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Evan Morris, PhD

Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging and of Biomedical Engineering; Co-director for Imaging, Yale PET Center

Extensive Research Description

Professor Morris specializes in using kinetic modeling to extract physiological information from dynamic PET images.

Morris and his group continue to refine mathematical and statistical aspects of their techniques for extracting transient neurotransmitter fluctuations induced by drugs or behaviors from dynamic PET data. The end-product of these modeling/image processing techniques are minute-by-minute "movies" of neurotransmitter release in the brain. Recent papers by Morris et al., (Neuroimage 2010) and Normandin et al (Neuroimage 2012) and Sullivan et al (AJNMMI 2013) and Kim et al (Hum Brain Map 2014) demonstrate the work. The culmination of these theoretical developments resulted in a paper by Cosgrove et al (J Neurosci 2014) showing differences in brain responses of male and female smokers while smoking.

Current projects include

a. relating occupancy of neuroreceptors by medications to medication efficacy
b. relating neurotransmitter dynamics to drug-seeking behavior
c. understanding medication efficacy through its effect on neurotransmitter dynamics
d. developing new models of temporal patterns in PET data as biomarkers of disease and risk
e. developing metrics for assessing the accuracy and precision of parametric images

Research Interests

Sensory Receptor Cells; Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography

Clinical Trials

ConditionsStudy Title
Addictive Behaviors; Mental Health & Behavioral Research; Tobacco AddictionImaging smoking-induced dopamine release utilizing PET imaging and nicotine patches
Addictive Behaviors; Alcohol Addiction; Mental Health & Behavioral ResearchBehavioral and Neurochemical Mechanisms Underlying Stress-Precipitated Drinking
Mental Health & Behavioral ResearchImaging SV2A in mood disorders