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Teddy Cai

Teddy Cai

Scholar Type:

NIH Cambridge Scholar

Entry Year: 2019

B.S. Chemical Engineering & Biomedical Engineering, 
Carnegie Mellon University, 2019


Dr. Peter Basser (NICHD)
and Prof. Karla Miller (Oxford)

Research Interest:

Diffusion-weighted MRI, Neuroimaging, Machine learning 

Teddy graduated with University and College honors from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. Early in his undergraduate studies, Teddy became interested in applying engineering principles to brain research. To broaden his exposure and develop an interdisciplinary skill set before graduate school, Teddy sought research experiences in disparate areas of brain research.

Teddy eventually completed research projects in clinical psychology (Prof. Theodore Cooper, University of Texas at El Paso; Prof. Kasey Creswell, CMU), neurobiology (Dr. Kausik Si, Stowers Institute for Medical Research), neural engineering (Prof. Pulkit Grover, CMU), and diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (Dr. Peter Basser, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development). Project topics ranged from psychographics in Hispanic smokers to prion-like proteins in the Drosophila brain. Of the fields he had gained exposure to, Teddy found diffusion-weighted MRI to be the most compelling. The central idea of diffusion-based imaging, that tissue features can be noninvasively probed by looking at the movement of water in and around the tissue, resonated with him. Teddy's diverse technical background and burgeoning passion for the field enabled success; during his summer internship in Dr. Basser's lab, Teddy completed a project on rapid diffusion exchange imaging that resulted in a first-author publication. For his potential in research and continued commitment to teaching, Teddy was awarded a 2019 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (award declined).

Teddy is now returning to Dr. Basser's group as an NIH-Oxford scholar and aims to continue developing novel diffusion MR image acquisition and analysis methods for neurological applications. Interested also in the increasingly data-driven insights in medical imaging, Teddy will be co-mentored by Prof. Karla Miller of Oxford's Wellcome Center for Integrative Neuroimaging, whose group plays a central role in the ongoing, 100,000 subject UK Biobank project. 

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