Overview

I am interested in using non-invasive imaging techniques, such as magnetic resonance imaging, in order to help scientists and clinicians better understand brain health and disease, and how to treat an unhealthy brain. MRIs are incredibly useful for these purposes as, unlike an X-ray or a CT scan, they do not give off any harmful radiation, so people can be scanned multiple times, including babies and pregnant mothers. Additionally, MRIs are magnificently diverse in what information they can provide, including high resolution anatomical information, the activity of the brain, specific chemicals or metabolites and their concentrations, and more. Additionally, when these scans are combined, they can often give us more information together than the sum of their parts. I am interested in improving these techniques, exploring how they can be combined in novel ways, and ultimately in seeing how they can be used to tell us something new about the brain that we did not know before. It is in doing so that I hope to help treat various insults, injuries and diseases of the brain in order to help people lead better lives, or in the case of infants, setting them up on the right track.

Publications

Quantitative Analysis of Punctate White Matter Lesions in Neonates Using Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping and R2* Relaxation.
AJNR. American journal of neuroradiology
DOI: 10.3174/ajnr.a6114
PubMed: 31221632
06/2019

Quantitative analysis of punctate white matter lesions in neonates using quantitative susceptibility mapping and R2* relaxation
American Journal of Neuroradiology
Zhang, Y. and Rauscher, A. and Kames, C. and Weber, A.M.
DOI: 10.3174/ajnr.A6114
2019

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
2019

Pathological Insights From Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping and Diffusion Tensor Imaging in Ice Hockey Players Pre and Post-concussion.
Frontiers in neurology
DOI: 10.3389/fneur.2018.00575
PubMed: 30131752
08/2018

Imaging the Role of Myelin in Concussion
Neuroimaging Clinics of North America
DOI: 10.1016/j.nic.2017.09.005
2018

A preliminary study of functional connectivity of medication naïve children with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology & biological psychiatry
DOI: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2014.04.001
PubMed: 24726812
04/2014

Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy of prefrontal white matter in psychotropic naïve children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Psychiatry research
DOI: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2014.02.004
PubMed: 24602517
02/2014

A preliminary study on the effects of acute ethanol ingestion on default mode network and temporal fractal properties of the brain
Magnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine
Weber, A.M. and Soreni, N. and Noseworthy, M.D.
DOI: 10.1007/s10334-013-0420-5
2014

Metabolite measurements in the caudate nucleus, anterior cingulate cortex and hippocampus among patients with mitochondrial disorders: a case-control study using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
CMAJ open
DOI: 10.9778/cmajo.20120020
PubMed: 25077102
01/2013

N-type Ca2+ channels carry the largest current: implications for nanodomains and transmitter release.
Nature neuroscience
DOI: 10.1038/nn.2657
PubMed: 20953196
10/2010

PDLIM5 is not a neuronal CaV2.2 adaptor protein.
Nature neuroscience
DOI: 10.1038/nn0809-957a
PubMed: 19636345
08/2009

Research

Current Research Projects
I am looking for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to join my lab. My ideal candidate is someone with experience programming (python, linux/bash, git, matlab, R), a multidisciplinary interest and background, curious, driven, humble, and good communication/interpersonal skills.
I am also looking for exciting new collaborations with other clinicians and investigators.

As for projects:

Fractal Analysis of fMRI Signals
Fractal Analysis of fMRI Signals:
Investigating a how to analyze functional MRI time-series using fractal mathematics. This sort of analysis has shown some promise as a biomarker in concussions, Alzheimers, autism and more. I would like to test the program on known signals, such as random noise and signal with known Hurst coefficient values. If all goes well, analysis of resting state fMRI scans can be performed to measure within-subject variability of the fractal dimension (multiple scans of the same person on the same day). Further, if this is successful, we can test this method on some already acquired data in children with obsessive compulsive disorder and healthy controls, and then plan more long-term studies.

Cerebrovascular Health of Spinal Cord Injury
Cerebrovascular Health of Spinal Cord Injury:
It is a well known fact that spinal cord injuries can lead to further health problems in the years following the injury, one of which is general cardiovascular health. What is not known, however, is how this may affect brain health. If the cerebral vascular health of a subject is altered, this may have long term consequences for the subject, including cognitive problems and depression. By using a state-of-the-art machine that allows us to manipulate the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide that someone breathes, while they are being scanned, we can acquire information about how well the brain’s veins are responding to these gas volumes. By comparing these values to healthy controls, we hope to better understand what sort of differences may exist for subjects with spinal cord injuries, which may help clinicians and investigators to create better treatment methods.

Cerebral Metabolic Rate of Oxygen (CMRO2) Mapping by Combining Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping (QSM) and Quantitative Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent Imaging (qBOLD)
Cerebral Metabolic Rate of Oxygen (CMRO2) Mapping by Combining Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping (QSM) and Quantitative Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent Imaging (qBOLD):
A long term study to see whether a relatively new MRI method, known as susceptibility imaging, can tell us about the amount of oxygen that is being metabolized in the brain. By doing so, we are interested to see if preterm and term infants with brain injuries are not metabolizing oxygen as well as they should be, and whether we can use MRIs to diagnose, classify, and monitor this damage.

Using Advanced MRI Techniques FLAIR2 and QSM to Identify and Classify Focal Cortical Dysplasia (FCD)
Using Advanced MRI Techniques FLAIR2 and QSM to Identify and Classify Focal Cortical Dysplasia (FCD):
FCD is a common cause of medically difficult to detect and treat form of epilepsy in children and adults. By optimizing these techniques, I hope to greatly improve image contrast and resolution, and ultimately improve FCD detection and classification, which will ultimately result in improved diagnosis and treatment.

Others
I also have experience and interest in the following subjects: concussion / TBI; obsessive compulsive disorder; brain intoxication; brain networks; resting state networks; diffusion tensor imaging; myelin water imaging; machine learning and deep learning; white matter effects of vaping;

Grants

BC Children's Hospital Research Institute

Clinical & Translational Research Seed Grant - Cerebral Perfusion And Oxygenation in Hypoxic Ischemic Neonates - $5,000 – Feb 2016-Feb 2017

BC Children's Hospital Research Institute

Brain, Behaviour and Development Catalyst Grant - Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Focal Cortical Dysplasia - $10,000 – Feb 2017-Feb 2019

Honours & Awards

School of Biomedical Engineering, McMaster University - Dr. David Williams Award in Biomedical Engineering - $1,000 - November 2012

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council - NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship (PGS D) - $63,000 – 2010-2012

Neuroscience Program, University of Toronto - UofT Neuroscience Program CAN-2009 Travel Award - $500 - May 2009

University of Toronto – UofT Fellowship - $1,600 – September 2008

Department of Physiology, University of Toronto - UofT Dept. of Physiology Scholarship - $2,000 – September 2007

Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto - David L. Coffen Memorial Scholarship in Organic Chemistry - $800 - February 2006

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council - NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award - $6,500 - Summer 2005

BC Children's Hospital Research Institute

Child & Family Research Institute M.I.N.D. Postdoctoral Fellowship - $100,000 - July 2016 – July 2018

Research Group Members

Olivia Campbell