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Human Brain Imaging at 7 Tesla – Methodological Advancements and Clinical & Neuroscience Appliactions

Ultra-high magnetic field MRI has a great potential for imaging human body and brain, which has yet to be fully realized. I will present recent and ongoing work of my group, demonstrating that 7 Tesla MRI is a game changer for studying the human brain both in healthy subjects and patients. In the first part of my talk, I will focus on MRI method developments for anatomical and functional MRI, in particular on: a) MRI sequences for high-resolution functional MRI; b) accelerated imaging for whole brain functional & anatomical MRI; c) arterial spin labeling measuring cerebral blood flow, not yet standard at 7 Tesla; and d) quantitative anatomical imaging (T1 and T2*), allowing for accurate longitudinal studies and inter-subject comparison beyond the limits of standard qualitative approaches. In the second part of my talk, I will present advanced clinical and basic neuroscience applications: First, I will show experimental examples and theoretical models to describe the functional MRI hemodynamic response and brain effective connectivity. Second, we utilize our various quantitative anatomical MRI approaches on MELAS (Mitochondrial Encephalopathy Lactic Acidosis and Stroke-like episodes) and type-II Diabetes patients and analyze the multi-modal MRI data with machine-learning algorithms. Third, the quantitative anatomical MRI tools are applied for pre-surgical planning in deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the motor part of the subthalamic nucleus (STN), showing patient-specific accurate determination of the target location. Finally, I will present future extensions of my current work and possible new fields of inquiry with 7 Tesla.

BIOGRAPHY

Kâmil UludaĝKâmil Uludaĝ studied from 1992 till 1997 Physics at the Technical University of Berlin. He completed his Ph.D. in Physics in 2003 on Near-Infrared Optical Spectroscopy (Humboldt University, Berlin) and moved for a postdoc position to the Center for Functional MRI (UCSD, San Diego, USA) to work on the physiological and physical basis of functional MRI. In 2004, he was appointed Head of Human Brain Imaging group at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen. Since June 2010, he is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Psychology & Neuroscience and currently Head of the Department of Cognitive Neuroscience continuing his work on the basis of fMRI utilizing the new Ultra-High Field human MRI scanners (7 and 9.4 Tesla). In addition, he works on quantitative anatomical MRI (ASL, T1, T2*, SWI) and applies these approaches on post mortem brains, healthy subjects and patients. Dr. Uludaĝ currently supervises one assistant professor, 3 postdocs and 4 PhD students. He is on the editorial board of five neuroimaging journals, served from 2011 to 2013 as Annual Meeting Committee Member of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Medicine (ISMRM) and was elected Chair of the Current Issues of Brain Function study group. He recently edited a textbook “functional MRI: from Nuclear Spins to Brain Functions” (Publisher: Springer).
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