Fang-Cheng (Frank) Yeh, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor
Technical Director, High Definition Fiber Tracking Laboratory

Fang-Cheng Yeh




Fang-Cheng (Frank) Yeh, MD, PhD, joined the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh in July of 2016 as an assistant professor.

Prior to joining the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Yeh received his MD degree from National Taiwan University and completed his PhD study in biomedical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in 2014.

Dr. Yeh is currently working on diffusion MRI and its role as image biomarkers for neuropsychiatric disorders. His research focused on novel applications of computational methods to brain connectome research, a challenging field with a lot of known unknowns and unsolved questions that require extensive technological development. He has developed several diffusion MRI methods and applied them to both clinical and translational studies.

Dr. Yeh developed High Definition Fiber Tracking (HDFT), an in-vivo diffusion MRI fiber tracking method powered by Dr. Yeh’s work on generalized q-sampling imaging and its derived tracking method. In 2015, the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) held an open competition to examine the performance of different diffusion MRI fiber tracking pipelines. Dr. Yeh’s method achieved the highest valid connection score (92.49%, ID:03) among 96 different approaches submitted by a total of 20 groups all over the world.

Dr. Yeh is known for his development of DSI Studio, an integrated platform for diffusion MRI analysis, fiber tracking, and 3D tractography visualization. Since its debut in 2008, DSI Studio has been downloaded more than 20,000 times. In 2016 alone, DSI Studio has facilitated more than 70 peer-reviewed publications. These journal papers are published in top-tier journals. DSI Studio provides the core technique for High Definition Fiber Tracking (HDFT), which has been widely used by many research groups to investigate how major fiber pathways are affected by neurological and psychiatric diseases.

Dr. Yeh also developed WS-Recognizer, an open-source quantitative pathology tool that analyzes whole slide images and automatically recognizes targets. WS-Recognizer has been used to correlate pathology finding with MRI and visualize tissue characteristics in a panoramic view across the entire tissue section

Specialized Areas of Interest

Diffusion MRI, tractography, network analysis, medical image analysis, pathology informatics.

Professional Organization Membership

International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 

Education & Training

MD, National Taiwan University, 2006
PhD, Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, 2014

Selected Publications

Yeh FC, Vettel JM, Singh A, Poczos B, Grafton ST, Erickson KI, Tseng WI, Verstynen TD. Quantifying Differences and Similarities in Whole-Brain White Matter Architecture Using Local Connectome FingerprintsPLoS Comput Biol 12(11):e1005203, 2016.

Yeh FC, Badre D, Verstynen T. Connectometry: A statistical approach harnessing the analytical potential of the local connectome. Neuroimage 125:162-71, 2016.

Fernández-Miranda JC, Wang Y, Pathak S, Stefaneau L, Verstynen T, Yeh FC. Asymmetry, connectivity, and segmentation of the arcuate fascicle in the human brain. Brain Struct Funct 220(3):1665-80, 2014.

Wang Y, Fernández-Miranda JC, Verstynen T, Pathak S, Schneider W, Yeh FC. Rethinking the role of the middle longitudinal fascicle in language and auditory pathways. Cereb Cortex 23(10):2347-56, 2013.

Yeh FC, Verstynen TD, Wang Y, Fernández-Miranda JC, Tseng WY. Deterministic diffusion fiber tracking improved by quantitative anisotropy. PLoS One 8(11):e80713, 2013.

Yeh FC, Tseng WY. NTU-90: a high angular resolution brain atlas constructed by q-space diffeomorphic reconstruction. Neuroimage 58(1):91-9, 2011.

Yeh FC, Wedeen VJ, Tseng WY. (2010). Generalized q-sampling imaging. IEEE Trans Med Imaging 29(9):1626-35, 2010.

Yeh FC, Parwani AV, Pantanowitz L, Ho C. Automated grading of renal cell carcinoma using whole slide imaging. Journal of Pathology Informatics 5:23, 2014.

Yeh FC, Ye Q, Hitchens TK, Wu YL, Parwani AV, Ho C. Mapping stain distribution in pathology slides using whole slide imaging. Journal of Pathology Informatics 5:1, 2014.

A complete list of Dr. Yeh's publications can be reviewed through the National Library of Medicine's publication database.

Research Activities

1) A Population-Based Tractography Atlas

A comprehensive map of the structural connectome in the human brain has been a coveted resource for understanding how brain networks function under normal and pathological conditions. Dr. Yeh produced an expert-vetted, population-based atlas of the structural connectome derived from diffusion MRI data (N=842). This was achieved by creating a high-resolution template of diffusion patterns averaged across individual subjects and using tractography to generate 550,000 trajectories of representative white matter fascicles. The trajectories were clustered and labeled by a team of experienced neuroanatomists. Multi-level network topology was illustrated by connectograms of the whole brain, subdivisions in the association, projection, and commissural pathways, and individual fiber bundles. This atlas of the structural connectome represents normative neuroanatomical organization of human brain white matter, complimentary to traditional histologically-derived and voxel-based white matter atlases, allowing for better modeling and simulation of brain connectivity for future connectomic studies as well as clinical and educational applications.

2) DSI Studio: An Open-Source Tool for Diffusion MRI Fiber Tracking

DSI (Diffusion Spectrum Imaging ) Studio has been applied to human and animal studies to investigate how major fiber pathways are affected by neurological and psychiatric diseases. Since its debut in 2008, DSI Studio has been downloaded more than 20,000 times. Since then it has attracted a growing number of users across major universities. Last year, DSI Studio facilitated 75 peer-reviewed journal publications and the number continues to grow exponentially. Currently, there are more than 1,000 registered users with an average rate of 20 new users per month. It has achieved more than ~25,000 downloads count since its debut. It is currently ranked the second most popular diffusion MRI tractography tool among eight other tools in the world, behind only TrackVis supported by Massachusetts General Hospital. At this growing trend, Dr. Yeh expects DSI Studio to take the leading position in the world within the next two years and bring further impact to the field of brain imaging studies.

Media Appearances