Dr. David Boas

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    Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA

    Featured Author: David Boas

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    David Boas (born in Cleveland, Ohio) is a neuroscientist and physicist. He is best known for his contributions to near-infrared imaging.

    After pursuing an undergraduate degree in physics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (New York), he received a PhD in physics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996. Following his PhD, which he received with distinction, he became an assistant professor in ophthalmology and in electrical engineering and computer science at Tufts University. Currently he is an associated professor in radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital at Harvard Medical School in Boston. He also serves as associated faculty in the health science technology program at MIT. Boas is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Advanced Research Technologies Ltd. Boas has also received the Brustein prize in condensed matter physics from the University of Pennsylvania and the New Focus Travel Grant from the Optical Society of America.

    Boas led the development of one of the first imaging systems using continuous-wave near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) for functional imaging. Through collaboration with psychologists, he and his collaborators have utilized NIRS to study functional brain development in infants, finding neurophysical correlates to language development and behaviors associated with object permanence and discrimination. These techniques are now being widely adopted by developmental psychologists. His research has cross-validated NIRS and fMRI, solidifying the biological basis of the fMRI BOLD signal, strengthening the foundation of NIRS and enabling high spatiotemporal resolution imaging of the cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen. By combining NIRS with EEG and MEG his research group determined that cortico-cortico processing drives the hemodynamic response to brain activity rather than the commonly believed thalamic inputs. This work led to him obtaining an NIH Bioengineering Research Partnership on Dynamic Inverse Solutions for Multimodal Imaging, which will integrate present analysis tools for functional neuroimaging modalities and advance novel algorithms for obtaining dynamic space-time solutions of multimodal data. This is a large collaborative effort, the product of which enables a more detailed exploration of human cerebral physiology.

    Scholarpedia article:

    Near infrared imaging. Scholarpedia, 4(4):6997. (2009).

    (Author profile by Nikos Green)

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