Alexandra Badea, Ph.D.[Edit Page]

Associate Professor, Radiology

BIAC Core Faculty
Associate Professor in Neurology 
Assistant Professor Biomedical Engineering 

PhD, 2003, University of Patras (Biomedical Engineering)

Neuroimaging in Alzheimer's Disease

 

My primary interest lies in MR microstructural imaging of the brain to provide a comprehensive characterization of the brain morphometry and microstructure (e.g. from diffusion tensor imaging). I have experience with multivariate characterization of animal models of normal development and aging, but also for autism, and my main focus is Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

 

My interests are: 1) phenotyping the brain MRI/DTI to derive information on brain networks; 2) uncovering the link between imaging changes, genetic and environmental factors; and 3) between imaging and cognitive/behavioral deficits. These studies require: efficient imaging protocols with optimal contrast, brain segmentation, registration, and atlasing. The use of high-performance computing enables massive computations required for subsequent statistical analysis, e.g. for connectivity studies.

 

While we can learn important facts and mechanisms based on animal models, there are also limitations we need to acknowledge. My excitement arises from the possibility to bridge from animal models to humans, to try and develop a push pull mechanism between these two research branches using imaging. My hope is that such a two-pronged approach will drive us towards a better understanding of what causes some individuals to progress to a high-risk trajectory for brain aging, and AD, in contrast to normal, successfully aging people. I believe that translational biomarkers provide a unique opportunity to synergize such efforts.

 

My aim is to develop basic, preclinical, as well as translational research methods, with the central goal to further the understanding of how the human brain is affected by neurological and psychiatric conditions, and in particular AD. 

 

Students/Postdocs

Multiple projects are available for undergraduate and graduate students interested in applying engineering and quantitative skills to help understand neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Postdoctoral research position in AD Neuroimaging https://bit.ly/2IaNGfH 

Graduate/Undergraduate research positions through the Bass Connections program aim to help understand the impact of exercise on brain networks and the implications for Alzheimer's disease   bit.ly/2Dv7YLm.

Contact abadea@duke.edu if you have an interesting research project proposal which fits into the AD neuroimaging research goals.

 

 

Recent Representative Publications

 1.     Badea A, Kane L, Anderson RJ, Qi Y, Foster M, Cofer GP, Medvitz N, Buckley AF, Badea AK, Wetsel WC, Colton CA, The fornix provides multiple biomarkers to characterize circuit disruption in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, Neuroimage. 2016 Nov 15;142:498-511. PMCID: PMC5159324

 

 2.     Wang X, Bey AL, Katz BM, Badea A, Kim N, David LK, Duffney LJ, Kumar S, Mague SD, Hulbert SW, Dutta N, Hayrapetyan V, Yu C, Gaidis E, Zhao S, Ding JD, Xu Q, Chung L, Rodriguiz RM, Wang F, Weinberg RJ, Wetsel WC, Dzirasa K, Yin H, Jiang YH, Altered mGluR5-Homer scaffolds and neural connectivity in a Shank3 complete knockout model of autism, Nature Communications, 2016 May 10;7:11459. PMCID: PMC4866051 

 

 3.    Tang, R; Ketcha, M; Badea, A; Calabrese, E; Margulies, D; Vogelstein, JT; Priebe, CE.; Sussman, D. "Connectome Smoothing via Low-rank Approximations". Accepted IEEE Transactions in Medical Imaging; epub 12/10/2018.

 

 

 

 

Teaching and mentoring

NEUROSCI Research Independent Study 

 

NEUROSCI 493;  NEUROSCI 494; NEUROSCI 495;  NEUROSCI 496 

 

Electrical Engineering Research Independent Study

 

ECE 899-20 Special Readings in Electrical Engineering