First Name
Last Name
Nick Name
Associate Member
Office Room
Department of Radiology - G33 - Purdy Pavilion
Lab Room
G33 Purdy Pavilion
Tel (Office)
(604) 880 1602
Tel (Lab)
Research Groups

Students Wanted
willing to supervise

Master's Degree
Engineering Physics, TU Wien

Doctoral Degree
Physics, TU Wien and Friedrich Schiller University Jena

Employment History

Postdoc at Friedrich Schiller University 2005 - 2007

Research Associate at UBC MRI Research Centre 2007 - 2010

Assistant Professor at UBC 2010 - 2017

Associate Professor since 2017

  • Toshiba Award, German Society for Medical Physics, 2004
  • CIHR New Investigator Award, 2012
  • Canada Research Chair, 2015
  • Green College Leading Scholar, 2015

Committees and Service
  • Member of the UBC Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Committee
  • Member of the UBC MRI Research Centre Core Group
  • Member of the UBC MRI Research Centre Protocol Review Committee
  • Reviewer for NSERC, CIHR, Canada Research Chairs, MSFHR
  • Reviewer for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, NMR in Biomed, Neuroimage, Brain, PLOS ONE, PNAS

Hobbies and Interests

Backcountry skiing, alpinism, climbing, mountainbiking, reading, music; Occasionally, I publish science related pieces in the general media.

Research Area
Medical Physics

Research Field
Magnetic resonance imaging

Research Topics
quantitative susceptibility mapping, myelin water imaging, neuroscience, multiple sclerosis, concussion, the effects of tissue anisotropy on the MR signal


My lab specializes in quantitative MRI of the central nervous system. Our two focuses are myelin water imaging (MWI) and the mapping of tissue magnetic susceptibility.

Myelin Water Imaging

  • My group investigates how iron content and the orientation of anisotropic brain tissue influences the apparent myelin water signal.
  • We have developed a fast analysis of the myelin water scan that takes less than 2 minutes, called DECAES. The tool is freely available. Please see publication below or Jon Doucettes's GitHub page.
  • We have investigated human MWI at 7 Tesla
  • We apply MWI to the imaging of newborns, as well as concussion and other neurological diseases.

Quantitative Susceptbility Mapping (QSM) and R2* Relaxation

  • We have developed an award winning QSM algorithm, which we apply to multiple sclerosis, newborns and concussions. (Kames et al.)

Effects of Tissue Microstructure on the MR Signal

  • We investigate how tissue architecture influences R2*
  • We have shown that measurements of blood flow and blood volume are strongly influenced by the anisotropic nature of the vascular architecture.


Selected Publications

Trainees from my lab and I are in bold face.

Myelin water imaging depends on white matter fiber orientation in the human brain; Christoph Birkl , Jonathan Doucette, Michael Fan, Enedino Hernández-Torres, Alexander Rauscher: Magn Reson Med. 2021 Apr;85(4):2221-2231

DECAES - DEcomposition and Component Analysis of Exponential Signals. Doucette J, Kames C, Rauscher A. Z Med Phys. 2020 Nov;30(4):271-278

The influence of iron oxidation state on quantitative MRI parameters in post mortem human brain. Birkl C, Birkl-Toeglhofer AM, Kames C, Goessler W, Haybaeck J, Fazekas F, Ropele S, Rauscher A. Neuroimage. 2020 Oct 15;220:117080.

The influence of brain iron on myelin water imaging. Birkl C, Birkl-Toeglhofer AM, Endmayr V, Höftberger R, Kasprian G, Krebs C, Haybaeck J, Rauscher A. Neuroimage. 2019 Oct 1;199:545-552.

In vivo investigation of the multi-exponential T2 decay in human white matter at 7 T: Implications for myelin water imaging at UHF. Wiggermann V, MacKay AL, Rauscher A, Helms G. NMR Biomed. 2020 Oct 28:e4429

Rapid solution of the Bloch-Torrey equation in anisotropic tissue: Application to dynamic susceptibility contrast MRI of cerebral white matter. Doucette J, Wei L, Hernández-Torres E, Kames C, Forkert ND, Aamand R, Lund TE, Hansen B, Rauscher A. Neuroimage. 2019 Jan 15;185:198-207

Rapid two-step dipole inversion for susceptibility mapping with sparsity priors. Kames C, Wiggermann V, Rauscher A. Neuroimage. 2018 Feb 15;167:276-283.

Non-negative least squares computation for in vivo myelin mapping using simulated multi-echo spin-echo T2 decay data. Wiggermann V, Vavasour IM, MacKay AL, Helms G, Rauscher A. NMR Biomed. 2020 Dec;33(12):e4277.

Anisotropic cerebral vascular architecture causes orientation dependency in cerebral blood flow and volume measured with dynamic susceptibility contrast MRI. Hernández-Torres E, Kassner N, Forkert ND, Wei L, Wiggermann V, Li D, Machan L, Traboulsee A, Rauscher AJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, June 2016.

Myelin Water Fraction Is Transiently Reduced after a Single Mild Traumatic Brain Injury – A Prospective Cohort Study in Collegiate Hockey Players. Wright ADJarrett M, Vavasour I, Shahinfard E, Kolind S, van Donkelaar P, Taunton J, Li DKB, Rauscher APLoS ONE 2016 11(2).

Magnetic resonance frequency shifts during acute MS lesion formation. Wiggermann V, Herandez Torres E, Vavasour IM, Moore GRW, Laule C, MacKay AL, Li DKB, Traboulsee A, Rauscher ANeurology. 2013 Jul 16;81(3):211-8.

The central vein sign and its clinical evaluation for the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis: a consensus statement from the North American Imaging in Multiple Sclerosis Cooperative. Sati P, Oh J, Constable RT, Evangelou N, Guttmann CR, Henry RG, Klawiter EC, Mainero C, Massacesi L, McFarland H, Nelson F, Ontaneda D, Rauscher A, Rooney WD, Samaraweera AP, Shinohara RT, Sobel RA, Solomon AJ, Treaba CA, Wuerfel J, Zivadinov R, Sicotte NL, Pelletier D, Reich DS; NAIMS Cooperative. Nature Rev Neurol. 2016 Dec;12(12):714-722