Wright group

Preclinical Imaging

Key terms

Imaging, Biomarkers, MRI, PET, CT, FLECT, Image Analysis

Research Goal

To develop and implement advanced imaging techniques and analysis methods for the study of disease.

Research overview

My most significant contributions to brain imaging research are in the development, application and analysis of advanced MRI techniques for the study of disease, in particular, traumatic brain injury (TBI). During my PhD I investigated the potential of neuroimaging, blood, and behavioural biomarkers to provide reliable and objective insight into the pathophysiological changes that occur following TBI. Significant contributions included evidence supporting a relationship between TBI and the later development of a motor neuron disease-like process and the identification of novel MRI metrics sensitive to the axonal injury commonly seen in TBI. Furthermore, I showed that these MRI metrics, together with blood-based proteomics, were also sensitive to the subtle pathophysiological changes that occur following mild TBI. Importantly, I identified brain abnormalities beyond the resolution of neurocognitive deficits that are typically used to define recovery, which has important implications in the clinical management of mTBI, including guiding return-to-play decisions post-concussion.

Selected Recent Publications

1.David K. Wright, Terence J. O’Brien, Richelle Mychasiuk, Sandy R. Shultz (2018). Telomere length and advanced diffusion MRI as biomarkers for repetitive mild traumatic brain injury in adolescent rats. To appear in NeuroImage Clinical doi:10.1016/j.nicl.2018.01.033

2.David K. Wright, Leigh A. Johnston, Jeff Kershaw, Roger Ordidge, Terence J. O’Brien, Sandy R. Shultz (2017). Changes in Apparent Fiber Density and Track-Weighted Imaging Metrics in White Matter following Experimental Traumatic Brain Injury. Journal of Neurotrauma, 34, 2109-2118 doi:10.1089/neu.2016.4730

3.David K. Wright, Terence J. O’Brien, Sandy R. Shultz, Richelle Mychasiuk (2017). Sex matters: repetitive mild traumatic brain injury in adolescent rats. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, 4, 640-654 doi:10.1002/acn3.441

4.David K. Wright, Shijie Liu, Chris van der Poel, Stuart J. McDonald, Rhys D. Brady, Lily Taylor, Li Yang, Andrew J. Gardner, Roger Ordidge, Terence J. O’Brien, Leigh A. Johnston, Sandy R. Shultz (2016). Traumatic Brain Injury Results in Cellular, Structural and Functional Changes Resembling Motor Neuron Disease. Cerebral Cortex doi:10.1093/cercor/bhw254 I.F.2016 6.559.

5.David K. Wright, Jack Trezise, Alaa Kamnaksh, Ramsey Bekdash, Leigh A. Johnston, Roger Ordidge, Bridgette D. Semple, Andrew J. Gardner, Peter Stanwell, Terence J. O’Brien, Denes V. Agoston, Sandy R. Shultz (2016). Behavioral, blood and magnetic resonance imaging biomarkers of experimental mild traumatic brain injury. Scientific Reports, 6 doi:10.1038/srep28713