FACULTY AND STAFF


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Arthur Toga
Institute Director, Mary and Mark Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute
Director, Laboratory of Neuro Imaging
Provost Professor of Ophthalmology, Neurology, Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences, Radiology, and Engineering
Ghada Irani Chair in Neuroscience

toga@loni.usc.edu
 
Research Focus
Dr. Toga's research focuses on neuroimaging, informatics, mapping brain structure and function, and brain atlasing. He has developed multimodal imaging and data aggregation strategies and applied them in a variety of neurological diseases and psychiatric disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases, neurovascular diseases, and ocular diseases. His work in informatics includes the development and implementation of some of the largest and most widely used databases and data mining tools linking disparate data from genetics, imaging, clinical, and behavioral studies, and supporting global efforts in Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's Disease, and Parkinson's Disease. His work also involves measurement of the dynamic brain during development and aging, and as a result of insult.
Learn more about Dr. Toga’s research.


Education
Ph.D. in Neuroscience, St. Louis University
M.S. in Neuroscience, St. Louis University
B.S. in Psychology, University of Massachusetts

Experience

2016 - present: Ghada Irani Chair in Neuroscience

2013 - present: Provost Professor, Departments of Ophthalmology, Neurology, Psychiatry, and the Behavioral Sciences, Radiology and Engineering at the Keck School of Medicine of USC

2013 - present: Director, USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute

2013 - present: Director, USC Laboratory of Neuro Imaging

2010 - 2012: Associate Vice Provost of Informatics, University of California, Los Angeles

2010 - 2013: Associate Dean, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles

1993 - 2010: Professor, Department of Neurology, University of California, Los Angeles

1993 - 2013: Associate Director, Division of Brain Mapping, Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of California, Los Angeles

1987 - 2013: Director, Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, Department of Neurology, University of California, Los Angeles


Skills
Neuroscience
Research
Management

Paul Thompson
Institute Associate Director, Mary and Mark Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute
Director, Imaging Genetics Center
Professor of Ophthalmology, Neurology, Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences, Radiology, Pediatrics and Engineering.

thompson@loni.usc.edu
 
Research Focus
Dr. Thompson’s primary focus is imaging genetics, the study of how individual genetic differences lead to differences in brain wiring, structure, and intellectual function. He co-founded a worldwide imaging genetics consortium, ENIGMA, which studies 22 brain diseases in 37 countries, and has published the largest-ever neuroimaging studies of schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Other research pursuits include developing new computational algorithms for neuroimaging, dynamic (4D) brain mapping, creation of a probabilistic atlas of the human brain and cortex, and creation of population-based atlases for Alzheimer’s Disease, Schizophrenia, and other disorders.
Learn more about Dr. Thompson’s research.


Education
1998 – Ph.D. in Neuroscience, UCLA
1993 – M.A. in Mathematics and Philosophy, Oxford University
1991 – B.A. in Greek and Latin Languages, Oxford University

Experience

2010-2013: Professor of Neurology,Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA

2007 -2013: Professor of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA

2003-2007: Associate Professor of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA

1998-2003: Assistant Professor of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA

1993-1998: Fellow, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

1993-998: Research Grantee, United States Information Agency, Washington, DC

1993-1998: Fulbright Scholar, U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission, London, England

Leon Aksman
Assistant Professor of Research Neurology
Leon.Aksman@loni.usc.edu
 
Michael Bienkowski
Assistant Professor of Research
Michael.Bienkowski@loni.usc.edu
 
My scientific goals are to identify the structural organization of neural networks and then dissect the functional role of specific network circuits to understand how the circuits cooperate to produce animal behavior.

Research Focus
Neuroanatomical substrates for fear memory processing and PTSD


Education
B.S., Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, 2007
Ph.D., Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, 2012

Experience

Neuroanatomical tract tracing in rodents with classical and multisynaptic viral tracers

Meredith Braskie
Assistant Professor of Neurology and Education Director
Meredith.Braskie@loni.usc.edu
 
Research Focus
Dr. Braskie’s research evaluates how genetic and environmental risk factors for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) relate to brain structure, function, and connectivity throughout adulthood, with an emphasis on metabolic risk. She primarily studies cognitively intact adults and those with early mild cognitive impairment, studying how AD risk-related biological mechanisms and signaling pathways are associated with brain changes, using relevant blood and cerebrospinal fluid measures, as well as multimodal imaging (structural and functional MRI, diffusion tensor imaging, and PET).


