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Brian R. White, MD, PhD
Brian R. White
Assistant Professor

Dr. White develops novel optical functional neuroimaging systems and algorithms to better understand pediatric neuronal injury. His research includes optical intrinsic signal imaging, diffuse optical tomography, and resting-state functional connectivity.



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Dr. White is a pediatric cardiologist and neuroimaging researcher at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania. Throughout his career, he has been dedicated to biomedical optical imaging techniques with a particular focus on detecting neurologic injury at the bedside.

He completed his MD/PhD training at Washington University in St. Louis, working in the laboratory of Joseph Culver, PhD, with a research focus on developing diffuse optical tomography for human functional neuroimaging and optical intrinsic signal imaging for mouse neuroimaging. Dr. White performed the first functional connectivity mapping in humans using optical imaging methods and then translated these ideas to neonates in the nursery. He also performed the first mapping of functional connectivity networks in the mouse.

Since joining CHOP and the University of Pennsylvania for residency and fellowship, Dr. White continues his optical neuroimaging research in collaboration with Drs. Arjun Yodh and Daniel Licht. His goals are to expand on his earlier technological and analytical advances, in order to develop novel neuroimaging biomarkers of pediatric neural injury. As a pediatric cardiologist, he is particularly interested altered neurodevelopment secondary to congenital heart disease, as well as pediatric stroke, prematurity, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, and other mechanisms of pediatric neuronal injury.

Education and Training

BA, Harvard College (Physics), 2004

MD, Washington University in St. Louis, 2012

PhD, Washington University in St. Louis (Physics), 2012

General Pediatrics Residency, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 2015

Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia 2018

Pediatric Echocardiography Advanced Fellowship, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 2019

Titles and Academic Titles

Assistant Professor

Professional Memberships

The Optical Society, Member, 2008-2011

American College of Cardiology, Member, 2015 -

American Society of Echocardiography, Member, 2018 -

Society of Pediatric Echocardiography, Member, 2018 -

American Heart Association, Member, 2019 -

SPIE, Member, 2021 -

Publication Highlights

Padawer-Curry JA, Jahnavi J, Breimann JS, Licht DJ, Yodh AG, Cohen AS, White BR. Variability in Atlas Registration of Optical Intrinsic Signal Imaging and Its Effect on Functional Connectivity Analysis. Journal of the Optical Society A. 2021 Feb; 38(2):245-252. doi: 10.1364/JOSAA.410447
White BR, Padawer-Curry JA, Ko T, Baker W, Breimann J, Cohen AS, Licht DJ, Yodh AG. Wavelength censoring for spectroscopy in optical functional neuroimaging. Phys Med Biol. 2020 Dec; PMID: 33326946
White BR, Padawer-Curry JA, Cohen AS, Licht DJ, Yodh AG. Brain segmentation, spatial censoring, and averaging techniques for optical functional connectivity imaging in mice. Biomed Opt Express. 2019 Nov; 10(11):5952-5973. PMID: 31799057
White BR, Bauer AQ, Snyder AZ, Schlaggar BL, Lee JM, Culver JP. Imaging of functional connectivity in the mouse brain. PLoS One. 2011 Jan; 6(1). PMID: 21283729
White BR, Snyder AZ, Cohen AL, Petersen SE, Raichle ME, Schlaggar BL, Culver JP. Resting-state functional connectivity in the human brain revealed with diffuse optical tomography. Neuroimage. 2009 Aug; 7(1):148-56. Epub 2009 Apr 1. PMID: 19344773

Active Grants/Contracts

Optical Functional Neuroimaging of Acute and Chronic Hypoxia
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
The goal of this grant is to to develop statistical methods and biomarkers of neurologic injury applicable to bedside translation using mouse models of acute and chronic hypoxemia and optical intrinsic signal imaging of resting-state hemodynamics.
PI: White