Alexandre R. Franco, PhD, is a research scientist at the Nathan Kline Institute. With a strong signal processing background, he brings extensive knowledge of MRI image processing and analysis methods to support several research initiatives. Through functional and structural neuroimaging, he aims to create novel techniques to understand how mental illnesses affect neurodevelopment. He also assists clinical researchers with computational and statistical research methods.
Prior to joining NKI, Dr. Franco was a pioneer in neuroimaging in southern Brazil, where he built a neuroinformatics laboratory. His lab was responsible for processing and analyzing the images of all MRI studies at the Brain Institute of Rio Grande do Sul. This generated a wide network of collaboration, which led Dr. Franco to study a variety of neurological and psychiatric illnesses, including multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dyslexia, microcephaly (caused by Zika virus), and ADHD, as well as conditions such as use of crack cocaine, excessive use of social media, biological effects on children in violent communities, and adolescent obesity.
Heinsfeld AS, Franco AR, Craddock RC, Buchweitz A, Meneguzzi F. Identification of autism spectrum disorder using deep learning and the ABIDE dataset. Neuroimage Clin. 2017 Aug 30;17:16-23. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2017.08.017. eCollection 2018. PubMed PMID: 29034163.
Aurich NK, Alves Filho JO, Marques da Silva AM, Franco AR. Evaluating the reliability of different preprocessing steps to estimate graph theoretical measures in resting state fMRI data. Front Neurosci. 2015 Feb 19;9:48. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2015.00048. eCollection 2015. PubMed PMID: 25745384.
Franco AR, Mannell MV, Calhoun VD, Mayer AR. Impact of analysis methods on the reproducibility and reliability of resting-state networks. Brain Connect. 2013;3(4):363-74. doi: 10.1089/brain.2012.0134. Epub 2013 Aug 3. PubMed PMID: 23705789.
Franco AR, Ling J, Caprihan A, Calhoun VD, Jung RE, Heileman GL, Mayer AR. Multimodal and Multi-tissue Measures of Connectivity Revealed by Joint Independent Component Analysis. IEEE J Sel Top Signal Process. 2008 Dec 1;2(6):986-997. PubMed PMID: 19777078.
Mannell MV, Franco AR, Calhoun VD, Cañive JM, Thoma RJ, Mayer AR. Resting state and task-induced deactivation: A methodological comparison in patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls. Hum Brain Mapp. 2010 Mar;31(3):424-37. doi: 10.1002/hbm.20876. PubMed PMID: 19777578.