Research

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Ralph  Suarez, PhD

Ralph Suarez
Lab:
Computational Radiology Laboratory
Department:
Radiology Research
Hospital Title:
Research Associate in Radiology
Academic Title:
Instructor in Radiology, Harvard Medical School
Research Focus Area:
Radiology
Contact:
617-355-2755
Contact Via Email
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Lab Web Site:  Computational Radiology Laboratory

Research Overview

The goal of my research is to develop noninvasive imaging techniques for the quantitative evaluation of high-order cognitive processes of the brain, such as language, memory and visual-motor coordination. By carefully mapping these essential brain functions in healthy individuals, we seek to develop a framework from which to detect and quantify atypical functioning in patients with serious neurologic disorders including epilepsy, multiple sclerosis or tuberous sclerosis. Our approach combines multiple magnetic resonance (MRI) modalities to formulate a more comprehensive assessment of eloquent brain systems based on neural structure, white-matter diffusion and cortical functionality. To do this, we combine information derived from conventional MRI structural imaging, as well as from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and functional MRI (fMRI).

Functional activation of the language system
By developing novel, image-based biomarkers indicative of atypical neurocognitive function, my research aims to present unique information in the clinic that can be used to help preserve vital cognitive functions in pediatric patients suffering from serious brain diseases.

About Ralph Suarez

Ralph Suarez holds degrees in physical anthropology, mathematics and physics. He completed an MSc in Medical Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he subsequently obtained a PhD in Neuroimaging. Before joining the Computational Radiology Laboratory (CRL) at Boston Children's Hospital, Suarez was a postdoctoral research fellow at the National Center for Image-Guided Therapy (NCIGT), investigating functional brain mapping in pre-surgical planning and neuro-navigation applications.

Key Publications

  • Suarez RO, Golby A, Whalen S, Sato S, Theodore WH, Kufta CV, Devinsky O, Balish M, Bromfield EB. Contributions to singing ability by the posterior portion of the superior temporal gyrus of the non-language-dominant hemisphere: first evidence from subdural cortical stimulation, Wada testing, and fMRI. Cortex 2010 Mar; 46(3):343-53.
     
  • Tie Y, Suarez RO, Whalen S, Radmanesh A, Norton IH, Golby AJ. Comparison of blocked and event-related fMRI designs for pre-surgical language mapping. Neuroimage 2009 Aug; 47 Suppl 2:T107-15.
     
  • Suarez RO, Whalen S, Nelson AP, Tie Y, Meadows ME, Radmanesh A, Golby AJ. Threshold-independent functional MRI determination of language dominance: a validation study against clinical gold standards. Epilepsy Behav 2009 Oct; 16(2):288-97.
     
  • Suarez RO, Whalen S, O'Shea JP, and Golby AJ. A Surgical Planning Method for Functional MRI Assessment of Language Dominance: Influences from Threshold, Region-of-Interest, and Stimulus Mode. Brain Imaging and Behavior 2008; 2(2):59-73.
     
  • Branco DM, Suarez RO, Whalen S, O'Shea JP, Nelson AP, da Costa JC, Golby AJ. Functional MRI of memory in the hippocampus: Laterality indices may be more meaningful if calculated from whole voxel distributions. Neuroimage 2006 Aug 15; 32(2):592-602.

For a list of Ralph Suarez's publications PubMed, click here.

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