I use MRI scanners to image the human brain. Since these scanners don't use radiation like CT scanners or X-ray machines, we can scan people – even babies – multiple times. My main research focus is to develop and use new methods to get sharper images and detailed maps of the brain.

I use these techniques for the diagnosis and investigation of concussion, for instance. We have scanned young ice hockey players before and after concussion and we were able to measure the changes in their brains due to concussion.

We also investigate what happens to the MRI signal when the myelin in the brain is damaged. Myelin is the insulator around the nerve fibres. Damage to the myelin due to injury or disease leads to impairment of the brain and has serious consequences for patients. We develop MRI methods for the measurement of myelin damage and repair. These methods allow earlier and better diagnoses of diseases and help medical doctors to initiate the right treatment as early as possible.


Multi-echo dipole inversion for magnetic susceptibility mapping
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
Christian Kames and Jonathan Doucette and Alexander Rauscher
DOI: 10.1002/mrm.29588

The Effects of Wearing a 3-Ply or KN95 Face Mask on Cerebral Blood Flow and Oxygenation
Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Aisling Fothergill and Christoph Birkl and Christian Kames and Wayne Su and Alexander Weber and Alexander Rauscher
DOI: 10.1002/jmri.28448

Quantitative MRI and histopathology detect remyelination in inactive multiple sclerosis lesions
Vanessa Wiggermann and Verena Endmayr and Enedino Hernández-Torres and Romana Höftberger and Gregor Kasprian and Simon Hametner and Alexander Rauscher
DOI: 10.1101/2022.08.01.22271457

Cerebrovascular Reactivity Following Spinal Cord Injury
Alexander Mark Weber and Tom E. Nightingale and Michael Jarrett and Amanda H. X. Lee and Olivia Campbell and Matthias Walter and Samuel J.E. Lucas and Aaron Phillips and Alexander Rauscher and Andrei Krassioukov
DOI: 10.1101/2022.06.28.22276567

Recovering SWI-filtered phase data using deep learning
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
Christian Kames and Jonathan Doucette and Christoph Birkl and Alexander Rauscher
DOI: 10.1002/mrm.29013

Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping of Venous Vessels in Neonates with Perinatal Asphyxia
American Journal of Neuroradiology
A.M. Weber and Y. Zhang and C. Kames and A. Rauscher
DOI: 10.3174/ajnr.A7086

Myelin water imaging depends on white matter fiber orientation in the human brain
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
Christoph Birkl and Jonathan Doucette and Michael Fan and Enedino Hernández-Torres and Alexander Rauscher
DOI: 10.1002/mrm.28543

In vivo investigation of the multi-exponential T 2 decay in human white matter at 7 T: Implications for myelin water imaging at UHF
NMR in Biomedicine
Vanessa Wiggermann and Alexander L. MacKay and Alexander Rauscher and Gunther Helms
DOI: 10.1002/nbm.4429

Non-negative least squares computation for in vivo myelin mapping using simulated multi-echo spin-echo T 2 decay data
NMR in Biomedicine
V. Wiggermann and I.M. Vavasour and S.H. Kolind and A.L. MacKay and G. Helms and A. Rauscher
DOI: 10.1002/nbm.4277

Myelin water imaging and R 2 * mapping in neonates: Investigating R 2 * dependence on myelin and fibre orientation in whole brain white matter
NMR in Biomedicine
Alexander Mark Weber and Yuting Zhang and Christian Kames and Alexander Rauscher
DOI: 10.1002/nbm.4222

Cortical morphology predicts placebo response in multiple sclerosis
Mariya V. Cherkasova and Jessie F. Fu and Michael Jarrett and Poljanka Johnson and Shawna Abel and Roger Tam and Alexander Rauscher and Vesna Sossi and Shannon Kolind and David Li and A. Dessa Sadovnick and Lindsay Machan and J. Marc Girard and Francois Emond and Reza Vosoughi and Anthony Traboulsee and A. Jon Stoessl
DOI: 10.1101/825638

Quantitative Analysis of Punctate White Matter Lesions in Neonates Using Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping and R2* Relaxation
American Journal of Neuroradiology
Y. Zhang and A. Rauscher and C. Kames and A.M. Weber
DOI: 10.3174/ajnr.A6114

Rapid myelin water imaging for the assessment of cervical spinal cord myelin damage
NeuroImage: Clinical
Adam V. Dvorak and Emil Ljungberg and Irene M. Vavasour and Hanwen Liu and Poljanka Johnson and Alexander Rauscher and John L.K. Kramer and Roger Tam and David K.B. Li and Cornelia Laule and Laura Barlow and Hannah Briemberg and Alex L. MacKay and Anthony Traboulsee and Piotr Kozlowski and Neil Cashman and Shannon H. Kolind
DOI: 10.1016/j.nicl.2019.101896

