Center for Functional MRI In the Department of Radiology

Faculty Research

Thomas T. Liu, Ph.D.

Radiology and Bioengineering

UCSD Center for Functional MRI


Dr. Liu joined the UCSD faculty in 2001 and was one of the founding members of the UCSD Center for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (CFMRI). From 2001-2007, he served as Associate Director of Imaging Software at CFMRI.

Since 2007, Dr. Liu has served as the Director of the CFMRI, where he oversees all operations of the Center, including the development of MRI pulse sequences, image reconstruction software, and physiological data acquisition and analysis systems for the two GE whole-body 3T MRI scanners and the 7T small-animal MRI system.


Dr Liu’s research focuses on:

(1) Investigation of resting-state brain connectivity with multi-modal imaging approaches (fMRI, MEG, and EEG)

2) Characterization and modeling of the hemodynamic response to neural activity, including the effects of drugs such as caffeine

(3) Development and optimization of arterial spin labeling MRI methods for the non-invasive measurement of cerebral blood flow

(4) Design and analysis of experiments for functional MRI (fMRI), with an emphasis on statistical optimization, nonlinear signal processing, and physiological noise reduction

(5) Development of quantitative fMRI methods for the study of Alzheimer’s disease and associated disorders.


A more complete description of Dr Liu’s activities can be found at

Education and Prior Experience:

Dr. Liu received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1988 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1994 and 1999, respectively. From 1988 to 1993 he was a member of the technical staff in the Advanced Development Group at Acuson Inc., where he played a key role in the development of the Sequoia ultrasound system. While at Stanford, he developed a network of remote monitoring stations to measure ultra-low-frequency magnetic fields along earthquake faults in the San Francisco Bay area. In recognition of his commitment to research and teaching at Stanford, he received the Gerald J. Lieberman Fellowship in 1997.