Skip to main content
COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.

Get the latest public health information from CDC:
Get the latest research information from NIH:

Profile Image

Senior Investigator

Peter J. Basser, Ph.D.

Section on Quantitative Imaging and Tissue Sciences

Division of Imaging, Behavior and Genomic Integrity
Building 13 Room 3W16
13 South Drive MSC5772
Bethesda MD 20892-5772
Office: (301) 435-1949

Fax: (301) 435-5035

Peter Basser received his A.B., S.M., and Ph.D. degrees in Engineering Sciences all from Harvard University, and performed his post-doctoral research in Biomedical Engineering in the NIH IRP. He was appointed Head, Section on Tissue Biophysics and Biomimetics ('97), and Director, Program on Pediatric Imaging and Tissue Sciences ('10), within the NICHD. In 2015, Dr. Basser was appointed Associate Scientific Director (ASD) of the Division of Imaging, Behavior and Genomic Integrity (DIBGI) in the NICHD.

Dr. Basser played a principal role in inventing several MRI technologies, including diffusion tensor MRI (DTI) ('92), DTI "tractography" ('92, '94, '98), and AxCaliber ('03)--an in vivo MRI method to measure the axon diameter distribution within white matter fascicles. His more recent work has led to the development of the new field of "in vivo MRI histology" or "microstructure imaging". His lab currently develops and translates novel quantitative imaging biomarkers, primarily based upon single and multiple pulsed-field gradient (PFG) MRI methods to measure and map key histological features in vivo otherwise only obtained laboriously ex vivo. In neuroengineering, Dr. Basser published the first paper on what was later called "convection enhanced delivery" (CED) ('92), helped explain the biophysical basis of "magnetic stimulation" ('90), which lead to his playing a seminal role in the first application of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to treat clinical depression ('93, '95). His group continues to study the action of electric fields on the brain for various diagnostic and therapeutic applications, including the treatment of gliomas.
Staff Image
  • 1) Bai, R., Stewart, C. V., Plenz, D., Basser, P. J. (2016)
  • Assessing the sensitivity of diffusion MRI to detect neuronal activity directly
  • PNAS, 113, E1728–E1737
  • 2) Benjamini D, Komlosh ME, Basser PJ, Nevo U. (2014)
  • Nonparametric pore size distribution using d-PFG: Comparison to s-PFG and migration to MRI
  • J Magn Reson, 246:36-45
  • 3) Özarslan E, Koay CG, Shepherd TM, Komlosh ME, Irfanoglu MO, Pierpaoli C, and Basser PJ (2013)
  • Mean Apparent Propagator (MAP) MRI: a novel diffusion imaging method for mapping tissue microstructure
  • Neuroimage, 78, 16-32
  • 4) Komlosh ME, Özarslan E, Lizak MJ, Horkayne-Szakaly I, Freidlin RZ, Horkay F, and Basser PJ (2013)
  • Mapping average axon diameters in porcine spinal cord white matter and rat corpus callosum using d-PFG MRI
  • Neuroimage, 78, 210-216
  • 5) A.V. Avram, E. Özarslan, J.E. Sarlls, P.J. Basser (2013)
  • In vivo detection of microscopic anisotropy using quadruple pulsed-field gradient (qPFG) diffusion MRI on a clinical scanner. Neuroimage
  • Neuroimage, 64: 229-239
  • 6) Pajevic, S and Basser, PJ. (2013)
  • An optimum principle predicts the distribution of axon diameters in normal white matter
  • PLoS ONE 8(1): e54095. Published: January 28, 2013
  • 7) Barazany, D., Basser, P.J., and Assaf, Y. (2009)
  • In vivo measurement of axon diameter distribution in the corpus callosum of rat brain
  • Brain, 1-11
  • 8) Komlosh, M.E., Lizak, M.J., Horkay, F., Freidlin, R.Z., and Basser, P.J (2008)
  • Observation of Microscopic Diffusion Anisotropy in the Spinal Cord Using Double-Pulsed Gradient Spin Echo MRI
  • Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 59, 803-809
  • 9) Y. Assaf, R. Z. Freidlin, G. K. Rohde, and P. J. Basser (2004)
  • New modeling and experimental framework to characterize hindered and restricted water diffusion in brain white matter
  • Magn Reson Med, 52, 965-978
  • 10) P. J. Basser (2004)
  • Scaling Laws for Myelinated Axons Derived from an Electrotonic Core-Conductor Model
  • J Integr Neurosci, 3, 227-244
  • 11) P. C. Miranda, M. Hallett, and P. J. Basser (2003)
  • The electric field induced in the brain by Magnetic Stimulation: a 3-D finite element analysis of the effect of tissue heterogeneity and anisotropy
  • IEEE Trans. Bio. Med. Eng, 50, 1074-1085
  • 12) P. J. Basser, S. Pajevic, C. Pierpaoli, J. Duda, and A. Aldroubi (2000)
  • In vivo fiber tractography using DT-MRI data
  • Magn Reson Med, 44, 625-32
View Pubmed Publication