Xu Li, Ph.D.

Headshot of Xu Li
  • Associate Professor of Radiology and Radiological Science

Research Interests

Neurodegeneration; Neurodevelopment; Brain Iron; Demyelination ...read more


Dr. Li obtained his doctoral degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Minnesota in 2010. After that, he joined the F.M. Kirby Research Center for Functional Brain Imaging at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and the department of Radiology in the Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Li’s research focuses on the development of new imaging methods for mapping the magnetic properties of living systems, specifically the quantification of magnetic susceptibility in high-field MRI, and their applications for studying the anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the central nervous system.

...read more


  • Associate Professor of Radiology and Radiological Science

Departments / Divisions



  • Ph.D.; University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) (Minnesota) (2010)
  • B.S.; Zhejiang University (China) (2001)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

My research has focused on the development of novel high spatial resolution imaging methods for mapping the electrical properties of biological tissues and their biomedical applications during my PhD study, specifically, magnetoacoustic tomography with magnetic induction (MAT-MI),. During my postdoc training, my research was on imaging the magnetic properties of living systems, specifically the susceptibility quantification in high field MRI. I have also been working on the description of susceptibility tensor and method for mapping susceptibility anisotropy of white matter fibers. My current focus is on the applications of quantitative susceptibility mapping for studying iron-related neural diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Huntington's disease, Alzheimer’s disease and restless legs syndrome. I am also interested in susceptibility tensor imaging and its use for axonal mapping.

Technology Expertise Keywords


Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Li W, Liu C, Duong TQ, van Zijl PC, Li X. Susceptibility tensor imaging (STI) of the brain. NMR Biomed. 2017 Apr; 30(4). 

van Bergen JM, Hua J, Unschuld PG, Lim IA, Jones CK, Margolis RL, Ross CA, van Zijl PC, Li X. Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping Suggests Altered Brain Iron in Premanifest Huntington Disease. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2016; 37(5):789-96.

Li X, Allen RP, Earley CJ, Liu H, Cruz TE, Edden RAE, Barker PB, van Zijl PCM. Brain Iron Deficiency in Idiopathic Restless Legs Syndrome Measured by Quantitative Magnetic Susceptibility at 7 Tesla. Sleep Medicine. 2016 Jun; 22:75-82.

Li X, Harrison DM, Liu H, Jones CK, Oh J, Calabresi PA, van Zijl PC. Magnetic susceptibility contrast variations in multiple sclerosis lesions. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2016; 43(2):463-73.

Li X, Vikram DS, Lim IAL, Jones CK, Farrell JAD, van Zijl PCM, Mapping Magnetic Susceptibility Anisotropies of White Matter in vivo in the Human Brain at 7 Tesla, Neuroimage, 2012; 62(1), 314-330. 

Activities & Honors


  • IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2007 - 2012
  • International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 2013

Videos & Media

Lectures and Presentations

  • “Susceptibility tensor imaging and beyond”, Lectures on MR, ESMRMB, Susceptibility Weighted Imaging and Quantitative Mapping
    Lecture (11/09/2014)
  • Tissue Anisotropy Mapping
    Educational Course, Singapore (05/08/2016)
    ISMRM 2016
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