MARC U*STAR Seminar - Dr. Peter Basser

Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 11:00am

"Probing Brain Microstructure with Diffusion MRI"

Guest lecturer: Peter Basser, Ph.D.

Chief of NICHD's Section on Tissue Biophysics and Biometrics

Science Center N 139

11 a.m. - 12 p.m.


This lecture is part of the 2014 MARC U*STAR Program Spring Seminar Series and will take place at 11 a.m. in Science Center N 139.

About the speaker:

For most of his career, Dr. Basser has pursued interests in Neuroimaging, Computational Neurosciences, and Neurophysiology. Much of his work tries to merge these disciplines.

Dr. Basser is probably best known as the principal inventor of diffusion tensor NMR and MRI (DTI), and has worked at the NIH for more than two decades with colleague Carlo Pierpaoli and others to translate these and other quantitative MRI technologies clinically, as well as develop them as basic research tools to probe brain architecture, organization, and function. Other MRI technologies Dr. Basser has co-invented, including CHARMED and AxCaliber, and, which are used to examine features of the intra-axonal and extracellular milieu in white matter, and Mean Apparent Propagator (MAP) and Multiple pulsed-field gradient (mPFG) MRI methods to detect microstructural features in white and gray matter, primarily for in vivo cytoarchitectonic parcellation of the cortex.

In the area of computational neurosciences, he has worked to explain the physical basis of observed scaling laws among morphological parameters of axons, and more recently to explain the observed axon diameter distribution (ADD) in terms of maximizing information flow along nerve fascicles.

In the area of Neurophysiology, he and colleague, Brad Roth were the first to explain the physical basis of electromagnetic stimulation of axons—later named Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). Dr. Basser also helped pioneer the migration of this diagnostic technique to the treatment of depression as an alternative to Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT). Since then, he has continued to develop analytical and finite element method (FEM) models of electromagnetic field interactions with brain tissue with colleague, Pedro Miranda, to explore different possible mechanisms of action in neural tissue, and possible therapeutic applications of electric fields.

All are welcome to attend. For more information on this event or the series, please contact Ms. Chanequa Watson,

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