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Wu Lab

The research lab of Yu-Chien Wu, MD, PhD, is actively investigating a wide range of radiology and imaging topics. Wu is particularly focused on studying diffusion physics in biologic system using diffusion MRI.

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Wu Lab Team

10 countries represented
$11 million in grant funding
213 publications
Research Topics
Images of brain scans for Alzheimer's.

Alzheimer's disease

With current treatments only managing symptoms, research is needed to address early diagnosis and intervention.
Learn more Alzheimer's disease
Imagings of brain scans for animials.

Animal Imaging

In vivo assessments on a mouse model find disruptions in microstructural integrity and neurite organization.
Learn more Animal Imaging
Images of brain scans for concussion.

Sport-Related Concussion

The relationship between blood-based neural biomarkers and white matter neuroimaging in collegiate athletes.
Learn more Sport-Related Concussion
Images of brain scans.

Human Imaging

The lab highlights the growing impact of computational methods, combined imaging techniques, and animal models in advancing neuroscience research.
Learn more Human Imaging
Images of brain scans for TBI.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

The lab addresses the sensitivity issues of conventional medical imaging techniques in detecting mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) by utilizing hybrid diffusion imaging (HYDI).
Learn more Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Research Funding

Salman Shahid (left) and Yu-Chien Wu (right) sitting on a bench smiling at the camera. A small tree is in the background.

Research collaborations are pivotal in advancing research within the Wu Lab. These partnerships help foster synergy, pooling diverse expertise and resources to tackle complex challenges. From access to specialized equipment, funding, and data, to amplifying research capabilities—shared knowledge accelerates innovation, refining diagnostic techniques and potential treatment strategies.

Ultimately, partnerships amplify a lab's impact, driving transformative progress in neuroscience.

  • Active Funding

    Wu Lab

    R01 AGAG083951, NIH-NIA, Wu (PI), 2023-2028
    Assessing Diffusion MRI Metrics for Detecting Changes of Synaptic Density in Alzheimer's Disease

    R01 NS112303-01, NIH-NINDS, Wu (PI), 2020-2025
    Comprehensive White-Matter Microstructure-Informed Analytical Methods to Elucidate Neurobiological Mechanisms of Sports-Related Concussion

    R01 NS112303-03S1, NIH-NINDS-NIA, Wu (PI), 2022-2025
    Elucidating Pathophysiological Mechanisms of Alzheimer's Disease Using White-Matter Microstructure-Informed Subject-Specific Analytical Methods

    R01 AG053993, NIH-NIA, Wu (PI), 2016-2024
    Modeling Axonal Density and Inflammation-Associated Cellularity in Alzheimer's Disease Using Hybrid Diffusion Imaging 

    R21AG068962, NIH-R21 (PI: Tong, Purdue University)
    , Wu (Site-PI), 2021-2024
    Image-Based Modeling of Biomechanical Factors for Risk Assessment of Developing Periventricular White Matter Hyperintensities

    2R44AG060861-02, NINDS-ADM Diagnostics, Inc. (PI: Matthews at ADM Diagnostics, Inc.), 2022-2024
    Multi-modal Machine Learning Detection and Tracking of Traumatic Brain Injury Neurodegeneration and Its Differentiation from Alzheimer's Disease


    U54AG054345,  NIH-NIA, Bruce Lamb (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2022-2027

    R01AG022304-15S1, NIH-NIA Rao, Cleveland Clinic (PI), Lamb, IUSM (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2021-2023
    Immune Mechanisms Underlying the Neuroprotective Effects of Physical Activity in Human and Mouse Models of Genetic Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease

    P30 AG072976, NIH, Saykin (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2021-2026
    Indiana Alzheimer Disease Research Center

    RF1, NIH, Radhakrishnan (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2023-2026
    Multimodal Fetal and Placental Imaging and Biomarkers of Clinical Outcomes in Opioid Use Disorder

    W81XWH1820047 and HU001-18-2008, U.S. Army MTEC & NCAA, McAllister, IUSM (PI), Broglio, University of Michigan (PI), McCrea, Medical College of Wisconsin (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2021-2026
    Characterizing Potential Chronic Brain Health Effects of Concussion and Repetitive Head Impact Exposure: The CARE-SALTOS Integrated (CSI) Study

    R01 RF1NS128961, NIH, Dams-O’Connor, Mount Saini (PI) Hammond (Site-PI), Wu (Co-I), 2022-2027
    Clinical & biological signatures of post-traumatic neurodegeneration: Leveraging the TBI Model Systems of Care to accelerate in vivo diagnosis of the late effects of TBI (LETBI)