Education
Ph.D. in Neuroscience, UCLA
B.B.A. in Accounting, College of William and Mary

Experience

2019 - present: Assistant Professor of Neurology

2019 - present: Director of Education, Stevens NeuroImaging and Informatics Institute

2013 - 2019: Assistant Professor of Research USC

2011 - 2013: Assistant Researcher UCLA

2009 - 2011: Post doctoral fellow UCLA

2006 - 2009: Post doctoral fellow UC Berkeley

Ryan Cabeen
Postdoctoral Scholar
rcabeen@loni.usc.edu
 
Education
BS Engineering and Applied Science
MSc Computer Science
PhD Computer Science

Experience

Software Engineer at Service Machines Inc.

Dominique Duncan
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Dominique.Duncan@loni.usc.edu
 
Research Focus
Dr. Duncan’s expertise lies in the development of analytical tools to extract information from biomedical data. Both her Ph.D. and postdoctoral research used EEG data to isolate patterns indicating the onset of epileptic seizures. She has worked on developing algorithms, such as Unsupervised Diffusion Component Analysis, to identify early signs of Alzheimer's disease in patients using structural MRI data. Her recent projects include identifying biomarkers to predict epilepsy following a traumatic brain injury and using Virtual Reality to improve segmentation, a manual error-correction process required to analyze brain imaging data.


Education
2013 - PhD in Electrical Engineering, Yale University
2007 - BS in Mathematics and Polish Literature, University of Chicago

Neda Jahanshad
Associate Professor of Neurology
neda.jahanshad@loni.usc.edu
 
Research Focus
Dr. Jahanshad is part of INI’s Imaging Genetics Center, where she researches genetic influences on brain structure using high-resolution structural and diffusion imaging. She also develops protocols for large-scale meta-analyses of brain structure and connectivity for the ENIGMA consortium. Her work with diffusion imaging involves monitoring the effects of infectious diseases, such as HIV, on the brain.


Education
2012 – Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, UCLA
2006 – B.A. in Biomedical and Electrical Engineering

Kay Jann
Assistant Professor of Research
kay.jann@loni.usc.edu
 
Research Focus
Dr. Jann develops analytical tools and clinical translations of functional MRI technology. He studies the relationship between functional connectivity, complexity and metabolism of brain networks. His multimodal approach involves a combination of fMRI, connectivity measures, cerebral blood flow, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) excitation and inhibition, and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS). He is also exploring the use of neuromodulation, such as TMS, in the treatment of various neuropsychiatric disorders.


Education
2009 - Ph.D. in the Faculties of Medicine, Science and Veterinary Medicine, University of Bern (Switzerland)
2004 - Dipl. Sc. Nat. in Biology (Neuroscience focus), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

Experience

2016 - Assistant Project Scientist at the Laboratory of Functional MRI Technology, Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, UCLA

2013 - 2016: Postdoctoral researcher at the Laboratory of Functional MRI Technology, Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, UCLA

2010 - 2013: Postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Psychiatric Neurophysiology, University Hospital of Psychiatry, University of Bern, Switzerland

2009 - 2010: Research assistant at the Department of Psychiatric Neurophysiology, University Hospital of Psychiatry, University of Bern, Switzerland

Hosung Kim
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Hosung.Kim@loni.usc.edu
 
Research Focus
Dr. Kim’s research spans an interdisciplinary cross-section of medical image processing, machine learning and neuroscience, covering both clinical neurology and neuropsychiatry. He studies multicontrast image registration and segmentation as well as surface modeling of both cortical and subcortical structures. One of his current projects involves the prediction of neurodevelopmental outcomes for preterm babies. He is also developing an online neuroimaging data quality control (image QC) system.


Education
2016 - Postdoctoral Fellowship in Imaging of Neurodevelopment, UC San Francisco
2012 - Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering (specialty: brain image analysis), McGill University / Montreal Neurological Institute experience neuroimaging, image processing, machine learning, clinical neuroimaging (preterm newborns, sleep disorders, epilepsy)
2011 - Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University
2003 - M.S. in Biomedical Engineering, Hanyang University (Seoul, Korea)
2000 - B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Hanyang Unversity (Seoul, Korea)

Judy Pa
Associate Professor of Neurology
jpa@ini.usc.edu
 
Research Focus
Dr. Pa researches early brain dysfunction in older adults and individuals at risk for Alzheimer’s Disease with the goal of identifying biomarkers and designing effective interventions to slow or halt the onset of the disease. For example, she is working on several pilot projects combining physical and cognitive interventions in novel ways. She also analyzes neural alterations in brain function and network connectivity in individuals with mild cognitive impairment.


