1. Profile
  2. Alex Leow

Alex Leow MD PhD

Alex Leow
  • Professor in Psychiatry and Bioengineering
  • University of Illinois Chicago
Contact Information
  • weihliao [at]
  • (312) 768-8842
  • School of Public Health / Psychiatric Institute (SPHPI)
    1601 W. Taylor St.
    SPHPI MC 912
    Chicago IL 60612
  • Room #:584

Joining the University in 2009, Dr. Leow received clinical training in Psychiatry and research training in biomedical imaging, both at UCLA. Having co-authored more than 70 articles, Dr. Leow's current research interests focus on developing novel probabilistic reconstruction, tractography, and network analyses techniques for high angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI) and their clinical applications. Prior to joining the faculty of the Departments of Psychiatry and Bioengineering at UIC, Dr. Leow was affiliated with the Laboratory of NeuroImaging (LONI) at UCLA, and developed several key high-dimensional non-linear image registration techniques. Dr. Leow continues to collaborate extensively with Professor Paul Thompson at LONI, Drs. Lori Altshuler and Jamie Feusner at the Department of Psychiatry at UCLA, Prof. Tony Simon at UC Davis, and Prof. Moo Chung at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with joint projects investigating a wide range of neuropsychiatric illnesses including bipolar, late-life depression, Alzheimer's disease, body dysmorphic disorder, Fragile-X syndrome, and diabetes-related neuroimaging abnormalities. Besides research, Dr. Leow enjoys playing classical piano as both an amateur soloist and a chamber musician. Dr. Leow currently performs, as a piano trio, with another physician scientist Dr. Jennifer Goldman (violin) at Rush University and Grammy award winning Chicago Symphony Orchestra cellist (now retired) Donald Moline.

Dr. Leow's solo performance at the 2011 Van Cliburn Amateur piano competition
  • psychiatry

    Psychiatry practice and research, classical piano, mindfulness based therapy

  • Bipolar/diabetes/depression neuroimaging

  • Development of imaging and mathematical tools for multi-modal connectome analysis as part of the Collaborative Neuroimaging Environment for Connectomics (CoNECT) at UIC

  • A. Leow, S.C. Huang, A. Geng, J. Becker, S. Davis, A. Toga, and P. Thompson (2005) Inverse consistent mapping in 3D deformable image registration: its construction and statistical properties,Information Processing in Medical Imaging. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 3565, pp. 493-503, 2005

    Leow A, Klunder AD, Jack CR, Toga AW, Dale AM, Bernstein MA, Britson PJ, Gunter JL, Ward CP, Whitwell JL, Borowski B, Fleisher A, Fox NC, Harvey D, Kornak J, Schuff N, Studholme C, Alexander GE, Weiner MW, Thompson PM; For the ADNI Preparatory Phase Study (2005). Longitudinal Stability of MRI for Mapping Brain Change using Tensor-Based Morphometry, NeuroImage 2006; 31:627-40.

    A Leow, M-C. Chiang, I. Yanovsky, AD Lee, A. Klunder, J. Becker, S. Davis, A. Toga, P. Thompson(2007) Statistical properties of Jacobian maps and the realization of unbiased large-deformation non-linear image registration. IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, vol. 26, no. 06, June 2007, pp 822-832.

    M.C. Chiang, A. Leow, R.A. Dutton, M. Barysheva, S. Rose, K.L. McMahon, G. I. de Zubicaray, A.W. Toga, and P.T. Thomspon (2007) Fluid registration of diffusion tensor images using information theory. IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, vol. 27(40), pp. 442-456.

    Xue Hua, Alex Leow, Jennifer G. Levitt, Rochelle Caplan, Paul M. Thompson, Arthur W. Toga (2007) Detecting brain growth patterns in normal children using tensor-based morphometry. Human Brain Mapping, vol. 30 (1), pp. 209-219.

    Hua X., Leow, A., Lee S., Klunder A.D., Toga, A.W., et al. 3D characterization of brain atrophy in Alzheimer’ s disease and mild cognitive impairment using tensor-Based morphometry. NeuroImage vol.41, pp. 19-34.

