Imaging study shows brain activity may be as unique as fingerprints
A person’s brain activity appears to be as unique as his or her fingerprints, a new Yale-led imaging study shows. These brain “connectivity profiles” alone allow researchers to identify individuals from the fMRI images of brain activity of more than 100 people, according to the study published Oct. 12 in the journal Nature Neuroscience. Finn and co-first author Xilin Shen, under the direction of R. Todd Constable, professor of diagnostic radiology and neurosurgery at Yale, compiled fMRI data from 126 subjects who underwent six scan sessions over two days. Subjects performed different cognitive tasks during four of the sessions. In the other two, they simply rested. Researchers looked at activity in 268 brain regions: specifically, coordinated activity between pairs of regions. Highly coordinated activity implies two regions are functionally connected. Using the strength of these connections across the whole brain, the researchers were able to identify individuals from fMRI data alone, whether the subject was at rest or engaged in a task. They were also able to predict how subjects would perform on tasks. Read full article from Yale News here.
In the news:
Yale Professors awarded White House BRAIN initiative grant
Two Yale School of Medicine professors have received a federal grant supported by President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative. R. Todd Constable, professor of diagnostic radiology, and Michael C. Crair, professor of neurobiology, will use the nearly $5 million National Institutes of Health award over three years to develop experimental and analytic methods for examining neuronal activity across scales, from the single cell to the whole brain. Read more here.
The MRRC is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Michelle Hampson as the Director of Real-Time fMRI.
Dr. Hampson has an extensive background in fMRI, connectivity, and behavioral studies and together with Dr. Scheinost and Dr. Papademetris in the MRRC has put together an outstanding fMRI neurofeedback research program that combines clinical research with basic neuroscience.
Juchem Lab awarded NMSS pilot grant to study multiple sclerosis tissue injury and repair
Dr. Christoph Juchem and his team received a pilot grant from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) to study the role that proteins and lipids play in the cellular processes underlying tissue injury and repair in multiple sclerosis.
New Approach to Spatial Encoding in MRI Can Greatly Reduce Scan Time
Two researchers at Yale University have developed an approach to dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to obtain a Magnetic Resonance Image (MRI). While traditional MRI uses many lines of data, each acquired under a static magnetic field that varies linearly in space, this work used dynamic and curved magnetic fields to encode an entire image with a single line of data. The work, by Dr. Todd Constable and Dr. Gigi Galiana, both in Diagnostic Radiology in the School of Medicine, allows a complete image to be obtained in approximately 4ms. This could enable better temporal resolution for cardiac and fMRI applications, and most importantly reduced exam times for standard clinical MRI. Read more here..
Dr. Christoph Juchem awarded a 2013 Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (YCCI) Scholarship
Dr. Christoph Juchem received a 2013 Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (YCCI) Scholarship Award, titled 'Neurochemical Profiling of Multiple Sclerosis with Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging at 7 Tesla’.
Dr. Todd Constable was awarded a new RO1 grant
Dr. R. Todd Constable was awarded a new R01 starting Sept. 2013, titled "O-space imaging - Accelerating MRI with Z2 gradient encoding".
Dr. Christoph Juchem elected Chair-Elect of the Engineering Study Group of International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Christoph Juchem has been elected Chair-Elect of the Engineering Study Group of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM). The study group focusses on engineering principles and techniques that are the basis of new MR system developments and applications. More information about it can be found here.
Dr. Gigi Gailiana appointed as Assistant Professor in the department of Diagnostic Radiology
We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Gigi Galiana was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology on September 1, 2011. Dr. Galiana’s research spans MR methodology development with an emphasis of novel methods for generating tissue contrast particularly in cancer detection applications. She also is very active in the development of novel nonlinear gradient spatial encoding strategies for accelerated parallel imaging. Dr. Galiana performed her graduate work at Princeton University and received her Ph.D. in 2008.
She joined the Yale MRRC in 2008 as a Postdoctoral Fellow and was promoted to Associate Research Scientist in 2011. Dr. Galiana is the author of 14 papers and multiple patents. Her ground-breaking work on exploiting multiple quantum coherences to broaden the capabilities of MRI earned her a first author Science paper. She received a L’Oreal Women in Science grant in addition to a Ford Foundation grant and has been a key contributor to numerous projects in the MRRC.
