Dr. Branch, an internationally-known MRI researcher, directs two Facilities at Einstein:
Einstein’s Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center (MRRC)
Einstein's Blaufox MicroPET Center
He is also Co-Director of Einstein's EGL-Integrated Imaging Program
These facilities support cutting-edge translational and collaborative research involving magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS), and PET/SPECT/CT imaging in both clinical and animal disease. Areas of study include neurological, psychiatric and metabolic disorders, cancer and other diseases. The Center supports basic physics and methodological research into MRI, PET, Data Analysis and MRI guided High Frequency Focused Ultrasound (MRIgHIFU). Center scientists collaboration on NIH funded research, as well as foundation and industry research efforts. Also available within the Center are facilities that support related measurements, such as cognitive assessments, clinical assessments, and basic physiological measurement. The creation, development and implementation of new and novel imaging technologies are a core element of the Center.
Dr. Branch’s personal research has centered on the development of MRI- and MRI-based measures of brain function and their application to brain disorders. Studies involving Traumatic Brain Injury, Sickle Cell Disease, Liver Disease, Cancer and Schizophrenia have been the focus of Dr. Branch's efforts. His research is translational, using both patients and animal models of disease. These studies are conducted on high field MRI (3.0 Tesla) and ultra high field (9.4 Tesla) MRI and MicroPET instruments.
Recent research activities have involved the development of methods to study the microstructural integrity of brain white matter using imaging methods that probe water movement within axonal tissues. Measurement of Cerebral Perfusion, Metabolism and Structure are being currently emplyed to characterize the effects of chronic oxidative stress and anemia upon brain energy utilziation, paving a new understanding of the cerebral ramifications of sickle cell pathology. Investigation of new nano-particle based therapeutics for blood volume replacement and anemia resolution in hemoglobinopathies is ongoing. Dr. Branch is co-director of the EGL Integrated Imaging Program, which supports biomedical research using multi-scale imaging approaches, from optical imaging to MRI, to probe invivo phenomena.
Dr. Branch' NIH funded activities have included research into Schizophrenia, MRI based Perfusion methodology, Stroke, TBI and the development of novel MRI instrumenation and technologies.