Researcher | 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.
Researcher | Research Background
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.