Education
2009 - Postdoctoral Fellowship in Neurodegenerative diseases, UC San Francisco
2007 - Ph.D. in Psychology (specialty: Cognitive Neuroscience), UC Irvine
2002 - B.A. in Psychology, UC Irvine

Experience

Neuroimaging, functional MRI, aging, dementia, executive function, memory

Vishal Patel
Assistant Professor of Radiology and CIA Medical Director
Vishal.Patel@loni.usc.edu
 
Research Focus
In general, my research focuses on developing computational tools and methods to enhance the reliability and utility of diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DT-MRI or DTI) as a clinical tool. DTI is a relatively new MR imaging modality which provides information about the orientation of white matter tracts based on the diffusion profiles of protons in the presence of applied magnetic gradients.


Education
Doctor of Medicine from University of California, Los Angeles
Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from University of California, Los Angeles
B.S in Biomedical Engineering, Brown University


Experience

2018-2019: Fellowship, Neuroradiology, University of Southern California

2014-2018: Residency, Diagnostic Radiology, University of California, Los Angeles

2013-2014: Internship, Transitional Year, University of Hawaii


Skills
Java
C++
OpenGL
Matlab


Lauren Salminen
Instructor of Research, Neurology
lauren.salminen@loni.usc.edu
 
Education
Ph.D., Psychology-Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Missouri St. Louis, 2016

Yonggang Shi
Associate Professor of Neurology
yonggang.shi@loni.usc.edu
 
Research Focus
Dr. Shi develops cutting-edge image analysis algorithms, which he applies to the study of human brain structure and function. He seeks to more accurately model the brain’s fibers in diffusion imaging using Fiber Orientation Distribution (FOD) reconstruction. He also studies anatomical shape modeling using the Laplace-Beltrami system, in order to create better brain mapping algorithms for use in researching Alzheimer’s Disease, retinopathies, and other disorders.


Education
2005- PhD. in Electrical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, USA.
1999- M.S. in Electrical Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing, China.
1996- B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing, China.

Experience

Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, UCLA School of Medicine, 2009-2013

PostDoctoral Fellow, Department of Neurology, UCLA School of Medicine, 2005-2009


Skills
Level set algorithms, inverse problems and regularization, statistical signal processing.

Danny JJ Wang
Professor of Neurology and Radiology
Director of Imaging Technology Innovation

jj.wang@loni.usc.edu
loni.usc.edu

Laboratory of Functional MRI Technology (LOFT)
USC Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute
Keck School of Medicine of USC
University of Southern California
2025 Zonal Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90033
Phone: 323-44-BRAIN
 
Research Focus
Dr. Wang runs the Laboratory of Functional MRI Technology (LOFT), where he develops techniques and clinical translations of arterial spin labeling (ASL) and performs cross-scale and modality complexity analysis of resting state fMRI and electrophysiology data. Dr. Wang leads projects to develop and validate imaging biomarkers of cerebral small vessel diseases (cSVD) and vascular cognitive impairment and dementia (VCID). He also researches electric current mapping of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Another current project involves the development of low-dose CT perfusion technology, which may help significantly reduce radiation exposure without compromising image quality.


Education
2010 – M.S.C.E. (Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology), University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
1998 – Ph.D. in Biophysics, University of Science and Technology of China
1993 – B.S. in Biophysics, Fu Dan University

Experience

2016 - present: Professor, Department of Neurology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

2016 - present: Director of Imaging Technology Innovation, Mark & Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

2016 - present: Professor (secondary), Department of Radiology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

2012 - 2016: Executive Director, UCLA-Beijing Joint Center for Advanced Brain Imaging

2015 - 2016: Professor-in-Residence (secondary), Department of Radiology, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles,

2015 - 2016: Professor-in-Residence, Department of Neurology, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA

2011 - 2015: Associate Professor-in-Residence (secondary), Department of Radiology, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA

2010 - 2015: Associate Professor-in-Residence, Department of Neurology, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA

2011 - 2013: Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA

2006 - 2010: Research Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA

2003 - 2010: Research Assistant Professor, Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA

Lirong Yan
Assistant Professor of Neurology
lirong.yan@loni.usc.edu
 
Research Focus
MRI sequence development including novel arterial spin labeling (ASL) technical development, and non-contrast 4-D dyanmic MR Angiography. Functional MRI data acquistion and post processing


Education
2010 – Ph.D. in Biophysics, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences
2005 – B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology

Experience

2013 - 2016: Assistant Researcher, Department of Neurology, UCLA

2010 - 2013: Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Neurology, UCLA