National Alliance for Medical Image Computing (NAMIC) Core1: Structural Analysis of Anotomical Shapes and of White Matter

Principal Investigator: Guido Gerig
Funding Agency: Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Agency Number: 149881

In-vivo imaging studies of brain structures provide valuable information about the nature of neuropsychiatric disorders including neurodegenerative diseases and/or disorder of abnormal neurodevelopment. Imaging can depict functional and morphologic information and has become an important component to detect normal biological variability and change from normal. Image acquisition, in particularly methods based on MRI, shows steady progress with respect to spatial resolution, contrast-to-noise ration, high-speed imaging, and versatility of scanning sequences measuring a variety of properties of tissue and function. To keep pace with advances in imaging and new needs of clinical research, image analysis research has to develop effective processing tools suitable for exploratory studies and for testing clinical hypothesis. Advanced image analysis methodology and statistical analysis methods, if developed based on a sound mathematical foundation and on the principle to produce generic methodology intergrated into a common platform, will not be applicable to human neuroimaging research as proposed here but wil be relevant for various other imaging domains like animal imaging studies, confocal microscopy imaging, and even analysis of microarrays, for example. The objective of this project is to develop, test, and validate novel image analysis methodology driven by challenging clinical neuroimaging problems. In particular, this project focuses on the representation and analysis of anatomical shapes and on the structure analysis of white matter fiber tracts. Specific neuroscience analysis problems related to schizophrenia research will closely drive our research and development.

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