The role of diffusion and perivascular spaces in dynamic susceptibility contrast MRI
Jonathan Doucette and Christian Kames and Enedino Hernández-Torres and Anthony Traboulsee and Alexander Rauscher
DOI: 10.1101/614008

The role of iron and myelin in orientation dependent R 2 * of white matter
NMR in Biomedicine
Daniel Kor and Christoph Birkl and Stefan Ropele and Jonathan Doucette and Tianyou Xu and Vanessa Wiggermann and Enedino Hernández-Torres and Simon Hametner and Alexander Rauscher
DOI: 10.1002/nbm.4092

What Have We Learned from Perfusion MRI in Multiple Sclerosis?
American Journal of Neuroradiology
E. Lapointe and D.K.B. Li and A.L. Traboulsee and A. Rauscher
DOI: 10.3174/ajnr.A5504

Cerebral Microbleeds: A Call for Standardized Advanced Neuroimaging
American Journal of Neuroradiology
A. Rauscher and G.-Y.R. Hsiung and A.A. Sepehry
DOI: 10.3174/ajnr.A5323

Susceptibility-sensitive MRI of multiple sclerosis lesions and the impact of normal-appearing white matter changes
NMR in Biomedicine
Vanessa Wiggermann and Simon Hametner and Enedino Hernández-Torres and Christian Kames and Verena Endmayr and Gregor Kasprian and Romana Höftberger and David K.B. Li and Anthony Traboulsee and Alexander Rauscher
DOI: 10.1002/nbm.3727

Cover Image, Volume 30, Issue 8
NMR in Biomedicine
Vanessa Wiggermann and Simon Hametner and Enedino Hernández-Torres and Christian Kames and Verena Endmayr and Gregor Kasprian and Romana Höftberger and David K.B. Li and Anthony Traboulsee and Alexander Rauscher
DOI: 10.1002/nbm.3645

Microbleeds in Alzheimer’s Disease: A Neuropsychological Overview and Meta-Analysis
Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences / Journal Canadien des Sciences Neurologiques
Amir A. Sepehry and Alexander Rauscher and Ging-Yuek Hsiung and Donna J. Lang
DOI: 10.1017/cjn.2016.296

Subcortical grey matter alterations in cocaine dependent individuals with substance-induced psychosis compared to non-psychotic cocaine users.
Willi TS and Lang DJ and Honer WG and Smith GN and Thornton AE and Panenka WJ and Procyshyn RM and Vila-Rodriguez F and Su W and Vertinsky AT and Leonova O and Rauscher A and MacEwan GW and Barr AM
PubMed: 27499362

RE: Elucidating Pretreatment Cognitive Impairment in Breast Cancer Patients: The Impact of Cancer-Related Post-traumatic Stress.
Sepehry AA and Tyldesley S and Davis MK and Simmons C and Rauscher A and Lang DJ
DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djw048
PubMed: 27075855

Operationalizing Neuroimaging for Disorders of Consciousness: The Canadian Context.
Illes J and Owen AM and Byram AC and MCS Neuroimaging Workgroup
DOI: 10.1017/cjn.2015.395
PubMed: 26842547

Anisotropic cerebral vascular architecture causes orientation dependency in cerebral blood flow and volume measured with dynamic susceptibility contrast magnetic resonance imaging.
Hernández-Torres E and Kassner N and Forkert ND and Wei L and Wiggermann V and Daemen M and Machan L and Traboulsee A and Li D and Rauscher A
PubMed: 27259344

Quantifying visual pathway axonal and myelin loss in multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica
NeuroImage: Clinical
Praveena Manogaran and Irene M. Vavasour and Alex P. Lange and Yinshan Zhao and Katrina McMullen and Alexander Rauscher and Robert Carruthers and David K.B. Li and Anthony L. Traboulsee and Shannon H. Kolind
DOI: 10.1016/j.nicl.2016.05.014

Reduced Myelin Water in the White Matter Tracts of Patients with Niemann-Pick Disease Type C.
Davies-Thompson J and Vavasour I and Scheel M and Rauscher A and Barton JJ
PubMed: 26939636

Characterization of white matter integrity deficits in cocaine-dependent individuals with substance-induced psychosis compared with non-psychotic cocaine users.
Willi TS and Barr AM and Gicas K and Lang DJ and Vila-Rodriguez F and Su W and Thornton AE and Leonova O and Giesbrecht CJ and Procyshyn RM and Rauscher A and MacEwan WG and Honer WG and Panenka WJ
DOI: 10.1111/adb.12363
PubMed: 26833821

