Sheng-Kwei Song, PhD

Professor of Radiology

Washington University in St. Louis (WU)

The development of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) biomarker of white matter injury validated using mouse models of central nervous system (CNS) disorders has been the primary research goal of Song lab for the past decade. During this period, Song group has demonstrated that DTI derived axial and radial diffusivity accurately reflects mouse CNS white matter injury. The approach has been translated to patients of multiple sclerosis (MS) and cervical spinal cord injury patients. To improve the sensitivity and specificity of diffusion MRI biomarker of CNS injury, a novel diffusion MRI method, diffusion basis spectrum imaging (DBSI), has recently been developed to resolve the intravoxel partial volume effect to correctly estimate axial and radial diffusivity of axonal fibers in the presence of inflammation and/or tissue loss. One of the crucial utilities of DBSI is its ability to detect and quantify the extent of increased cellularity and edema associated with CNS inflammation. In addition to the development of the biomarker of CNS injury, Song lab has also reported the first successful diffusion fMRI to non-invasively detect the activation of mouse optic nerve.