Dr. Christoph Juchem appointed as Assistant Professor in the Departments of Diagnostic Radiology and Neurology
We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Christoph Juchem was appointed Assistant Professor in the Departments of Diagnostic Radiology and Neurology on January 1, 2012. Dr. Juchem’s research spans MR methodology development with an emphasis of novel methods for improving B0 homogeneity to applications of MR spectroscopy to study neurological disorders at ultra-high magnetic fields. Dr. Juchem carried out his graduate work at the Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Tübingen in 2006. He joined the Yale MRRC in 2007 as a Postdoctoral Fellow and was promoted to Associate Research Scientist in 2008. Dr. Juchem is the author of 13 papers and patents, 10 of which as first author. His ground breaking work on magnetic field modeling inside objects and B0 shimming have been recognized by scholarships of the Brown Coxe Foundation in 2007 and the Agilent foundation in 2012. In 2010 he won the Best Poster award in the Engineering category of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance (ISMRM) and in 2011 he was a finalist of the ISMRM's I.I. Rabi Young Investigator Award.
Yale University and Siemens Medical have reached an agreement to license two patents filed by Dr. Constable and his research team.
Yale University and Siemens Medical have reached an agreement to license two patents filed by Dr. Constable and his research team aimed at reducing the time it takes to perform and MRI exam. Through this agreement Siemens will help support research to bring this new approach to the clinical setting potentially reducing MRI exam times by a factor of 2 or more. This would have a substantial impact on patient comfort, the cost of an MRI procedure, and throughput.
Robert G. Shulman Lectures in Magnetic Resonance symposium
2012 Robert G. Shulman Lectures in Magnetic Resonance Symposium -Imaging Brain Function with Magnetic Resonance: The Next 20 Years. Symposium to be held on Jan 12, 2012 at the TAC auditorium. 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of functional MRI. Since its introduction, functional MRI has become a major method for mapping human and animal brain activity. Improved MRI and MRS techniques and related equipment have uncovered functional activity of individual cortical columns, the energy cost of functional activity, and have described the nature of brain connectivity in stimulated and resting conditions. For the Department of Diagnostic Radiology and MRRC 2012 Robert G. Shulman Lectures in Magnetic Resonance, we have two of the pioneers in functional MRI, Professors Seiji Ogawa and Kamil Ugurbil, who will discuss the state-of-the-art of research and technology in MRI and MRS of brain function, as well as what the future holds. Their lectures, along with lectures by Professors Todd Constable, Fahmeed Hyder, and Robert Shulman will address the future of imaging brain function with magnetic resonance in studying the stimulated and resting condition, directly measuring neuronal activity and their connections towards the study of consciousness. The Event Poster can be reviewed here.
Research Scientist Dana Peters received a grant (R21) from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute at the NIH.
Research Scientist Dana Peters (PI) of the Magnetic Resonance Research Center has received a grant (R21) from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute at the NIH to develop new methods for visualizing myocardial infarction with MRI. Myocardial infarction is well visualized by MRI, imaging with a T1-weighted sequence applied after equilibration of gadolinium contrast agent into fibrotic regions. However, visualizing the "grey zone" --the region of mixed dead and living myocardium which may play an critical role in causing cardiac arrythmias--is much more challenging to visualize and assess. This grant proposes to visualize the grey zone using higher resolution imaging, including T1-weighted images and T1-mapping. Patients with cardiac arrythmias will be imaged using the new MRI techniques. The grant, entitled, "In search of the arrhythmogenic grey zone within myocardial scar using late gadolinium enhancement cardiovascular magnetic resonance," will be funded at the level of $275,000 over two years.
A team led by Dr. Todd Constable has filed for 2 patents associated with their research aimed at accelerating MR acquisitions.
Dr. Todd Constable and a team consisting of Dr. Gigi Galiana, Jason Stockmann, and Leo Tam have filed 2 patents associated with their research aimed at accelerating MR acquisitions. The patents include one called "O-space imaging" which uses a Z2 nonlinear gradient term during the data acquisition period to more efficiently encode spatial information when combined with multiple receiver coils. The second patent introduces a more general form of O-space imaging, called "Null Space Imaging", that designs a gradient encoding scheme to be maximally complementary to the spatial encoding provided by a receiver coil array and this approach gains substantial efficiencies in spatial encoding allowing imaging times to be reduced by a factor of anywhere from 2-8 times current state-of-the-art fast acquisitions.
