Broad research interests of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) laboratory at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) lie in (i) developing new MRI techniques of image acquisition, processing, and analysis, (ii) unveiling the inter-regional brain communication mechanism, (iii) applying machine learning algorithms to MRI databases and MRI artifact suppression, and (iv) developing intraoperative MRI devices, These technical developments can make big differences in understanding baseline and functional brain physiology, and also diagnosis / prognosis / treatment of our body.    

2) Neuronal Current MRI

 Our brain requires coherent information flow for inter-regional communication. However, it is still not clear how a neuronal group selects its communication target. We are trying to develop a new fMRI technique that enables us to detect neuronal currents directly rather than the conventional fMRI relying on secondary hemodynamic responses. We try to use the new fMRI technique as well as systems biological approaches for better understanding of the inter-regional brain communication mechanism and use EEG to prove the concept.

3) Machine Learning for MRI

Machine learning has been of interest to the many research areas and one of the hottest applications is biomedical imaging. We are trying to develop and apply machine learning algorithms for MRI artifacts suppression, denoising, fast MRI data acquisition and analysis, and diagnosis/prognosis/treatment monitoring of various diseases. 

5) Biomedical Applications

We have tried to integrate all these imaging techniques for multi-parametric assessment of various brain diseases. We believe combination of the various aspects of the brain would provide much more accurate information than conventional approaches. Also we expect this approach can stimulate interdisciplinary collaborative studies involving engineers, neuroscientists, and clinicians. 

4) Intraoperative MRI

Intraoperative MRI is application of MR imaging during or in-between medical treatments. We are developing system for real-time imaging, display, and segmentation as well as real-time tracking of operative devices within MRI.

1) Anatomical/Physiological/Functional MRI

Noninvasive visualization of blood vessels, blood flow, and blood oxygenation level dependence is an important step toward understanding sources of functional brain signals and brain diseases. We are developing methods to image both arteries and veins within a single MRI acquisition without compromising their image qualities,  map blood flow in brain, retina, and kidney noninvasively, and map brain function with high spatial resolutions. These techniques have been used to understand signal sources of high-resolution functional MRI and also vascular origin of brain diseases such as brain tumors and stroke.