Fang-Cheng Yeh, MD, PhD

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

Fang-Cheng (Frank) Yeh, MD, PhD, joined the Department of Neurological Surgery in 2016 as a tenure-track assistant professor.

Prior to joining the faculty at 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 neurological and psychiatric disorders. His research focuses 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 is known for his development of DSI Studio, an integrated platform for diffusion MRI analysis, fiber tracking, and 3D tractography visualization. In 2020 alone, DSI Studio facilitated more than 100 peer-reviewed publications. DSI Studio provides the core technique for “high accuracy fiber tracking,” which has been widely used by many research groups to investigate how major fiber pathways are affected by neurological and psychiatric diseases. In an open competition sponsored by the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) in 2015, 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 from around the world

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.

Professional Organization Membership

International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine

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

Population-Based Tractography Connectome of Human Brain and Its Hierarchical Topology

A conventional connectome records region-to-region connectivity but does not inform how regions are connected through brain pathways. Here Dr. Yeh leveraged high-throughput automated tractography to map 52 pathways in 1065 subjects and explored the population probability of a pathway connecting to each cortical region. The results can be accumulated into a novel tractography connectome that records the tract-to-region connection probability of the young adult population. Using the connective pattern as the feature vector, Dr. Yeh further applied unsupervised hierarchical clustering to reveal the hierarchical relation of cortical regions. The clustering results showed that cortical regions are grouped into three distinctly separated structural networks, including the dorsal, ventral, and limbic network, matching the dual stream models in the language or visual processing, and each of the networks further has its downward hierarchical structures. The tractography connectome and its hierarchical topology provides a data-driven perspective toward cortical segmentation to elucidates the structure-function relation.

Media Appearances