Dr. Christoph Juchem selected finalist of the ISMRM's 2011 I.I. Rabi Young Investigator Award
Christoph Juchem, PhD has been nominated for the 2011 I.I. Rabi Young Investigator Award of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM). The nomination is based on the work on magnetic field homogenization (so-called 'shimming') of the mouse brain with dynamically updated multi-coil fields that he and his colleagues carried out at the Magnetic Resonance Research Center (MRRC) of Yale School of Medicine. The novel multi-coil concept for shimming enables the flexible and accurate generation of complex magnetic field shapes that allow largely improved magnetic field homogenization compared to conventional spherical harmonics shimming. The multi-coil shimming technique therefore paves the way for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS) applications in the rodent and the human brain for which excellent magnetic field homogeneity is a prerequisite.
Dr. Nolwenn Caillet, a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Constable, has just been accepted as a postdoctoral fellow in the Yale Neuroimaging Sciences Training Program.
Dr. Nolwenn Caillet, a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Constable, has just been accepted as a postdoctoral fellow in the Yale Neuroimaging Sciences Training Program. Here work in this program will focus on the development of novel receiver coils that can provide spatial encoding in 3-dimensions with a reduced number of channels thereby decreasing the time it takes to acquire 3D spatial information in MRI. The work will focus on neuroimaging applications with particular emphasis on high temporal resolution functional MRI wherein reducing volumetric scan times to less than 1 second allows for substantial reduction of physiological noise processes and better statistical power in resting-state fMRI investigations.
Daniel Coman is involved in two new patents in the field of magnetic resonance research.
Associate Research Scientist Daniel Coman, Ph.D has played an integral role in developing two patents in the field of magnetic resonance research.
The first invention is directed towards contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and/or spectroscopy (MRS) and methods of using these contrast agents for altering the MRI and/or MRS signals in samples, in vitro or in vivo, and more specifically to paramagnetic metal ion macrocyclic complexes as contrast agents and methods based on detection of exchangeable and non-exchangeable protons with techniques that have been dubbed as chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) and biosensor imaging of redundant deviation in shifts (BIRDS), respectively.
The second invention describes a fast, reliable, and simple method for estimating the power (i.e., heat) deposition by the radio-frequency (RF) pulses applied during any magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and/or
spectroscopy (MRS) experiments. Prior to implementation in vivo, all MRI or MRS pulse sequences must undergo a series of in vitro tests to assess the RF power deposition, the proposed method will provide the
quantitative data for such tests. The in vitro sample contains a known amount of a magnetic resonance temperature molecular probe to estimate temperature changes in the sample.
Christoph Juchem wins engineering award at the 2010 ISMRM/ESMRMB meeting
A new method for the synthesis of magnetic fields for magnetic resonance applications by Christoph Juchem, PhD, has been awarded the first place poster award at the 2010 ISMRM/ESMRMB joint annual meeting in Stockholm/Sweden. Christoph Juchem, Associate Research Scientist at the Magnetic Resonance Research Center (MRRC) at Yale School of Medicine, and his co-workers were able to show that a set of generic, individual coils can be turned into a powerful magnetic field modeling system. The multi-coil approach permits the simultaneous generation of linear MR imaging and complex shim fields with the same setup and allows the integration of conventional imaging and shim coils into a single multi-coil system. The award winning poster can be found here.
Fahmeed Hyder releases new book on Dynamic Brain Imaging
Fahmeed Hyder, PhD, has published a book entitled Dynamic Brain Imaging: Multi-Modal Methods and In Vivo Applications. Up-to-date and user-friendly, this publication is designed to be accessible to both specialist neurophysiologists and general neuroscientists. It reviews the fundamental, theoretical, and practical principles of magnetic resonance, electrophysiology, and optical methods as applied in the neurosciences and shows how these tools can be used successfully to answer important questions in brain science.
Erik Shapiro Hopes To Enhance MRI Technology With New Innovator Award from the NIH
Erik M. Shapiro, assistant professor of Diagnostic Radiology and Biomedical Engineering at the Yale School of Medicine, has been awarded a $1.5 million New Innovator Award by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). more...
James Duncan and William Greene receive MICCAI 2008 awards
James Duncan, PhD and William Greene receive Medical Imaging and Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI 2008) awards. more...