Arthur Toga, PhD


The Informatics of Neuroimaging
Arthur Toga, PhD
Director, Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute, University of Southern California
Speaking Time:  8:30am-9:05am, 16-Feb-17 (Thursday)
Speaking Location:  Ballrom-D

Mapping the human brain, and the brains of other species, has long been hampered by the fact that there is substantial variance in both the structure and function of this organ among individuals within a species.  Utilizing data from structural, functional, diffusion MRI, along with GWAS studies and clinical measures, we have built atlases with defined coordinate systems creating a framework for mapping and relating diverse data across studies.  This talk describes the development and application of a theoretical framework, computational tools and visualization techniques for the construction of probabilistic atlases of large numbers of individuals in a population. It begins with some historical examples of approaches to map the structure and function of brain and ends with promises to come.  Essential elements in performing this type of population based research are the informatics infrastructure to assemble, describe, disseminate and mine data collections along with computational resources necessary for large scale processing of big data such as whole genome sequence data and imaging data.  This talk also describes the methods we have employed to address these challenges.

Arthur Toga, PhD, is Director, USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute, Director, USC Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, and USC Provost Professor of Ophthalmology, Neurology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Radiology, and Engineering. He holds the Ghada Irani Chair in Neuroscience.  Dr. Toga is an internationally renowned neuroscientist who uses complex imaging data to improve our understanding of the brain in health and disease. A major focus of his research is developing 4D brain models that track and analyze complex patterns of dynamically changing brain structure in healthy development and disease states. He has developed multimodal imaging and data aggregation strategies and applied them in a variety of neurological diseases and psychiatric disorders.  His work in informatics includes the development and implementation of some of the largest and most widely used databases and data mining tools linking disparate data from genetics, imaging, clinical and behavior, supporting global efforts in Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease, among others.  He was trained in neuroscience and computer science and has written more than 1,000 papers, chapters and abstracts, including eight books.