My research focus is medical image processing and visualization. My work is part of a pipeline: physicists, engineers, and imaging technicians generate medical images, I process them into meaningful data and then visualize the data, and then medical researchers (and hopefully someday clinicians) interpret the visualizations to make decisions. The medical imaging field is exciting because of the mathematical and algorithmic sophistication required to process its data, the collaborations and feedback among individuals from different fields required to do meaningful work, and because of its practical applications to medical science.
The images I process are brain scans collected using diffusion MRI and other contrasts. Diffusion MRI describes the directional dependence of water self-diffusion at sample points in the brain. In the white matter, diffusion exhibits a non-uniform orientational distribution correlated to the local texture arising from axon bundles. Therefore, using diffusion MRI we may extract structural information about the white matter. I am interested in rigorously defining quantitative and biologically meaningful metrics for describing brain tissue, generating numerical models of biological properties of the whole brain, and designing software to easily and efficiently process acquired images in a medical context.