Andrei Irimia, PhD - Principal Investigator
Andrei Irimia is a computational neuroscientist, neurogerontologist, biomedical engineering researcher and biophysicist whose interests cover, in a broad sense, the topics of neural injury, degeneration, plasticity and repair. His research utilizes computational biology approaches and multimodal imaging to study how brain connectivity alterations caused by insults to the brain contribute to connectome reorganization and to cognitive degradation & recovery. A key component of this research is the relationship between brain injury, cerebral amyloid angiopathy, dementia and how these conditions interact with one another. Upon completion of a bachelor's degree in computer science & mathematics, he was awarded an MS degree in computer science (medical image processing), an MS and a PhD in biophysics (pathophysiology), all from Vanderbilt University. Following postdoctoral studies at UCSD and UCLA, he joined the Keck School of Medicine of USC as a junior faculty member, from where he was recruited by the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, where he is now Assistant Professor of Gerontology & Neuroscience. He has training and expertise in both biomedical as well as electrical engineering systems, and his experience with the segmentation, morphometry and quantitative analysis of neuroimaging data has allowed him and his colleagues to pioneer award-winning approaches for the visualization of the human connectome. These strategies have facilitated contributions to current knowledge on brain networks, neural injury, vascular neuropathology and on neurodegeneration in atypical aging. Prof. Irimia has published extensively on MRI physics, atomic structure theory, bioengineering, neurophysiology, bioelectromagnetism, inverse localization of human cortical activity, nonlinear dynamics of neural networks, computational neurobiology & neuroinformatics, data science, machine intelligence, neuroenteric physiology, multivariate statistical inference, as well as on the applications of differential geometry and elliptic/harmonic theory to neuroscience. His research is being funded by the National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) through the R01 mechanism. He has co-authored 90+ peer-reviewed publications and 200+ research abstracts, he has delivered 40+ invited lectures and received 80+ academic honors and awards, both national and international. His research has been covered by Discover Magazine, Scientific American, Nature, Nature Methods, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and other venues. More recently, his findings on neural injury and brain networks have been described in several neuroscience textbooks. Prof. Irimia has developed and taught a popular graduate course on neuroimaging data analysis using magnetic resonance imaging at USC, where he is a member of both the Neuroscience Graduate Program (NGP) and the Multidisciplinary Training Program in Gerontology. He is also a member of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM), the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Institute for Electronic and Electric Engineers (IEEE), the IEEE Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society (IEEE EMBS) and the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (IEEE CIS).
Nahian Chowdhury has a background in neuroscience and computer science and is interested in the structural neuroimaging of traumatic brain injury in older adults, in the longitudinal analysis of brain circuitry using diffusion tensor imaging, as well as in machine learning.
Alexander Maher uses diffusion tensor imaging and automated segmentation of multimodal neuroimaging datasets to quantify the relationship between cardiovascular health and neurodegeneration in populations with atypical aging trajectories. He also leverages his training in neuroscience and biology to study neurodegeneration and connectome reorganization after brain injury in the elderly.
Shai Porat is studies the locus coeruleus using structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging as well as the role of this structure in modulating heart rate variability. His training is in psychology, neuroscience and brain imaging.
Kenneth Rostowsky is interested in dementia, in mapping longitudinal alterations of older adults' white matter circuitry caused by brain injury, and in automated segmentation methods.
Sydney Suzuki uses her training in quantitative biology, computer programming and diffusion weighted imaging to quantify longitudinal, neurotrauma-related changes in brain circuits which underlie speech and other domains of cognition.