Alexander Rauscher


Dr Alexander Rauscher obtained his PhD in Physics from the TU Vienna, Austria, and after post-doctoral training at the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany, he joined the UBC MRI Research Centre at the University of British Columbia in 2007. He became Assistant Professor at the Department of Radiology at UBC in 2010. In 2012, he received a CIHR New Investigator Award. In 2015 he joined the Department of Pediatrics at UBC as a Canada Research Chair in Developmental Neuroimaging. Dr Rauscher’s work focuses on the development and utilization of new quantitative magnetic resonance imaging methods for brain research. The overarching goal of this research is to develop markers for tissue damage and repair in the central nervous system. [Email] [Twitter]


Current Lab Members

Yuting Zhang, MD

Yuting is a visiting professor from Chongqing University. Together with Alex Weber, she is working on quantitative MRI in neonates.

Christoph Birkl, Ph.D

Christoph joined our lab through an Erwin Schrödinger Fellowship from the Austrian Science Fund. He is working on post mortem MRI of brain tissue and its validation with histopathology.

Nino Hernández-Torres, Ph.D

IMG-20160706-WA0002.jpgEnedino Hernández-Torres received his master at the Universidad de Guanajuato, México, where he focused his studies on bio-magnetic techniques to study human gastrointestinal physiology. During his PhD studies at the same university he changed his research direction to the study and development of magnetic resonance (MR) techniques. In his current position as a postdoctoral fellow at UBC, he uses different MR techniques (susceptibility, diffusion, and perfusion weighted MRI, among other) to study the human brain and to provide information of its composition in both healthy and affected states. Predominantly, his efforts are focused on the study of multiple sclerosis, aiming at the development of techniques that can be used as markers for damage and repair in brain tissue.  [Email]

Alex Weber, Ph.D

13063119_10104082116398092_2541695820089777877_o(1)Alex is a postdoctoral research fellow with a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He did his undergrad in Chemistry (same as Kurt Vonnegut) at the University of Toronto. He stuck around to do his Master’s in Neuroscience and Physiology, working on patch clamp recordings of N-type voltage gated calcium channels. This earned him a first-author Nature Neuroscience paper. Alex’s PhD work focused on examining brain networks, both marco and micro, using advanced MRI methods, such as fractal analysis of functional MRI data and resting state network analysis using independent component analysis. How brain networks change in altered and disease states was investigated in acute alcohol intoxication in healthy males and children with obsessive-compulsive disorder, respectively. Today, Alex is primarily focused on developing advanced MRI techniques to allow for quantitative analysis of imaging biomarkers to examine healthy and diseased/damaged brains, as well as track therapeutic progress. These methods include diffusion tensor imaging and advanced gradient echo susceptibility imaging. Subject populations have so far included young adults with mild traumatic brain injuries (concussions), and neonates with acquired brain injuries. When not writing code or trying to secure grants for more research, Alex can be found either climbing mountains or reading a good book (probably by William T. Vollmann) [Email]

Vanessa Wiggermann, Ph.D Candidate

Vanessa Wiggermann is a PhD student in the department of Physics and Astronomy, supervised by Dr. Rauscher. She came to UBC for a summer internship in 2011 through the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), and later joined Dr. Rauscher’s team while working on her Master’s thesis. The focus of her research is the use of susceptibility-weighted imaging techniques for the study of multiple sclerosis. In her PhD work she investigates how the pathology of MS influences the gradient-echo MRI signal and tries to determine which other factors can drive changes in the MRI contrast. This involves creative analyses of in-vivo as well as post-mortem data, which is done in collaboration with an expert team of MS pathologists in Vienna, Austria.
Her ultimate research goal is to develop a highly sensitive imaging protocol for the assessment of tissue damage due to multiple sclerosis.
Vanessa is supported by a Graduate Student Award from the MS Society of Canada. [Email]




Christian Kames, MSc student in Physics

Christian is developing new methods for computing QSM maps. His first algorithm was published in 2018 in Neuroimage.

Jon Doucette, MSc student in Physics

Jon is performing 3D modelling of brain tissue to help us understand the signal anisotropy of MRI scans. He has developed a rapid solution for the Bloch-Torrey equation and showed that DSC MRI depends on white matter fibre orientation. He demonstrated that this effect is due to larger blood vessels running in parallel with white matter fibres.

Daniel Kor, Engineering Physics undergraduate

Daniel is working on computer models of MRI of brain tissue

Former Lab Members

Luckshi Rajendran, FLEX student
Leo Hu, FLEX student
Craig Stewart (medical student) summer student
Friedrich Anastasopoulos, summer student
Lucy Wei (undergraduate)
Joanna Yuen (undergraduate). Joanna is now a medical student.
Anna Pukropski (visiting summer student)
Alina Elter (visiting summer student)
Andreas Schmidbauer (visiting summer student)
Nora Kassner (visiting summer student)
Maddy Daemen (visiting summer student)
Jaching Hung (undergraduate)
Chouson Chun (undergraduate)
Evan Chen (MSc)
Stephanie Schoerner (visiting summer student)

Mike Jarrett, M.Sc

mjMike was been a research scientist at the UBC MRI Research Centre between 2012 and 2018. Prior to joining Dr. Rauscher’s group, he received his M.Sc. in particle physics from the University of Victoria where he studied Higgs decays in the ATLAS detector at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva. Here at UBC, Mike was involved in research projects in such fields as sports concussion, multiple sclerosis, prosopagnosia and mind wandering, among others, with an emphasis on diffusion imaging. [Email]
Inga Ibs (visiting summer student)
Seyedmorteza Rohani Rankouhi (visiting graduate student)
Michael Fan (undergraduate)
Elham Shahinfard (PostDoc)
Christian Denk (graduate student)
Glen Foster (PostDoc)
Kelly McPhee (undergraduate student). In December 2017, Kelly finished her PhD at the University of Alberta. Congratulations!
Meng Yuan (visiting summer student)
Daniel Rieger (visiting summer student)
Sandy Wright (UBC Okanagan)
Christopher Ward (undergraduate)