Allen W. Song, PhD

Professor, Department of Radiology; Director, Duke-UNC Brain Imaging and Analysis Center
Dr. Song is internationally-recognized for his research on the advancement of functional MRI (fMRI) acquisition methods with improved sensitivity and specificity, as well as their applications in neuroscience. He has developed novel methods for understanding the contrast mechanism of the functional MRI, which includes the source localization of the functional signal using diffusion contrast modulation on the traditional blood oxygenation level dependent signal. He has also maintained an active research program on the development of alternative contrast mechanisms that are more directly linked to the neuronal activities in the brain. Dr. Song received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, China, and a PhD from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Biophysics, where one of the first fMRI experiments was carried out. He was a fellow at the National Institutes of Health before joining the faculty at Duke University in 1999. Currently he is Director of the Duke-UNC Brain Imaging and Analysis Center (BIAC), which was created in 1998 as a component of the campus-wide neuroimaging initiative. BIAC brings together scientists from throughout Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to find interdisciplinary solutions to fundamental research questions about the human brain. Two key themes are closely weaved to achieve this goal. The first is to improve research techniques in neuroimaging, through improvements in MR pulse sequence design, applications to high-field fMRI, experimental control, and understanding of brain hemodynamics. Second, BIAC researchers investigate the functional properties of the human brain by applying these state-of-the-art research techniques into basic and translational neuroscience studies. BIAC researchers investigate neural circuits and processes (e.g., memory, emotion, attention) in healthy and diseased brains (e.g., Alzheimer's, Autism, Schizophrenia). BIAC combines world-class technical facilities, including MRI and electrophysiological research labs, with outstanding faculty drawn from many departments.