    R01AG061788, NIH, Risacher (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2019-2024
    Multi-Domain Sensory Measures as Biomarkers of Alzheimer's Disease in Preclinical and Prodromal Stages

    R03, NIH,Radhakrishnan (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2023-2024
    Neuroimaging in Pregnancy to Assess Effects of Opioid Use Disorder

    R01, NIH-NIA, Lasagna-Reeves (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2023-2028
    CAA, Tau and Neurodegeneration

    R01, NIH, Kim, University of Alabama (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2024-2029
    DCE-MRI guided Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy for Borderline Resectable Pancreatic Cancer.

    R01, NIH-NIDS, Meier, Medical College Wisconsin (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2023-2027
    The role of cytomegalovirus in the physiological and clinical effects of concussion.

    R01, NIH, Tong, Purdue University (PI), Wu (Site-PI), 2024-2027
    Cloud-based Analytical Tools to Extract Physiological Information from HCP Data.

    R21, NIH, Tong, Purdue University (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2024-2026
    Assessing Neurofluid Coupling in Spinal Cord in Healthy Subjects and Patients with Spinal Cord Injuries

  • Previous Funding

    Wu Lab

    Identifying Microstructural Imaging Biomarkers that Predict Post-Traumatic Headache, Indiana State Department of Health, Wu (PI), 2021-2023

    Tau propagation and white matter degeneration in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, IADC, Pilot Project, Wu (PI), 2020-2021

    Research Contract, Siemens, Wu (PI), 2018-2021
    Diffusion MRI

    Combing the perfusion, function and structure matrices of the brain to assess the spectrum of Alzheimer’s disease, CTSI-IADC Pilot, Tong (PI), Wu (Site-PI), 2020-2022

    R01HD096800, NIH, Sadhasivam (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2018-2020
    Effects of opioid use disorder in pregnancy on long-term maternal and child outcomes

    CTR, CTSI, Wu (PI), 2016-2018
    Microstructure Modulated White Matter Connectivity for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

    R21 NS075791, NIH/NINDS-Dartmouth, McAllister & Wu (MPI), 2011-2015
    HYBRID Diffusion Imaging to Detect Acute White Matter Injury After Mild TBI 

    High Angular Resolution Diffusion Imaging(HARDI) with novel HYPR image reconstruction, Dartmouth SYNERGY, Wu (PI), 2012-2015

    Hybrid Diffusion Imaging (HYDI) of the Kidney, IUPUI-RITDP,  Wu (PI), 2015-2016

    Microstructure Imaging of the Human Brain with TBI, IUPUI-ITDP, Wu (PI), 2015-2016

    Measuring Axonal Diameters and Density with a Novel ActiveAx and Fast RSA-EPI Sequence, IADC, Pilot Project, Wu (PI), 2014-2016

    R01 AG053993-01, NIA, Wu (PI), 2016 – 2021
    Modeling Axonal Density and Inflammation-Associated Cellularity in Alzheimer’s Disease Using Hybrid Diffusion Imaging


    R01 AG019771, NIH, Saykin (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2017-2023
    Memory Circuitry in MCI and Early Alzheimer’s Disease Prodrome: Molecular Drivers

    R56 AG047992-07A1, NIH, Newhouse, Vanderbilt University (PI), Saykin (Site-PI), Wu (Co-I), 2022-2023
    Long-Term Nicotine Treatment of Mild Cognitive Impairment

    U01 AG072177, NIH-NIA, Saykin (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2021-2022
    Korean Brain Aging Study, Longitudinal Endophenotypes and Systems Biology

    R01 AG047992, NIH, Newhouse (PI), Saykin (Site-PI), Wu (Co-I), 2015-2022
    Long-Term Nicotine Treatment of Mild Cognitive Impairment 

    R01 AG052439, NIH, Clark (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2017-2022
    MIND Food and Speed of Processing Training in Older Adults with Low Education, The MINDSpeed Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention Pilot Trail

    R21AG066135, NIH-NIA, Yan (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2019-2022
    Gene Co-expression Underlying the Connectomic Alterations in Alzheimer’s Disease

    U01 MH109977, NIH, Shenton, Harvard Medical School (PI), Breier (Site-PI), Wu (Co-I), 2016-2021
    Human Connectome Project for Early Psychosis

