Peter Basser, 2019 ASNR Honorary Member Recipient

Peter Basser | Via American Society of Neuroradiology | April 16, 2019

ASNR Awards Committee Selects 2019 Gold Medal Recipients, Honorary Member, and FASNR Outstanding Research Award Recipient

The 2019 Honorary Member Award Recipient, Peter J. Basser, PhD, a scientist-inventor whose work has transformed how neurological disorders and diseases are diagnosed and treated, and how brain architecture, organization, structure, and anatomical “connectivity” are studied and visualized. He is the principal inventor of Diffusion Tensor Magnetic Resonance Imaging (DTI) — a non-invasive MRI technology that yields a family of novel features and imaging biomarkers. Quantities that he proposed include the mean apparent diffusion coefficient (mADC) — a DTI-derived parameter widely used to follow changes in stroke and in cancers, and the fractional anisotropy (FA), a robust quantity that makes brain white matter visible. He also proposed and developed “Streamline Tractography,” a means to elaborate white matter pathways, which now helps neuroradiologists plan brain surgeries.

More recently, Dr. Basser has been a pioneer in the field of “Microstructure Imaging”, which uses MRI data and models of water diffusion in tissue to extract salient micron-scale morphological features. Examples of MRI methods Dr. Basser invented and developed with colleagues include the non-invasive measurement of the mean axon diameter (CHARMED), the axon diameter distribution (AxCaliber), and the mean apparent propagator (MAP) in each voxel. He and members of his lab have also been actively involved in developing multiple pulsed-field gradient (mPFG) methods to measure microscopic diffusion anisotropy, which they reported observing in gray matter as early as 2007. Within the past few years, Dr. Basser’s lab has continued to make seminal contributions to neuroradiology, inventing and developing MRI methods to measure and map joint relaxation and diffusion spectra in brain tissue.

Dr. Basser received his undergraduate and graduate training in Engineering Sciences at Harvard University and his post-doctoral training in the Intramural Research Program (IRP) of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. Currently, he is a Principal Investigator and Associate Scientific Director within the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Dr. Basser will receive his award during the President’s Appreciation Dinner on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 during the ASNR 57th Annual Meeting, which takes place May 18-23, 2019 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts.