Vanderbilt University
Institute of Imaging Science

Manus Donahue, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Lab Website

Contact Information
(615) 322-8350


I am interested in mechanisms of neurovascular coupling in health and disease (brain tumors, steno-occlusive carotid artery disease, ischemia, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease); I am especially interested in identifying physiological adjustments that may occur in preclinical stages of disease prior to irreversible functional and structural changes.  


My work has focused on methodological development and application of noninvasive magnetic resonance imaging approaches for measuring physiological parameters such as cerebral blood flow, cerebral blood volume, oxygen extraction fraction, pH, neural inhibition, and the cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen in the human brain. 
My Clinical research:

  1. Identifying physiological adjustments in individuals genetically pre-disposed for Alzheimer's disease. 
  2. Using regional perfusion imaging and arterial blood volume mapping to understand hemodynamic compensation strategies in patients with large and small vessel disease.
  3. Improving tumor characterization through application of blood flow, blood volume and pH-weighted mapping.
  4. Improving the characterization of ischemic tissue at risk for infarction in acute ischemic stroke patients using pH-weghted and blood volume-weighted imaging.
My Methodological research:
  1. High-field (7.0T) functional connectivity mapping using blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) MRI. 
  2. Development of arterial spin labeling approaches for measuring cerebral blood flow.
  3. Development of vascular space occupancy approaches for measuring cerebral blood volume.
  4. Understanding the relationship between BOLD response, blood flow reactivity, blood volume reactivity and baseline inhibition (e.g. GABA).


Baseline GABA concentration and fMRI response.    Donahue MJ, Near J, Blicher JU, Jezzard P.    Neuroimage. 2010 Nov 1;53(2):392-8. Epub 2010 Jul 12.

Absolute arterial cerebral blood volume quantification using inflow vascular-space-occupancy with dynamic subtraction magnetic resonance imaging.    Donahue MJ, Sideso E, MacIntosh BJ, Kennedy J, Handa A, Jezzard P.    J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2010 Jul;30(7):1329-42. Epub 2010 Feb 10.  

Cerebral blood flow, blood volume, and oxygen metabolism dynamics in human visual and motor cortex as measured by whole-brain multi-modal magnetic resonance imaging.    Donahue MJ, Blicher JU, ?÷stergaard L, Feinberg DA, MacIntosh BJ, Miller KL, G?_nther M, Jezzard P.    J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2009 Nov;29(11):1856-66. Epub 2009 Aug 5.

Hemodynamic changes after visual stimulation and breath holding provide evidence for an uncoupling of cerebral blood flow and volume from oxygen metabolism.    Donahue MJ, Stevens RD, de Boorder M, Pekar JJ, Hendrikse J, van Zijl PC.    J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2009 Jan;29(1):176-85. Epub 2008 Sep 17.

Evaluation of human brain tumor heterogeneity using multiple T1-based MRI signal weighting approaches.    Donahue MJ, Blakeley JO, Zhou J, Pomper MG, Laterra J, van Zijl PC.    Magn Reson Med. 2008 Feb;59(2):336-44.