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Dr. Yazhuo Kong

75th descendant of Confucius!  

B.Eng: University of Science and Technology of China

Ph.D: University of Sheffield

Joe Yazhuo Kong

Ph.D


Senior Research Fellow

Pain neuroscience, spinal cord, neuropathic pain, MS and NMO

spinal MRI


Quantitative spinal cord MRI

My research focuses on quantitative MRI (structural, diffusion, spectroscopy and fMRI) of human spinal cord with applications to pain and neurodegeneration diseases. 

The spinal cord is the first part of the central nervous system (CNS) involved in the transmission of somatosensory information from the body periphery to the brain, as well as the last part of the CNS involved in relaying motor signals to the body periphery. Non-invasive functional MRI offers the possibility of studying spinal cord function and role in sensory, motor and pain processes. However functional MRI of the spinal cord is very challenging due to its small cross-sectional area, magnetic susceptibility differences in tissues adjacent to the cord, as well as the influence of physiological noise.

I aim to develop optimised protocols to analyse spinal cord fMRI including reliable pre-processing, physiological noise correction and robust group co-registration.

Recently for the first time we have discovered biologically plausible and spatially distinct resting state networks (RSNs) exist in the human spinal cord (Kong 2014 PNAS). Check out the interview by Nature NeuroPod about this work: 

http://www.nature.com/neurosci/neuropod/index-2014-12-19.html 

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Recent Publications

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