    A. Leow, S. Zhu, L. Zhan, K. McMahon, G.I. de Zubicaray, M. Meredith, M.J. Wright, A.W. Toga, P.M. Thompson the Tensor distribution function. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. 61(1), pp. 205-214

    X. Hua, A. Leow, N. Parikshak, S. Lee, M.C. Chiang, A.W. Toga, C.R. Jack Jr, M.W. Weiner, P.M. Thompson (2008). Tensor-Based Morphometry as a Neuroimaging Biomarker for Alzheimer’ s Disease: An MRI Study of 676 AD, MCI, and Normal Subjects. Neuroimage vol. 43, pp. 458-469

    Alex Leow, Igor Yanovsky, Neelroop Parikshak, Xue Hua, Suh Lee, Arthur W. Toga, Clifford R. Jack Jr., Matt A. Bernstein, Paula J. Britson, Jeffrey L. Gunter, Chadwick P. Ward, Bret Borowski, Leslie M. Shaw, John Q. Trojanowski, Adam S. Fleisher, Danielle Harvey, John Kornak, Norbert Schuff,Gene E. Alexander, Michael W. Weiner, Paul Thompson, Alzheimer’ s disease neuroimaging initiative: a one-year follow up study correlating degenerative rates, biomarkers, and cognition. NeuroImage vol.45, pp. 645-655

    Gogtay N, Lu A, Leow, A, Klunder AD, Lee AD, Chavez A, Greenstein D, Giedd JN, Toga AW, Rapoport JL, Thompson PM (2008) Three dimensional brain growth abnormalities in childhood- onset schizophrenia visualized by using tensor based morphometry. Proc, Natl. Acad Sci USA 105(41):15979-84. Epub 2008 Oct 13.

    Yanovsky, I, Leow, A, Lee, S, Osher, SA, Thompson PM (2009) Comparing Registration Methods for Mapping Brain Change using Tensor-Based Morphometry. Med Image Anal. 2009 Oct;13(5):679-700.

    Zhan L, Leow A (corresponding author), Zhu S, Barysheva M, Toga AW, McMahon K, de Zubicaray G, Wright M, Thompson PM (2009) Novel measures of fiber integrity based on the Tensor Distribution Function. To appear in MICCAI (Lecture Notes in Computer Science)

    Ho AJ* , Raji CA* , Parikshak N, Becker JT, Lopez OL, Kuller LH, Hua X, Leow A, Toga AW, Thompson PM (2009). Brain Structure and Obesity, Human Brain Mapping (Accepted July 2009)

    Xue Hua, Suh Lee, Igor Yanovsky, Alex Leow, Yi-Yu Chou, April J. Ho, Boris Gutman, Arthur W. Toga, Clifford R. Jack Jr, Matt A. Bernstein, Eric M. Reiman, Danielle J. Harvey, John Kornak, Norbert Schuff, Gene E. Alexander, Michael W. Weiner, Paul M. Thompson and the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (2009) OPtimizaing power to track brain degeneration in Alzheimer’ s disease and mild cognitive impairment with tensor-based morphometry: An ADNI study of 515 subjects. In press (NeuroImage)

    Jason L. Stein, Xue Hua, Suh Lee, April J. Ho, Alex D. Leow, Arthur W. Toga, Andrew J. Saykin, Li Shen, Tatiana Foroud, Nathan Pankratz, Matthew J. Huentelman, David W. Craig, Jill D. Gerber, April N. Allen, Jason J. Corneveaux, Bryan M. DeChairo, Steven G. Potkin, Michael W. Weiner, Paul M. Thompson and the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (2010). Voxelwise Genome-wide association study (vGWAS). In press (neuroImage)

    Jason L. Stein, Xue Hua, Jonathan H. Morra, Suh Lee, Derrek P. Hibar, April J. Ho, Alex D. Leow, Arthur W. Toga, Jae Hoon Sul, Hyun Min Kang, Eleazar Eskin, Andrew J. Saykin, Li Shen, Tatiana Foroud, Nathan Pankratz, Matthew J. Huentelman, David W. Craig, Jill D. Gerber, April N. Allen, Jason J. Corneveaux, Dietrich A. Stephan, Jennifer Webster, Bryan M. DeChairo, Steven G. Potkin, Clifford R. Jack Jr., Michael W. Weiner, Paul M. Thompson and the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (2010). Genome-wide analysis reveals novel genes influencing temporal lobestructure with relevance to neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease. In press (NeuroImage).