Prevalence of Brain Microbleeds in Alzheimer Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis on the Influence of Neuroimaging Techniques
American Journal of Neuroradiology
A.A. Sepehry and D. Lang and G.-Y. Hsiung and A. Rauscher
DOI: 10.3174/ajnr.A4525

FLAIR2: A Combination of FLAIR and T2 for Improved MS Lesion Detection
American Journal of Neuroradiology
V. Wiggermann and E. Hernández-Torres and A. Traboulsee and D.K.B. Li and A. Rauscher
DOI: 10.3174/ajnr.A4514

Corticospinal tract integrity measured using transcranial magnetic stimulation and magnetic resonance imaging in neuromyelitis optica and multiple sclerosis.
Manogaran P and Vavasour I and Borich M and Kolind SH and Lange AP and Rauscher A and Boyd L and Li DK and Traboulsee A
DOI: 10.1177/1352458515579441
PubMed: 25948623

Motor Skill Acquisition Promotes Human Brain Myelin Plasticity.
Lakhani B and Borich MR and Jackson JN and Wadden KP and Peters S and Villamayor A and MacKay AL and Vavasour IM and Rauscher A and Boyd LA
DOI: 10.1155/2016/7526135
PubMed: 27293906

A Prospective Pilot Investigation of Brain Volume, White Matter Hyperintensities, and Hemorrhagic Lesions after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.
Jarrett M and Tam R and Hernández-Torres E and Martin N and Perera W and Zhao Y and Shahinfard E and Dadachanji S and Taunton J and Li DK and Rauscher A
DOI: 10.3389/fneur.2016.00011
PubMed: 26903944

Myelin Water Fraction Is Transiently Reduced after a Single Mild Traumatic Brain Injury--A Prospective Cohort Study in Collegiate Hockey Players.
Wright AD and Jarrett M and Vavasour I and Shahinfard E and Kolind S and van Donkelaar P and Taunton J and Li D and Rauscher A
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150215
PubMed: 26913900

Changes in cerebral vascular reactivity and structure following prolonged exposure to high altitude in humans.
Foster GE and Davies-Thompson J and Dominelli PB and Heran MK and Donnelly J and duManoir GR and Ainslie PN and Rauscher A and Sheel AW
DOI: 10.14814/phy2.12647
PubMed: 26660556

Trajectories of subcortical iron accumulation in MS.
Rovira À and Wiggermann V and Rauscher A
DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000001691
PubMed: 25979699

Orientation Dependent MR Signal Decay Differentiates between People with MS, Their Asymptomatic Siblings and Unrelated Healthy Controls.
Hernández-Torres E and Wiggermann V and Hametner S and Baumeister TR and Sadovnick AD and Zhao Y and Machan L and Li DK and Traboulsee A and Rauscher A
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0140956
PubMed: 26489078

Mortality from treatable illnesses in marginally housed adults: a prospective cohort study.
Jones AA and Vila-Rodriguez F and Leonova O and Langheimer V and Lang DJ and Barr AM and Procyshyn RM and Smith GN and Schultz K and Buchanan T and Krausz M and Montaner JS and MacEwan GW and Rauscher A and Panenka WJ and Thornton AE and Honer WG
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008876
PubMed: 26297373

Increased spinal cord movements in cervical spondylotic myelopathy
The Spine Journal
DOI: 10.1016/j.spinee.2014.01.036

A prospective study of the influence of acute alcohol intoxication versus chronic alcohol consumption on outcome following traumatic brain injury.
Lange RT and Shewchuk JR and Rauscher A and Jarrett M and Heran MK and Brubacher JR and Iverson GL
DOI: 10.1093/arclin/acu027
PubMed: 24964748

To exclude or not to exclude: further examination of the influence of white matter hyperintensities in diffusion tensor imaging research.
Lange RT and Shewchuk JR and Heran MK and Rauscher A and Jarrett M and Brubacher JR and Iverson GL
DOI: 10.1089/neu.2013.2866
PubMed: 23952763

Prevalence of extracranial venous narrowing on catheter venography in people with multiple sclerosis, their siblings, and unrelated healthy controls: a blinded, case-control study.
Traboulsee AL and Knox KB and Machan L and Zhao Y and Yee I and Rauscher A and Klass D and Szkup P and Otani R and Kopriva D and Lala S and Li DK and Sadovnick D
DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61747-X
PubMed: 24119384

