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Smith, Seth, Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences

Seth A. Smith, Ph.D.
Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences
Associate Director, Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science
615-421-8527 (office)

My current research focuses on the developing and deploying advanced, quantitative MRI methods to study diseases of the central nervous system.  Specifically, we are focused on developing novel imaging tools to study some of the underrepresented nervous system structures of the human body such as the spinal cord and optic nerve and implement these tools in a clinically relevant fashion.  Most recently, we have focused our MRI developments on the study of multiple sclerosis to answer questions about the earliest manifestation of the disease, mechanism for disease evolution and biomarkers for therapeutic intervention.  We currently have three main funded projects and two exploratory projects:

Funded Projects

  1. Developing 7T MRI to understand the relationship between GM myelination and neurochemical aberrations in the brains of patients with MS to neurocognitive impairment
  2. Development and implementation of novel Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI), Quantitative Magnetization Transfer (qMT), Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer (CEST), and morphometric assessments in the optic nerve of patients with optic neuritis who are at risk for developing MS
  3. Development of qMT and CEST imaging of the spinal cord in patients with MS and known spinal cord involvement

Exploratory Projects

  1. Development of novel MRI methods to study the human spinal cord at 7T which include:  resting state fMRI, CEST, MT, and ultra-high resolution structural imaging
  2. Development of clinically feasible DTI and qMT methods for direct implementation in the clinic for patients with acute traumatic spinal cord injury.

For more information, please visit the lab website.