Maosen Wang

Alumni of the Department High-Field Magnetic Resonance
Alumni of the Research Group Translational Neuroimaging


Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) based on blood oxygen level–dependent (BOLD) contrast is widely used for probing brain activity1. Neurovascular coupling constitutes the physiological basis for BOLD2, 3. Neurons, astrocytes and vessels cells are the main components of the neurovascular unit and work in concert to maintain the homeostasis of the brain microenvironment4, 5. The anatomical techniques demonstrated that astrocytes were connected the synaptic cleft with smooth muscle cells through multiple end feet. The morphology of astrocytes place them as likely a potential mediator, relaying synaptic activity between neurons and vasculature6. The goal of my doctoral project is to identify the astrocytic contribution to the BOLD fMRI signal  by simultaneous BOLD fMRI and neuronal/astrocytic calcium signal recording.


1.  Schulz, K. et al. Simultaneous BOLD fMRI and fiber-optic calcium recording in rat neocortex. Nat Methods 9, 597-602 (2012).

2.  Attwell, D. & Iadecola, C. The neural basis of functional brain imaging signals. Trends in Neurosciences 25, 621-625 (2002).

3.  Logothetis, N.K. & Wandell, B.A. Interpreting the BOLD signal. Annual Review of Physiology 66, 735-769 (2004).

4.  Attwell, D. et al. Glial and neuronal control of brain blood flow.Nature468, 232-43 (2010).

5.  Zonta, M. et al. Neuron-to-astrocyte signaling is central to the dynamic control of brain microcirculation. Nature Neuroscience 6, 43-50 (2003).

6.  Wolf, F. & Kirchhoff, F. Neuroscience. Imaging astrocyte activity.Science 320, 1597-9 (2008).



Since 01/2014: PhD student in the  / International Max Planck Research School at the High-Field Magnetic Resonance Center, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics(Supervisor:Dr Xin Yu).

2010 – 2013 : Master of Science in Biophysics (Neuroscience), School of Life Science and Technology, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China. Chengdu, Sichuan, China.

2006 – 2010: Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology, School of Life Science, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou, Gansu, China.


2017    Summa Cum Laude Merit Award (ISMRM, top 5%), Honolulu, USA

2016    Outstanding poster award, Gordon Research Conferences in vivo MR, Andover, USA

2014    Scholarship from International Max Planck Research School for doctoral project, Max Planck Society, Germany


2014 - Present    Trainee Member, International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM)

2017- Present     Student member, Society for Neuroscience

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