Magnetic resonance frequency shifts during acute MS lesion formation.
Wiggermann V and Hernández Torres E and Vavasour IM and Moore GR and Laule C and MacKay AL and Li DK and Traboulsee A and Rauscher A
DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e31829bfd63
PubMed: 23761621

Evaluation of white matter myelin water fraction in chronic stroke.
Borich MR and Mackay AL and Vavasour IM and Rauscher A and Boyd LA
DOI: 10.1016/j.nicl.2013.04.006
PubMed: 24179808

A prospective study of physician-observed concussion during a varsity university hockey season: white matter integrity in ice hockey players. Part 3 of 4.
Koerte IK and Kaufmann D and Hartl E and Bouix S and Pasternak O and Kubicki M and Rauscher A and Li DK and Dadachanji SB and Taunton JA and Forwell LA and Johnson AM and Echlin PS and Shenton ME
DOI: 10.3171/2012.10.FOCUS12303
PubMed: 23199426

Rapid whole cerebrum myelin water imaging using a 3D GRASE sequence.
Prasloski T and Rauscher A and MacKay AL and Hodgson M and Vavasour IM and Laule C and Mädler B
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.06.064
PubMed: 22776448

Bilateral filtering of magnetic resonance phase images.
McPhee KC and Denk C and Al-Rekabi Z and Rauscher A
DOI: 10.1016/j.mri.2011.03.009
PubMed: 21664782

The influence of white matter fibre orientation on MR signal phase and decay.
Denk C and Hernandez Torres E and MacKay A and Rauscher A
DOI: 10.1002/nbm.1581
PubMed: 21404336

Susceptibility weighted imaging with multiple echoes.
Denk C and Rauscher A
DOI: 10.1002/jmri.21995
PubMed: 20027586

Localization of the subthalamic nucleus: optimization with susceptibility-weighted phase MR imaging.
Vertinsky AT and Coenen VA and Lang DJ and Kolind S and Honey CR and Li D and Rauscher A
DOI: 10.3174/ajnr.A1669
PubMed: 19509077

ToF-SWI: simultaneous time of flight and fully flow compensated susceptibility weighted imaging.
Deistung A and Dittrich E and Sedlacik J and Rauscher A and Reichenbach JR
DOI: 10.1002/jmri.21673
PubMed: 19472425

Phase unwrapping of MR images using Phi UN--a fast and robust region growing algorithm.
Witoszynskyj S and Rauscher A and Reichenbach JR and Barth M
DOI: 10.1016/j.media.2008.10.004
PubMed: 19070532

MR relaxation in multiple sclerosis.
MacKay AL and Vavasour IM and Rauscher A and Kolind SH and Mädler B and Moore GR and Traboulsee AL and Li DK and Laule C
DOI: 10.1016/j.nic.2008.09.007
PubMed: 19064196

Quantification of modulated blood oxygenation levels in single cerebral veins by investigating their MR signal decay.
Sedlacik J and Rauscher A and Reichenbach JR
DOI: 10.1016/j.zemedi.2008.07.005
PubMed: 19459585

Susceptibility weighted imaging at ultra high magnetic field strengths: theoretical considerations and experimental results.
Deistung A and Rauscher A and Sedlacik J and Stadler J and Witoszynskyj S and Reichenbach JR
DOI: 10.1002/mrm.21754
PubMed: 18956467

Investigation of the influence of carbon dioxide concentrations on cerebral physiology by susceptibility-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (SWI).
Sedlacik J and Kutschbach C and Rauscher A and Deistung A and Reichenbach JR
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2008.07.008
PubMed: 18678260

Improved elimination of phase effects from background field inhomogeneities for susceptibility weighted imaging at high magnetic field strengths.
Rauscher A and Barth M and Herrmann KH and Witoszynskyj S and Deistung A and Reichenbach JR
DOI: 10.1016/j.mri.2008.01.029
PubMed: 18524525

Investigations on the effect of caffeine on cerebral venous vessel contrast by using susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) at 1.5, 3 and 7 T.
Sedlacik J and Helm K and Rauscher A and Stadler J and Mentzel HJ and Reichenbach JR
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2007.11.046
PubMed: 18226553

Informatics in Radiology: GUIBOLD: a graphical user interface for image reconstruction and data analysis in susceptibility-weighted MR imaging.
Deistung A and Rauscher A and Sedlacik J and Witoszynskyj S and Reichenbach JR
DOI: 10.1148/rg.283075715
PubMed: 18480476

