Hands-On Diffusion MRI


This will be a 4 week, one day per week program, starting shortly after October 30.  Starting date is still tentative, but is likely to be either Monday, Nov 1 or Tuesday, Nov 2. The one-day-per-week schedule supplies time for participants to get practice with the software during weekly homework assignments


This course is designed for researchers and clinicians who are interested in using diffusion MRI to study the human brain. It is divided evenly between didactic lectures and hands-on exercises. After completing the course, students will be able to: (i) Identify the main pathways of the brain. (ii)  Analyze diffusion MRI data to reconstruct brain pathways and to characterize their microstructure. (iii) Design the dMRI acquisition protocol of a future study to allow a certain type of analysis on the data. Hands-on sessions include extensive data analysis exercises, as well as a scan session on the Martinos Center’s 3T Connectom scanner, which was the first of its kind and developed as part of the Human Connectome Project. No prior experience with diffusion MRI is required, but some experience with neuroimaging data acquisition and analysis is helpful.


Faculty     (more to be added)


Anastasia Yendiki, Ph.D.  [Course Director] Dr. Yendiki is an Associate Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School and an Associate Investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital, Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging. She holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. She is the developer of TRACULA (TRActs Constrained by UnderLying Anatomy), the diffusion MRI analysis toolbox of the FreeSurfer software suite. In addition to the development of software tools for analyzing in vivo data, her research interests include post mortem validation of diffusion MRI. She has spearheaded the IronTract Challenge, an initiative bringing together tractography developers from around the world to compare and optimize the accuracy of their methods using gold standard post mortem data. She has also been MGH site PI for the NIH Connectomes Related to Human Disease. Dr. Yendiki has a decade of experience teaching in the Martinos Center’s educational programs, FreeSurfer training workshops, as well as graduate-level courses on neuroimaging at MIT.