CIBM research staff scientist Dr. Elda Fischi Gomez chaired the CIBM Breakfast and Science Seminar #31 which was held on February 28, 2023, featuring Dr. Erick J. Canales-Rodríguez who gave a presentation entitled: What can T2 relaxometry tell us about myelin water and axon radius?. Erick is an Ambizione Research Fellow by the Swiss National Science Foundation hosted in the Signal Processing Laboratory 5 (LTS5), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) headed by Professor Jean-Philippe Thiran, CIBM SP CHUV EPFL Section.

ErickWhat can T2 relaxometry tell us about myelin water and axon radius?

Erick J. Canales-Rodríguez,

Ambizione Research Fellow by the Swiss National Science Foundation. Signal Processing Laboratory 5 (LTS5), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL).

Abstract: The axon-myelin unit is essential for the normal functioning of the brain. The axon radius and the myelin volume are crucial parameters that determine the speed of action potentials and can serve as potential biomarkers for brain diseases. To quantify these white matter microstructure parameters in vivo, we have developed non-invasive MRI techniques. Firstly, I will review and compare several T2 spectrum imaging algorithms to estimate the myelin water fraction, which is highly correlated with the myelin content. Subsequently, I will present a new diffusion-relaxation model to estimate the axon radius beyond the current resolution limit. This method was validated using histological data from postmortem human brains and axon-mimicking microfibre phantoms.

About the Speaker: Erick J. Canales-Rodríguez holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Havana (Cuba), a Master’s degree from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Barcelona (Spain), and a PhD from the University of the Basque Country (Spain). He has published over 80 research articles in leading international journals, and some of his works have been awarded by several institutions, including the Cuban Academy of Sciences, the Spanish Neuroimaging Society, the Academy of Medical Sciences of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, and the Catalan Society of Psychiatry and Mental Health. He won two High Angular Resolution Diffusion Imaging Reconstruction Challenges organized within the IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging (ISBI 2012, Barcelona-Spain, and ISBI 2013, San Francisco-USA). He is part of a team that won two international fibre tracking challenges: the ‘Macaque Challenge’ in the 3-D Validation of Tractography with Experimental MRI (3D VoTEM, IEEE-ISBI 2018, Washington D.C.-USA) and the IronTrack Challenge 2019, organised within the International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI, Shenzhen-China). His research interests lie at the intersection between physics, signal processing, computer science, and neuroscience. His contributions focus on developing novel techniques to study brain tissue using different Magnetic Resonance imaging modalities and applying these computational methods to clinical data.


The monthly meet-up seminar series is a great environment to ask questions or to share insights on challenges and solutions. It’s also a good way to broaden and enrich professional networks.

Revisit past seminars and stay tuned for the exciting CIBM Breakfast and Science Seminar Series upcoming this year. 

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