Obtaining blood oxygenation levels from MR signal behavior in the presence of single venous vessels.
Sedlacik J and Rauscher A and Reichenbach JR
DOI: 10.1002/mrm.21283
PubMed: 17969121

Detection of multiple intracranial hemorrhages in a child with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) by susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI).
Kullnig PE and Rauscher A and Witoszynskyj S and Deistung A and Kentouche K and Reichenbach JR and Mentzel HJ and Kaiser WA
DOI: 10.2484/rcr.v2i4.135
PubMed: 27303498

Contrast-enhanced, high-resolution, susceptibility-weighted magnetic resonance imaging of the brain: dose-dependent optimization at 3 tesla and 1.5 tesla in healthy volunteers.
Noebauer-Huhmann IM and Pinker K and Barth M and Mlynarik V and Ba-Ssalamah A and Saringer WF and Weber M and Benesch T and Witoszynskyj S and Rauscher A and Reichenbach JR and Trattnig S
DOI: 10.1097/01.rli.0000188360.24222.5e
PubMed: 16481907

Demonstration of paramagnetic and diamagnetic cerebral lesions by using susceptibility weighted phase imaging (SWI).
Deistung A and Mentzel HJ and Rauscher A and Witoszynskyj S and Kaiser WA and Reichenbach JR
DOI: 10.1078/0939-3889-00324
PubMed: 17216751

Susceptibility weighted imaging: data acquisition, image reconstruction and clinical applications.
Rauscher A and Sedlacik J and Deistung A and Mentzel HJ and Reichenbach JR
DOI: 10.1078/0939-3889-00322
PubMed: 17216749

High resolution susceptibility weighted MR-imaging of brain tumors during the application of a gaseous agent.
Rauscher A and Sedlacik J and Fitzek C and Walter B and Hochstetter A and Kalff R and Kaiser WA and Reichenbach JR
DOI: 10.1055/s-2005-858428
PubMed: 16021537

Nonnvasive assessment of vascular architecture and function during modulated blood oxygenation using susceptibility weighted magnetic resonance imaging.
Rauscher A and Sedlacik J and Barth M and Haacke EM and Reichenbach JR
DOI: 10.1002/mrm.20520
PubMed: 15968657

Subtraction of in-phase and opposed-phase images in dynamic MR mammography.
Reichenbach JR and Hopfe J and Rauscher A and Wurdinger S and Kaiser WA
DOI: 10.1002/jmri.20316
PubMed: 15834904

Magnetic susceptibility-weighted MR phase imaging of the human brain.
Rauscher A and Sedlacik J and Barth M and Mentzel HJ and Reichenbach JR
PubMed: 15814914

Application of an exogenous hyperoxic contrast agent in MR mammography: initial results.
Fischer DR and Reichenbach JR and Rauscher A and Sedlacik J and Kaiser WA
DOI: 10.1007/s00330-004-2484-0
PubMed: 15449007

Robust field map generation using a triple-echo acquisition.
Windischberger C and Robinson S and Rauscher A and Barth M and Moser E
DOI: 10.1002/jmri.20158
PubMed: 15390143

Optimized 3 T EPI of the amygdalae.
Robinson S and Windischberger C and Rauscher A and Moser E
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2003.12.048
PubMed: 15110010

Automated unwrapping of MR phase images applied to BOLD MR-venography at 3 Tesla.
Rauscher A and Barth M and Reichenbach JR and Stollberger R and Moser E
DOI: 10.1002/jmri.10346
PubMed: 12884329

Multi-echo GRE imaging of knee cartilage.
PubMed: 27564991


Magnetic Resonance Frequency Imaging of the Human Brain
The MRI signal can be compared to a lighthouse. At any given time, the lighthouse beam has a brightness and a direction. Conventional MRI deals mainly with the brightness of the signal and ignores the direction. We have shown that this direction information, which is related to the frequency of the signal, contains valuable information on structure and composition of biological tissues. My team and I use this frequency imaging approach for the characterization of changes in the brain at high resolution and with high sensitivity.

Concussion in young ice hockey players
The best way to study brain injury is to obtain data before and after injury for direct comparison. In humans, this can be done by following people who have a high risk of sustaining a brain injury. We worked with ice hockey players and scanned their brains at the beginning and at the end of the hockey season. The concussed athletes were scanned at three days, two weeks and two months after concussion.


NSERC Discovery Grant, Parkinson Foundation Pilot Grant, Milan and Maureen Ilich Foundation

Honours & Awards

Toshiba Award

CIHR New Investigator Award

London Drugs Award for Research Excellence in Radiology

Research Group Members

Christian Kames, Graduate Research Assistant