After starting my undergrad studies in maths ("classes prépas" in Paris), and then moving to fundamental physics, I went on to specialise in Neuroscience, and also in Genetics, at Institut Pasteur, and later received my PhD from the University of Paris XI-Orsay in 2006, where I worked on structural and diffusion imaging of Huntington's disease. Since then, I have been working at the Oxford FMRIB Centre, first as a post-doctoral researcher and now as an independent research fellow.
Being at the interface between basic neuroscience, methodological imaging development and clinical application is really what I enjoy the most. My body of work focuses on translational research from imaging methods to applied human neuroscience, such as brain maturation and ageing, and with a particular emphasis on neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer's disease, movement disorders and motor neuron disease).
My group pursues two main lines of research, first by investigating the basal ganglia in health and movement disorders using high resolution MRI at 7T, second by working on (very) large imaging datasets to identify - and make sense - of relevant clinical information (e.g., UK Biobank).
BIG DATA COLLABORATIONS
- My group: Translational Image Analysis Group
- My college: Green Templeton
- FSL (FMRIB Software Library)
- FSL-VBM: VBM protocol using FSL
- FLICA: FSL multi-modal linked ICA
SELECTED TEACHING AND VIDEO MATERIAL
- ISMRM Educational Talk (Melbourne 2012): Measuring Diffusion Properties in Tissue: The Diffusion Tensor & Derived Indices
- ISMRM Educational Talk (Milan 2014): Functional connectivity: Diseases of connectivity
- Big Data in Biomedicine (Stanford 2015): Video of our talk discussing the results of our 2014 PNAS paper
Selected scientific comments
- Jäncke, F1000 2019:
Interesting Hypothesis - Very Good (Smith, 2019): "The study of structure-function relationships in the human brain has become a major pillar of current cognitive neuroscience. (...) Numerous studies have shown that the human brain is plastic even at neuroanatomical level, resulting in highly individual neuroanatomical features. The authors of this study went a step further. (...) The authors argue that their results not only reflect human development but also support the concept of a close relationship between convolutional anatomy and the organisation cortical function. In other words: there is a strong correspondence between structure and function in the human brain. Thus, the “new era” of cognitive neuroanatomy, as Sandra Witelson has enthusiastically stated, is still ongoing."
- Masdeu, Curr Opin Neurol 2012:
Paper of outstanding interest (Douaud, 2011): "This study not only contributes to the understanding of DTI in Alzheimer disease, but also describes for the first time a mechanism whereby tissue damage did not result in decreased anisotropy, but rather increased anisotropy. This finding is applicable to disorders other than Alzheimer disease."
- Draganski, Curr Opin Neurol 2010:
Paper of outstanding interest (Douaud, 2009): "Very interesting study also from methodological point of view trying to find the correlates of selective degeneration in subcortical grey and white matter using the dispersion of the principal diffusion direction from DTI data."
Research Fellow, Green Templeton College
- Our paper investigating the effects associated with SARS-CoV-2 on the brain will be out in Nature Monday 7 March, 4pm London time. FAQ + Press Release (image)
If you have any additional questions, please contact me at: email@example.com
Selected press coverage
- CNN and BBC coverage of our left-handedness paper in Brain
- The Times article and The Guardian article on our work on left-handedness
- RTÉ news segment (shortened video from my live TV interview with BBC World News) on our work on left-handedness
- Nature News and Views discusses our UK Biobank GWAS/imaging Nature paper
- Science News discusses the telling similarities between an elderly brain and a developing brain, featuring our 2014 PNAS paper
- BBC news article on our work on a link between development, ageing and diseases
- New Scientist article on our work on vitamin B in MCI
- Alzheimer Forum article on our work on vitamin B in MCI
- Alzheimer Forum article on our work on prediction of conversion to AD
- Neurology Today article on our body of work in schizophrenia
12. Left-handedness is associated in the general population with gene variants related to the brain white matter cystoskeleton
11. Very fine structure-function correspondence in the human brain, driven by both volume and cortical area information
10. Our PNAS paper on finding a common brain network linking development, ageing and vulnerability to disease is out
9. Effect of B vitamins/low homocysteine levels on grey matter atrophy in MCI; Bayesian modelling analysis demonstrating the causal pathway for the beneficial effect of treatment
8. Microstructural differences at baseline (SLF, fornix, hippocampus) between stable and progressing MCI; earliest abnormalities detected in MCI patients: 2.5 y before conversion to AD.
