Principal Investigator

Dr. Pew-Thian Yap's major research interest lies in diffusion MRI and its application to the characterization of brain white matter connectivity. He has made vital contributions to advancing innovative neurotechnologies for human brain mapping by developing novel algorithms for studying white matter circuitry in the human brain. His current research focuses on the clinical application of these technical innovations, as well as the development of cutting-edge neuroimaging technologies. In particular, he has employed a fiber-based approach to characterize brain white-matter connectivity of pediatric subjects, giving fundamentally important neuropsychological insights into human brain development in the first years of life. Current efforts are being directed at extending this framework to incorporate information from different imaging modalities (structural MRI + functional MRI + diffusion MRI), and applying this novel analysis paradigm to a number of important clinical studies, including Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, and multiple sclerosis, for both prognosis and diagnosis purposes.

Scientific Areas: Diffusion Modeling, Spatial Normalization, Morphometry, Atlas Construction, Brain Tissue Segmentation, Skull Stripping, Tractography, Fiber Clustering, MRI Acquisition, MRI Super-Resolution, MRI Denoising, Machine Learning, Compressive Sensing, Human Brain Connectomics, Structural/Functional Brain Networks, Brain Development, Disease Diagnosis, Disease Staging, Alzheimer's Disease, Schizophrenia, Autism, Internet Addiction.


Postdoctoral Research Associates

Dr. Pei Zhang is currently a postdoctoral researcher at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He works with Dr. Yap to develop various approaches to analyzing diffusion weighted brain images, particularly on registration, segmentation, and tractography. Before joining the MIND laboratory in December 2011, he spent more than three years at The University of Manchester for his PhD degree, supervised by Prof. Tim Cootes.

Dr. Jian Cheng obtained a Ph.D. degree in Medical Image Analysis in a China-France joint program. He worked with Prof. Tianzi Jiang in CCM, LIAMA, CASIA, and Prof. Rachid Deriche in Athena/Odyssée, INRIA Sophia Antipolis. His research focuses are on statistical computing in manifolds and its applications on medical image analysis and computer vision.


Visiting Scholars

Dr. Ke Li is a visiting scholar from Beihang University, Beijing, China. He is currently working with Dr. Yap to develop morphometry technologies for robust detection of white matter abnormalities. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in human engineering and environmental control from Beihang University. He worked with Prof. Jun Wang, who is an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering Sciences, and Prof. Wangkai Liu and Prof. Yong Huang of Beihang University. His research focuses are on pattern recognition and machine learning, image processing and analysis, intelligent control and measurement.


Postgraduate Students

Mr. Geng Chen is a Ph.D. candidate from Northwestern Polytechnical University. He is currently working with Dr. Yap to develop state-of-the-art multi-atlas segmentation algorithm for MR images. He obtained his master's degree in signal and information Processing from Northwestern Polytechnical University. His research interest mainly focuses on medical image segmentation and diffusion tractography.

Contact
Pew-Thian Yap
3123 Bioinformatics Building
130 Mason Farm Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27599