    W81XWH-14-2-0151, DoD+NCAA, McAllister (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2018-2021
    Concussion Assessment, Research and Education Consortium for sport-related concussion and military personnel 

    R01 EB022574, NIH, Shen (PI), Saykin (Site-PI), Wu (Co-I), 2016-2021
    Integrative Bioinformatics Approaches to Human Brain Genomics and Connectomics

    P30 AG010133, NIH, Saykin (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2011-2021
    Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center

    ARRS Scholarship, ARRS, Radhakrishnan (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2018-2020
    Predicting neurodevelopmental outcomes in neonatal abstinence syndrome

    mproving functional ability in chronic TBI with intensive rehabilitation robotic gait training (PI: Massie)Indiana Spinal Cord & Traumatic Brain Injury Research Fund, Wu (Co-I), 2017-2019

    Data Research/Pilot Study Project, IU-Health, Sadhasivam (PI)Wu (Co-I), 2018-2019
    Effects of an 8-day advanced meditation, Samyama on physical, psychological and spiritual wellbeing, and associated neural mechanisms

    UH3TR000955-S1, NIH, Breier (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2016-2018
    The Efficacy and Safety of a Selective Estrogen Receptor Beta agonist (LY500307) for Negative Symptoms and Cognitive Impairment Associated with Schizophrenia

    R21 AG051932, NIH, Callahan (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2016-2018
    Angiogenesis and Alzheimer’s Disease

    W81XWH-14-2-0151, NCAA-DoD, McAllister (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2014-2018
    Concussion Assessment, Research and Education Consortium (CARE)

    R01 MH080716-04S1, NIH, Whalen (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2010-2011
    Prefrontal-Amygdala Interactions in Social Learning

    Advancing the Understanding of Biomechanical Parameters Associated with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, NOCSAE, McAllister (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2011-2013

    R01 MH091100-A1, NIH, Holzheimer (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2011-2013
    Investigating Biomarkers of TRD Using Neuroimaging 

    R01 MH080716, NIH, Whalen (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2012-2013
    Prefrontal-Amygdala Interactions in Social Learning

    Advanced MRI Evaluation of Cerebral Blood Flow and Brain Connectivity Biomarkers in Adolescent Subacute Sports-related Concussion, Ninesigma, Inc., McDonald (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2014-2015

    UH3TR000955, NIH, Breier (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2014-2015
    The Efficacy and Safety of a Selective Estrogen Receptor Beta agonist (LY500307) for Negative Symptoms and Cognitive Impairment Associated with Schizophrenia

    Improved accuracy for anatomical mapping and network structure of the Alzheimer’s brain, CTSI-GLUE, Pestilli (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2015-2017

    Dissection of Cholestatic Itch in Primary Biliary Cirrhosis, Intercept PharmaceuticalsChalasani (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2015-2017

    Evaluation of Resting State fMRI in Neonates with Hypoxic-Ischemic Injury, radPDT,  Kralik (PI), Wu (Co-I), 2016-2017


The Wu Lab is a national leader in neuroscience expertise. From working on studies like the CARE Consortium, the world's most comprehensive concussion study, to uncovering early diagnosis treatments for Alzheimer's disease, the Wu Lab is a pioneering hub for research excellence at IU School of Medicine and across the country.

Previous Lab Research

Novel MRI Pulse Sequence: RoSA
RoSA, Rotating Single Shot Acquisition, is a novel diffusion sequence developed in this lab for high-quality and high-resolution diffusion imaging. It can achieve spatial resolution of 1x1x1 mm3 at imaging acquisition for diffusion while maintaining high signal-to-noise ratio and minimal image distortion.

White Matter Tractography
In the Wu Lab, whole brain white matter tractography is performed using either CAMINO or MRTrix3 open source software. Hybrid Diffusion Imaging technique is used to acquire high angular resolution samples at high b-value diffusion weighting. Crossing fibers are resolved using q-ball reconstruction for fiber orientation distribution function (ODF).

Super resolution track density map
From tractography, investigators in this lab are able to produce submillimeter super resolution map of tack density using MRTrix3 software.
news & publications

Alterations of brain microstructures in mouse model

Images of six brain scans over black background.

Read Article

Understanding the role of amyloid to cerebral microvasculature in AD

Images of brain scans in grays, blues and greens over black background.

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Differential vulnerability of hippocampal microstructure

Two images of brain scans.

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Role of neurochemistry in amyloid pathology

Image of graph

View Abstract