Fang-Cheng Yeh, MD, PhD

  • Associate Professor
  • Director, High-Definition Fiber Tractography Lab

Fang-Cheng (Frank) Yeh, MD, PhD, joined the Department of Neurological Surgery in 2016 following the completion of his MD degree from National Taiwan University and PhD study in biomedical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in 2014. Dr. Yeh and his team have made contributions to tractography-based connectomics, which have had impact on the field of brain connectivity research.

His team developed correlational tractography, a technique that allows for the mapping of pathways that show correlation with specific study variables. This approach provides insights into the relationship between brain connectivity and clinical and cognitive factors, potentially influencing certain aspects of the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders. Another contribution is differential tractography, which identifies pathways undergoing neuronal changes over time. This approach contributes to the understanding of brain plasticity and pathology, potentially advancing knowledge in the area of neurological conditions.

In addition to their research, Dr. Yeh and his team provide tools and methodologies to researchers worldwide, supporting the progress in understanding brain connectivity and its implications for neurological disorders. He developed DSI Studio, a software that is used in the neuroscience community. DSI Studio offers functionalities for diffusion MRI analysis, including preprocessing, tensor estimation, and fiber tractography. The software also provides additional tools such as automatic quality control, ROI editing, and clustering analysis, allowing researchers to customize their analyses to extent. DSI Studio supports various diffusion MRI data types, making it compatible with different research studies. DSI Studio has been cited in 2,000 publications, indicating recognition and contribution to neuroscience. The development team occasionally updates the software, incorporating certain features like GPU acceleration and cloud-based computing to improve performance and enable analysis of relatively larger datasets.

DSI Studio's functionalities, tools, and compatibility with various diffusion MRI data types have positioned it as a tool that is used in diffusion MRI analysis. It has become a resource that is occasionally valued by researchers worldwide, supporting advancements in the field of brain connectivity

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

Specialized Areas of Interest

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

Education & Training

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

Honors & Awards

  • Chancellor’s Commercialization Fund Award, Pitt Ventures First Gear Program, University of Pittsburgh, 2019

Research Activities

Dr. Yeh’s research activities focus on addressing the limitations of connectome mapping by providing detailed information about the white matter pathways involved in region-to-region connectivity. To achieve this, he has developed a population-based tract-to-region connectome, which allows researchers to quantify the likelihood of a white matter tract connecting to a specific cortical region.

Through his research, he has discovered that approximately 85% of the entries in the tract-to-region connectome exhibit consistent patterns across individuals. However, the remaining 15% show significant variations that require individualized mapping. By employing hierarchical clustering techniques on cortical regions, he has identified distinct networks, including dorsal, ventral, and limbic networks, based on their unique tract-to-region connectivity patterns.

Additionally, his analysis of white matter bundles has revealed the categorization of fiber bundle systems within the association pathways. This categorization provides valuable insights into the connective architecture between cortical regions and white matter bundles. Moreover, the derived hierarchical relationship offers a systematic categorization of both gray and white matter structures.

Dr. Yeh’s research on the tract-to-region connectome not only enhances our understanding of the connective topology within the brain but also sheds light on the organization of gray and white matter structures. These findings contribute to the broader field of neuroscience by providing a more comprehensive and detailed characterization of brain connectivity.

Media Appearances