Harvard Catalyst Profiles

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Onur Afacan, Ph.D.


Available: 01/10/22, Expires: 03/01/24

Epilepsy surgery can result in seizure freedom or a marked reduction in seizures in approximately two-thirds of children with intractable seizures who have been carefully selected, with minimal adverse functional loss. Diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) is an important non-invasive tool that allows the neurosurgeon to precisely map regions of the brain supporting critical functions that should be preserved; however, excessive head motion can lead to mis-identification of these regions, with direct implications for treatment. Our project promises to deliver a highly innovative imaging method capable of producing high-quality connectivity maps in the presence of uncontrolled head motion by tracking the position of the head and updating the acquisition in real-time. Potential role for student: The student will become familiar with advanced neuroimaging approaches, in particular for diffusion weighted MRI. They will learn to generate brain connectivity maps from diffusion MRI data and analyze the differences in connectivity between different brain regions. Required prior skills: Basic neuroanatomy knowledge, or basic programming skills are desired.

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Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.