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Neuroimaging Lab

Our Research Mission

Our focus is on developing medical imaging techniques which can shift the paradigm in the evaluation of brain health. We conduct research that is founded in engineering fundamentals and guided by improving clinical care for patients though innovation, dedication, and cutting-edge technology. 

Grace McIlvain Elastography

Brain Elastography

A noninvasive look at brain mechanical properties

Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) is an emerging method to non-invasively study the mechanical properties of the brain. 

Our research lab is at the forefront of the development of brain MRE for use in the pediatric population. 

Our Specific Goals

Grace McIlvain Brain

Development of Quantitative Medical Imaging Techniques

Techniques which can quantitatively measure brain microstructural health are relatively new and improvements to these techniques are necessary to achieve optimal clinical usefulness. 

Brain mechanical properties have demonstrated tremendous usefulness for understanding brain health and pathology. 

We aim to expand our work in brain MRE and develop novel strategies for imaging brain health.

Measuring Brain Mechanical Maturation

Clinical observations have limitations for assessing brain function, particularly in young children or children with developmental disabilities.

Brain mechanical properties are highly sensitive to tissue microstructure, and can be used as a quantitative indicator of regional neural deficits. 

Measurements of brain mechanical maturation can inform our understanding of functional maturation in children. We aim to leverage this information to characterize atypical development and improve assessments for early intervention.

Grace McIlvain
Grace McIlvain

Characterization of Brain Mechanical Properties in Neurological Conditions

Brain mechanical properties are highly sensitive to tissue pathology. Often tumor cells, lesions, and inflammation can present with the same image contrast as healthy tissue. However, their mechanical properties 

can be very different. 

We aim to use MRE to characterize tissue pathology in a number of neurological conditions ranging from adult brain tumors to pediatric MS.

Intelligent Image Analysis 

There is an increasing acknowledgement of the role of brain networks in supporting nearly every brain function. 

Understanding these higher level functional processes relies on measuring spatial patterning across the brain.


Our lab works to develop advanced image processing methods for characterizing brain mechanical networks.

Grace McIlvain Lab
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