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In vivo histology with MRI

Prof. Julien Cohen-Adad, Assistant Professor, Polytechnique Montreal; Associate Director, Functional Neuroimaging Unit, University of Montreal; Canada Research Chair in Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging

In vivo histology with MRI

Dr. J. Cohen-Adad

  • CREATE-MIA Event
  • Seminar
When Nov 27, 2015
from 04:00 PM to 05:00 PM
Where McConnell Engineering MC437
Attendees All CREATE-MIA Trainees
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Recent advances in MRI have led to the development of techniques that provide quantitative measures of tissue microstructure. Axon diameter and density can be inferred from q-space diffusion [1], while myelin density can be inferred from quantitative magnetization transfer (qMT) [2], myelin water fraction [3] or macromolecular tissue volume (MTV) [4]. Surprisingly, these techniques have mostly been studied independently despite their complementarity: together they can provide comprehensive characterization of the fibre microstructure, including quantifying the myelin thickness or the so-called g-ratio [5]. Moreover, most validation work has been done using tissue staining approaches (e.g., luxol fast blue), without looking at the axon microstructure itself. The goal of this research axis is to establish new biomarkers of axon microstructure and to establish a state-of-the-art validation protocol using novel optical imaging technology and automatic axon segmentation tools [6].


1. Assaf Y, et al. AxCaliber: a method for measuring axon diameter distribution from diffusion MRI. Magn Reson Med 2008;59(6):1347-1354.


2. Pike GB, et al. Multiple sclerosis: magnetization transfer MR imaging of white matter before lesion appearance on T2-weighted images. Radiology 2000;215(3):824-830.


3. MacKay A, et al. Insights into brain microstructure from the T2 distribution. Magn Reson Imaging 2006;24(4):515-525.


4. Mezer A, et al. Quantifying the local tissue volume and composition in individual brains with magnetic resonance imaging. Nat Med 2013;19(12):1667-1672.


5. Stikov N, et al. In vivo histology of the myelin g-ratio with magnetic resonance imaging. Neuroimage 2015;118:397-405.


6. Bégin et al. Automated method for the segmentation and morphometry of nerve fibers in large-scale CARS images of spinal cord tissue. Biomed. Opt. Express (2014) vol. 5 (12) pp. 4145-61


Dr. Cohen-Adad completed his PhD in 2008 at the University of Montreal and pursued with a 3-year postdoctoral fellowship at the MGH Martinos Center at Harvard University. He is now assistant professor at Polytechnique Montreal and associate director of the Neuroimaging Functional Unit at the University of Montreal. Dr. Cohen-Adad has a background in MR physics and software development. His research focuses on the development of multi-parametric MRI techniques for quantifying microstructure in the brain and spinal cord. These developments include MRI coils, acquisition at ultra-high field (7 tesla), quantitative techniques (diffusion imaging, magnetization transfer, functional MRI) and image processing software (multimodal registration, segmentation, motion correction). In collaboration with several international hospitals, he has been translating these advanced MRI techniques for studying patients with spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis. He has published over 65 articles, edited the first book on quantitative MRI of the spinal cord (Elsevier) and has recently been appointed Tier-2 Canada Research Chair in Quantitative MRI.

« September 2017 »
Funded by NSERC

Funding provided by NSERC