Shereen named CUNY ASRC MRI Core User Facility manager

The CUNY Advanced Science Research Center welcomes A. Duke Shereen as its newest research faculty member, where he will oversee the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Core User Facility.

As facility manager, Shereen will aid investigators with experimental design, while developing his own independent research program. He will work closely with the CUNY ASRC’s Neuroscience Initiative—led by Director Patrizia Casaccia—to advance MRI methodologies that will be available to the neuroscience community at CUNY and New York at large.

“The MRI Facility will be a key component of the Neuroscience Initiative at the CUNY ASRC by providing sophisticated imaging technology for the study of white matter tracts (DTI) and for the investigation of brain function using fMRI,” Casaccia said. “We are excited to have Dr. Shereen join a vibrant research community at the ASRC. Together with the Epigenomic, Behavioral and Live Imaging Resources, the MRI Facility will allow us to explore questions related to environmental variables on brain development and function while addressing disease mechanisms.”

The MRI Facility—which is planned to be available to users in late Spring 2017—will support a broad array of research interests ranging from vision and hearing to attention and memory, and from child brain development to aging and neurodegeneration. To accommodate investigators conducting research in these areas, Shereen is assembling top-of-the-line instrumentation including the Siemens Prisma 3 Tesla magnet as well as ancillary equipment such as MRI compatible EEG, eye tracking devices, active noise cancelling headphones, physiological monitoring system and virtually unlimited data storage and computational infrastructure.

“The new MRI Core Facility here at the ASRC will provide researchers with the state-of-the-art tools for neuroimaging. The Siemens Prisma 3 Tesla magnet, in particular, is the most advanced of its kind currently on the market,” Shereen said.

Shereen joins the ASRC from the Neuroscience Imaging Center at the University of California, Irvine, where he served as its resident Chief MRI Physicist and worked with several expert scientists and clinicians on projects related to the use of fMRI and DTI. His publications included investigations into optimizing and validating methods to map brain networks for use in mathematical simulations of brain dynamics during stroke rehabilitation, discovering imaging predictors of Alzheimer’s Disease onset, and tracking disease progression of cerebellar ataxia and characterizing normal childhood brain development.

Shereen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the University of Dayton, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. He received a PhD in Physics from the University of Cincinnati where his doctoral research involved building custom RF coils for the MRI scanner, as well as programming and optimizing software and hardware to perform ultra high resolution diffusion imaging at 7 Tesla. As a postdoc, Shereen integrated neuroanatomy and physiology into his research, allowing him to bridge physics with neuroscience.


The City University of New York’s Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC) is a University-wide venture that elevates CUNY’s legacy of scientific research and education through initiatives in five distinctive, but increasingly interconnected disciplines: Nanoscience, Photonics, Structural Biology, Neuroscience and Environmental Sciences. The center is designed to promote a unique, interdisciplinary research culture with researchers from each of the initiatives working side by side in the ASRC’s core facilities, sharing equipment that is among the most advanced available.