Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA
Featured Author: David Boas
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.
- Near infrared imaging. Scholarpedia, 4(4):6997. (2009).
(Author profile by Nikos Green)