ECE Guest Lecturer Series

Mechanical Brain Mapping in Aging and Development with MR Elastography

Curtis L Johnson, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Delaware

Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Noon–1 p.m.

Wegmans Hall 1400


Mechanical properties are sensitive markers of tissue structure, function, and health. We can measure these properties in vivo using magnetic resonance elastography (MRE), a shear wave imaging technique that produces maps of tissue viscoelasticity noninvasively. MRE of the brain has shown a sensitivity to neurodegeneration; however, a number of technical limitations challenge the reliability of MRE measurements in specific neuroanatomical structures that are differentially affected in disease and are responsible for different brain functions. In this talk I will discuss the work of my group in developing high-resolution MRE techniques to improve our ability to map these mechanical properties in the brain; our studies examining structure-function relationships between tissue viscoelasticity and cognitive function; and the extension of these findings to older adults and children in both health and disease.


Curtis L Johnson, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Delaware. He received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering in 2013 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he worked to develop techniques for magnetic resonance elastography (MRE). His research is in high-resolution MRE for assessing the structure, function, and health of the human brain for applications in neurology, neurosurgery, and neuroscience. He is a Junior Fellow of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), won the Young Investigator Award at the IEEE BRAIN Grand Challenges conference, and won the Early Career Researcher Award from the Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials.