Wright group

Preclinical Imaging

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Key terms

Imaging, Biomarkers, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), PET (Positron Emission Tomography), CT (Computed Tomography), FLECT (FLuorescence Emission Computed Tomography), Image Analysis, Pre-clinical

Research Goal

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

Honours and Postgraduate research projects

Group leader


Mouse heart beat video (0.13min)

Marmoset brain imaging video (0.20min)

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.


See David's other research projects at research.monash.edu/en/persons/david-wright/projects/

Recent publications

Selected publications

Wright DK, Brady RD, Kamnaksh A, Trezise J, Sun M, McDonald SJ, Mychasiuk R, Kolbe SC, Law M, Johnston LA, O'Brien TJ, Agoston DV, Shultz SR. Repeated mild traumatic brain injuries induce persistent changes in plasma protein and magnetic resonance imaging biomarkers in the rat. Sci Rep. 2019 Oct 10;9(1):14626. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-51267-w.

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

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

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

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.

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