7. Novel approach to combine structural and functional connectivity information; increase of functional connectivity/decrease of structural connectivity in ALS reflects failure of cortical inhibitory function.
6. Diffusion differences between healthy ageing, MCI and Alzheimer's disease (AD) in crossing fibres (increased MO/FA); probabilistic tractography reveals relative sparing of motor pathways vs. association pathways.
4. Common aetiological mechanisms for adolescent- and adult-onset schizophrenia with an altered neurodevelopmental time course in schizophrenia particularly salient in adolescence.
2. Anatomically-related grey and white matter abnormalities in language/auditory areas and, strikingly, in the primary sensorimotor system in early-onset schizophrenia.
1. In vivo dorso-ventral gradient of subcortical atrophy in Huntington's disease (HD); validation of automated VBM with manual ROI approach in HD.
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Douaud G. et al, (2021), medRxiv
Elliott LT. et al, (2018), Nature, 562, 210 - 216
Douaud G. et al, (2014), Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 111, 17648 - 17653
Douaud G. et al, (2013), Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 110, 9523 - 9528
SARS-CoV-2 is associated with changes in brain structure in UK Biobank.
Douaud G. et al, (2022), Nature
Early brain injury and cognitive impairment after aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage.
Rowland MJ. et al, (2021), Sci Rep, 11
Brain imaging before and after COVID-19 in UK Biobank.
Douaud G. et al, (2021), medRxiv
An expanded set of genome-wide association studies of brain imaging phenotypes in UK Biobank.
Smith SM. et al, (2021), Nat Neurosci, 24, 737 - 745
Multimodal Imaging Brain Markers in Early Adolescence Are Linked with a Physically Active Lifestyle.
Salvan P. et al, (2021), J Neurosci, 41, 1092 - 1104
XTRACT - Standardised protocols for automated tractography in the human and macaque brain.
Warrington S. et al, (2020), Neuroimage, 217
Enhanced Brain Imaging Genetics in UK Biobank
Smith SM. et al, (2020)
Brain aging comprises many modes of structural and functional change with distinct genetic and biophysical associations.
Smith SM. et al, (2020), Elife, 9
Neocortical morphometry in Huntington's disease: Indication of the coexistence of abnormal neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative processes
Mangin J-F. et al, (2020), NeuroImage: Clinical, 26, 102211 - 102211
One-year changes in brain microstructure differentiate preclinical Huntington's disease stages.
Pflanz CP. et al, (2019), Neuroimage Clin, 25
Population-based neuroimaging reveals traces of childbirth in the maternal brain.
de Lange A-MG. et al, (2019), Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Structural variability in the human brain reflects fine-grained functional architecture at the population level.
Smith S. et al, (2019), J Neurosci
Calcium channel blockade with nimodipine reverses MRI evidence of cerebral oedema following acute hypoxia.
Rowland MJ. et al, (2019), J Cereb Blood Flow Metab, 39, 285 - 301
MRS and DTI evidence of progressive posterior cingulate cortex and corpus callosum injury in the hyper-acute phase after Traumatic Brain Injury.
Lawrence TP. et al, (2019), Brain Inj, 33, 854 - 868
Exploring variability in basal ganglia connectivity with functional MRI in healthy aging.
Griffanti L. et al, (2018), Brain Imaging Behav, 12, 1822 - 1827
Extending the Human Connectome Project across ages: Imaging protocols for the Lifespan Development and Aging projects.
Harms MP. et al, (2018), Neuroimage, 183, 972 - 984