James R. MacFall
Adjunct Professor in the Department of Radiology


My research centers on application and/or development of image processing and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques for a variety of biomedical focus areas in Psychiatry, Oncology, Lung Disorders and Pediatric Neurological Disorders:
Psychiatry: Research is focused on improving automated methods of brain tissue identification and volume measurement using magnetic resonance images in the context of a study of depression in aging. Similar work is ongoing in bipolar disorder. We are also developing ways to use diffusion tensor imaging to assess the damage caused by vascular lesions to white matter tracts.
Oncology: Research efforts center on how to best quantitate MRI-based diffusion and perfusion parameters and apply them to predicting the course and outcome of cancer therapy. Current efforts involve developing robust algorithms for removing distortion from echo-planar MR diffusion images and producing high resolution MR diffusion images on our research 3 Tesla MR imaging system (Center for Advanced MR Development, CAMRD). I am also collaborating with Radiologists and Oncologists to develop rapid quantitation of tumor vascular permeability and relate changes in the permeability to a variety of vascular targeted therapies in clinical trials. A second effort centers on using MRI to monitor temperature and other tissue parameters during hyperthermia therapy.
Pediatric Neurology/Psychiatry: I am collaborating with researchers at Duke to use MRI methods to evaluate childhood epilepsy, addictions, trauma and abuse. Some of these involve multi-site studies. We are developing ways to use new technology available for advanced analysis and data mining  for such multi-site research.
All of this work is very collaborative between technology oriented and disease oriented researchers. There are continuing opportunities in my group for student research with subsets of data currently under analysis.
Lung Disorders : The lung is particularly challenging to image with MRI. I am collaborating with colleagues to develop MRI methods to image the lungs to provide non-invasive biomarkers for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (COPD).

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