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Thomas Ernst, PhD

photo of Dr. Thomas Ernst
Thomas M. Ernst, Dr. rer. nat.

Professor, Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine
Technical Director, Center for Advanced Imaging Research (CAIR)

Phone: 410-706-1045


Dr. Ernst is a Magnetic Resonance (MR) Physicist with broad expertise in imaging physics. He has worked on the development of MR methods for more than 20 years, and have been involved with commercialization as well.

Dr. Ernst is directing a multi-institutional Bioengineering Research Program (BRP) to develop prospective motion correction techniques for the acquisition of artifact-free brain MR images in subjects who move during the scans.

Complete Faculty Profile >

Research Projects

Please select a project title to learn more:

Prospective Motion Correction for MRI

The goal of this multi-center NIH-funded Bioengineering Research Partnership (BRP) is to acquire artifact-free brain MR images in patients who move during scans.

Visit our PMC Project page for:

- videos
- major acheivements
- project members
- publications

Learn more about this project


ABCD Study @ Maryland

child in mri scanner
labelled ‌Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (ABCD Study)

The University of Maryland is one of 21 institutions nationwide that will recruit families to participate in the ABCD Study. This research hub will be one of the major programs in the new HSF III research building.

Currently, the ABCD Study at the University of Maryland will be conducted in several facilities, including the School of Medicine, the University of Maryland Medical Center, and the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center.

Learn more about this project

Effects of Drugs of Abuse and HIV on the Brain, using MRI and MRS

Funding: NIH / NIDA: "Neural correlates of working memory training for HIV Patients" (Co-investigator, R01 DA035659)

The goal of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of computerized working memory training program in HIV-positive individuals, using multimodal MRI.

Note: the picture on the left shows the chemical structure of Methamphetamine, a commonly used drug.



Neonatal and Pediatric MRI of Normal and Abnormal Brain Development

I have a long-standing interest in developing and applying advanced MRI and MRS techniques to study the developing brain in neonates and young children. It is fascinating to observe the rapid and dramatic changes occuring in infants with MRI.

For instance, the image on the left shows early myelination of the motor tract (hyperintense signal) in a newborn, which mirrors the rapid improvements in motor skills in neonates.

Lab Members

Thomas Ernst

Thomas Ernst, PhDProfessor

Dr. Ernst joined the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 2017. He previously worked at UCLA, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the University of Hawaii.

Bo Li, PhD
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Bo has a PhD in Biomechanics and Mechanical Engineering from the Peking University, CN. He worked in industry prior to joining UMB as a post-doctoral fellow in 2019. His current project is on motion correction for simultaneous multi-slice (SMS) techniques

head shot 225*225

Xiaoke Wang, PhD
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Xiaoke has a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He joined UMB as a post-doctoral fellow in 2019. He is working on Deep Learning and motion correction for MR angiography (MRA).

Past Members

Artan Kaso photo

Artan Kaso, PhD
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Artan obtained a PhD in Computational Physics at the University of Toronto. He worked at UCSF prior to joining UMB in 2018. His current project is on prospective motion correction for diffusion weighted MRI.

Ningghi Li photo

Ningzhi Li, PhD
Staff Scientist

Ningzhi obtained a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at NIH before joining UMB in 2018.

Active Grants and Proposals

PI/MPIGrant TitleTotal Project PeriodFunding SourceTotal Costs
Thomas Ernst RGR-based Motion Tracking for Real-time Adaptive MRImaging and Spectroscopy 09/01/07 - 07/31/21 (NCE) NIDA/NIBIB $3,462,576.00
Thomas Ernst/
Linda Chang
2/21 ABCD-USA Consortium: Research Project Site at UMB 04/15/20 - 03/31/27 NIDA/NIAAA $13,098,568.00
Thomas Ernst/
Linda Chang
ABCD Diversity Supplement (Julian Baptiste, MD) 04/15/20 - 03/31/22 NIDA $203,394.00
Thomas Ernst/
Linda Chang
ABCD-Brain MRS-GABA Substudy (U. Utah Sub K) 06/15/19 - 05/31/21 NIDA $154,500.00

Total: $16,919,038.00


Click here to view Dr. Ernst's publications on Pubmed

Please refer Dr. Ernst's faculty profile for highlighted publications