42731-Garcia, Kara

Kara Garcia, PhD

Assistant Research Professor of Radiology & Imaging Sciences

515 Walnut Street

Evansville, IN 47708


Dr. Garcia is an Assistant Research Professor of Radiology & Imaging Sciences as well as the Evansville Navigator for the Indiana Clinical & Translational Sciences Institute (Indiana CTSI). Her primary research focuses on mechanics-based modeling and MRI-derived measures to understand brain development and degeneration.


Through her role with the Indiana CTSI, Dr. Garcia supports a number of clinical and translational initiatives in Southwest Indiana, currently including projects on: maternal diabetes, cancer survivorship, and COVID-19 research. As Navigator, she connects local faculty, clinicians, and residents to services, funding announcements, and collaboration opportunities related to clinical and translational research. She also serves as a statewide contact for investigators interested in utilizing the Indiana CTSI Clinical Research Center in downtown Evansville.


At IUSM-Evansville, Dr. Garcia directs the IUSM Scholarly Concentration Program for Quality & Innovation in Healthcare and serves as site leader for the IUSM Neuroscience & Behavior course.

Titles & Appointments

  • Assistant Research Professor of Radiology & Imaging Sciences
  • Navigator, Indiana Clinical &amp
  • Translational Sciences Institute
  • Education
    2017 PhD Washington University
    2015 ME Washington University
    2012 BS Purdue University
  • Research

    As an engineer and biomedical scientist, my research applies physical concepts to understand brain growth and degeneration. Recently, we developed novel, physics-based approach to measure brain growth from longitudinally-collected magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data, first used to analyze cortical growth in preterm infants. Current work applies this technology to measure cortical changes in utero, during early pediatric development, and during neurodegeneration.

    I also use advanced finite element modeling to link cellular changes to macroscopic brain morphology changes. Current NIH-funded work seeks to understand the mechanobiology of brain folding. Future work aspires to translate insights gained from imaging and modeling studies into useful clinical diagnostics and interventions.

  • Publications
    Mechanics of cortical folding: stress, growth and stability.
    Garcia KE; Kroenke CD; Bayly PV; Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences 2018 Sep 24
    Dynamic patterns of cortical expansion during folding of the preterm human brain.
    Garcia KE; Robinson EC; Alexopoulos D; Dierker DL; Glasser MF; Coalson TS; Ortinau CM; Rueckert D; Taber LA; Van Essen DC; Rogers CE; Smyser CD; Bayly PV; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2018 Mar 5
    Multimodal surface matching with higher-order smoothness constraints.
    Robinson EC; Garcia K; Glasser MF; Chen Z; Coalson TS; Makropoulos A; Bozek J; Wright R; Schuh A; Webster M; Hutter J; Price A; Cordero Grande L; Hughes E; Tusor N; Bayly PV; Van Essen DC; Smith SM; Edwards AD; Hajnal J; Jenkinson M; Glocker B; Rueckert D; NeuroImage 2017 Oct 31
    A new hypothesis for foregut and heart tube formation based on differential growth and actomyosin contraction.
    Hosseini HS; Garcia KE; Taber LA; Development (Cambridge, England) 2017 May 19
    Contraction and stress-dependent growth shape the forebrain of the early chicken embryo.
    Garcia KE; Okamoto RJ; Bayly PV; Taber LA; Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials 2016 Aug 15
  • Clinical Interests

    Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Alzheimer's Disease, Quality Improvement, Integrative Medicine

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