Imaging phenotypes: The morphology of brain lesions on conventional MRI is often not specific for a given disease entity leading to misdiagnoses and wrong or delayed treatment decisions. Our work aims to detail the morphology of various brain lesions by using advanced neuroimaging techniques such as ultrahigh field MRI at 7 Tesla or novel contrast mechanisms to finally establish new diagnostic and prognostic imaging biomarkers.
Morphometry, quantitative modeling: Morphometry refers to the quantitative description of structures (i.e. pathology and/or anatomy) from medical image data. Such image data is typically clinical in nature and hence is tailored toward comprehensive yet qualitative image review by an expert rather than quantitative analysis by (automated) digital image processing. Particularly MRI forms a challenge to extract accurate and precise metrics from image data that inherently retains qualitative characteristics. Information in digital images is also implicit meaning that information of interest is not contained in the absolute values of image intensities, but in the regional relationships between image intensities. This makes segmentation tasks often intractable and requires formidable computational effort in concert with heuristic approaches to make the system under study more approachable. qbig efforts focus on developing and combining individual morphometric markers into surrogates that retain meaningful and specific even in the context of large multi-center studies with a wide range of imaging protocols.