Peiying Liu, Ph.D.

Peiying Liu, Ph.D.

Primary Appointment: Advanced Imaging Research Center
Secondary Appointment: Psychiatry

Research Overview

My research is focused on the development and implementation of MRI techniques to evaluate brain function and understand brain pathophysiology. It has two major thrusts.

First, I am interested in using MRI techniques to evaluate oxygen metabolism in human brain. Since most of the brain’s energy is generated by oxidative metabolism, cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2) provides an important index of the brain’s energy state and functional integrity.

Working with Hanzhang Lu, Ph.D., a fast and non-invasive MRI technique has been developed to quantify CMRO2 in vivo. This novel technique has been shown to be robust and reliable. I am interested in its clinical applications in brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, cocaine addiction, and GLUT1-deficiency syndromes. I am also interested in applying this technique in pediatric applications.

My second interest is the development of techniques to improve the detection of neural activity by functional MRI (fMRI). FMRI, based on blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) response, measures neural activity indirectly via neural-vascular coupling, and therefore is confounded by non-neural factors such as vascular properties and brain’s baseline physiology.

I am interested in identifying these confounding factors and remove their effects from BOLD fMRI signals by normalization method. I’ve been working on applying the fMRI normalization in normal aging, cognitive neuroscience and psychiatric disorders to demonstrate the fMRI normalization improves the detection of differences in neural activities.

Research Interests

  • Cerebral oxygen metabolism
  • Cerebrovascular physiology
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
  • Perfusion MRI