia in concert with pathological forms of iron accumulation play together a pivotal role in neuronal destruction in Alzheimer disease . We are using advanced neuroimaging techniques to better understand the role of iron in Alzheimer disease.

Department Research

Imaging Techniques

Kristen Yeom - Samantha Holdsworth
Fast MRI and motion correction
Greg Zaharchuk - Michael ZeinehMichael Moseley - Gary GloverJennifer McNab
Resting state fMRI processing pipeline with return of relevant images (networks) to PACS
Roland Bammer - Bob Dougherty  - Michael Zeineh
Multiband acceleration for DTI
Michael Moseley - Samantha HoldsworthKristen Yeom
Improved QSM imaging
Rebecca Fahrig - Max Wintermark
Dual-energy imaging of the brain and spine
Max Wintermark - Kim Butts Pauly
MRgFUS opening of the blood-brain barrier for epilepsy and brain tumors
Kim Butts Pauly - Max Wintermark
Thermometry for MRgFUS and visualase
Kim Butts Pauly - Max Wintermark
MR elastography for brain applications
Max Wintermark - Jennifer McNab - Michael Zeineh
DTI in MRgFUS treatment of essential tremor
Kim Butts Pauly - Gary Glover - Max Wintermark
TMS and Ultrasound-based neuromodulation
Brian Rutt - Michael Zeineh
MP FLAIR cube at 7T and 3T
Brian Rutt - Max Wintermark
Brian Rutt - Max Wintermark
Thermal 7T MRI treatment brain tumor
Brian Rutt - Kim Butts Pauly - Max Wintermark – Michael Zeineh
White matter nulled MPRAGE imaging for improved targeting of MRgFUS
Dan SpielmanBrian RuttMax Wintermark
Neurospectroscopy at 3T and 7T

Neurodegenerative, TBI, and Epilepsy Imaging 

Jennifer McNab  - Michael Zeineh
Cortical fibers, cortical diffusion and plasticity
Michael Zeineh – Brian Rutt
7T T1 mapping in aging
Michael Zeineh – Brian Rutt
7T hippocampal in aging

Vascular Imaging

Greg ZaharachukMichael Moseley
Oxygenation imaging of the brain
Greg Zaharchuk - Michael Marks - Roland BammerManoj Saranathan
High-temporal resolution ASL imaging for AVM/dAVF grading
Kristen Yeom - Huy Do - Roland Bammer
4D flow of the brain AVM
Michael Marks - Brian Hargreaves
More accurate MRA evaluation for coiled aneurysm remnants and recurrence in face of coil artifacts
Michael Marks - Rebecca Fahrig
More accurate CTA evaluation for coiled aneurysm remnants and recurrence in face of coil artifacts
Michael Marks - Huy Do - Rebecca Fahrig
C-arm perfusion imaging in the cath lab for stroke and vasospasm
Michael Iv - Kristen Yeom - Michael Moseley
Ferumoxytol vascular imaging
Michael Iv - Nancy FischbeinRoland Bammer
Vessel wall imaging
Greg Zaharchuk - Roland Bammer
Reformatting of 3D scans into a standard orientation/atlas space for tumor pre- and post- evaluation
Roland BammerMax Wintermark
Atlas-based prediction of NIHSS
Roland BammerMax Wintermark
Comparison of CT and MRI perfusion in stroke (SENSE 3)
Roland BammerMichael MarksHuy Do
ASL-based dynamic MRA of AVMs
Max WintermarkRoland Bammer - Norbert Pelc
Precision and accuracy of CT brain perfusion studies

White Matter Imaging

Nancy Fischbein - Brian Rutt - Manoj Saranathan
Improved CUBE FLAIR imaging

Brain Tumor Imaging

Michael Iv - Kristen Yeom - Michael Moseley
Ferumoxytol brain tumor imaging
Michael Iv - Kristen Yeom  - Olivier Gaevert
Brain tumor genomics
Roland BammerMichael Iv
Perfusion imaging of brain tumors
Dan SpielmanMax Wintermark
IDH spectroscopy of brain tumors

Head and Neck Imaging

Nancy Fischbein - Rebecca Fahrig
High resolution CT imaging of the inner ear structures

Spine Imaging

Kristen Yeom - Nancy Fischbein - Brian Hargreaves
Improving T2 and diffusion-weighted MRI of the spinal cord
Michael Iv - Brian Hargreaves
Brachial plexus imaging


Kim Butts Pauly, Sam Cheshier, Fred Chin, Gerry GrantGordon Li, Linsey Moyer, Andy Quon, Max Wintermark
MR-guided focused ultrasound opening of the BBB to treat GBM and epilepsy
PET imaging probes: [18F]Tracers for detecting BBB integrity
Other PET imaging probes for GBM: [18F]Tracers for 1) imaging tumor hypoxia and 2) based on smart probe strategies
Fred Chin, Ian Gotlib, Andy Quon, Brian Rutt, Brian Wandell, Lea Williams, Max Wintermark
Neuroimaging of depression: mechanism of treatment response, prediction of treatment response
PET imaging probes: [11C]raclopride (Dopamine-2), [18F]FTC-146 (Sigma-1), [18F]FMZ (GABA-A), [18F]FPEB (mGluR5)
Fred Chin, Casey Halpern, Andy Quon, Brian Rutt, Nolan Williams, Max Wintermark
Neuroimaging of OCD: mechanism of treatment response, prediction of treatment response
PET imaging probes: [18F]FTC-146 (Sigma-1 agonist therapy; monitoring fluovoxamine treatment)
Maheen Anderson, Victor Carrion, Fred Chin, Amy Garrett, Andy Quon, Max Wintermark, Michael Zeineh
Relationship of TBI to pre-existing mental health conditions, such as depression, and to long-term development of Alzeihmer’s Disease
PET imaging probes: [11C]PIB (Beta-amyloid), [18F]FTC-146 (Sigma-1), [18F]T807 (Tau protein), [18F]GE-180 (TSPO)

Zeineh Lab

Center for Advanced Neuroimaging (Directed by Greg Zaharchuk)

Radiological Sciences Laboratory