    Xue Hua, PhD; Suh Lee, BS; Derrek P Hibar, BS; Igor Yanovsky, PhD; Alex D Leow, M D PhD; Arthur W Toga, PhD; Clifford R Jack Jr, MD; Matt A Bernstein, PhD; Eric M Reiman, MD; Danielle J Harvey, PhD; John Kornak, PhD; Norbert Schuff, PhD; Gene E Alexander, PhD; Michael W Weiner, MD, Paul Thompsom (2010) Mapping Alzheimer's Disease Progression in 1309 MRI Scans: PowerEstimates for Different Inter-Scan Intervals. In press (neuroimage)

    Zhan L, Leow AD, Jahanshad N, Chiang MC, Barysheva M, Lee AD, Toga AW, McMahon KL, de Zubicaray GI, Wright MJ, Thompson PM. How does angular resolution affect diffusion imaging measures? Neuroimage. 2010 Jan 15;49(2):1357-71

    Lu PH, Thompson PM, Leow A, Lee GJ, Lee A, Yanovsky I, Parikshak N, Khoo T, Wu S, Geschwind D, Bartzokis G. Apolipoprotein E Genotype is Associated with Temporal and Hippocampal Atrophy Rates in Healthy Elderly Adults: A Tensor-Based Morphometry Study.J Alzheimers Dis. 2010 Nov 23.

    Ho AJ, Stein JL, Hua X, Lee S, Hibar DP, Leow AD, Dinov ID, Toga AW, Saykin AJ, Shen L, Foroud T, Pankratz N, Huentelman MJ, Craig DW, Gerber JD, Allen AN, Corneveaux JJ, Stephan DA, DeCarli CS, DeChairo BM, Potkin SG, Jack CR Jr, Weiner MW, Raji CA, Lopez OL, Becker JT, Carmichael OT, Thompson PM; Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. A commonly carried allele of the obesity-related FTO gene is associated with reduced brain volume in the healthy elderly.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 May 4;107(18):8404-9.

    Sowell ER, Leow AD, Bookheimer SY, Smith LM, O'Connor MJ, Kan E, Rosso C, Houston S, Dinov ID, Thompson PM. Differentiating prenatal exposure to methamphetamine and alcohol versus alcohol and not methamphetamine using tensor-based brain morphometry and discriminant analysis.J Neurosci. 2010 Mar 17;30(11):3876-85.

    Hua X, Lee S, Hibar DP, Yanovsky I, Leow AD, Toga AW, Jack CR Jr, Bernstein MA, Reiman EM, Harvey DJ, Kornak J, Schuff N, Alexander GE, Weiner MW, Thompson PM; Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. Mapping Alzheimer's disease progression in 1309 MRI scans: powerestimates for different inter-scan intervals.Neuroimage. 2010 May 15;51(1):63-75. Epub 2010 Feb 6.

    A. Leow, L. Zhan, D. Arienzo, J.J. GadElkarim, A.F. Zhang, O. Ajilore, A. Kumar, P.M. Thompson, J.D. Feusner Hierarchical structural mapping for globally optimized estimation of functional networks.  Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv. MICCAI (2) 2012: 228-236 

    Johnson J. GadElkarim, Dan Schonfeld, Olusola Ajilore, Liang Zhan, Aifeng Zhang, Jamie Feusner, Paul Thompson, Tony Simon, Anand Kumar, and Alex Leow. A Framework for Quantifying Node-Level Community Structure Group Differences in Brain Connectivity Networks. Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv. MICCAI (2) 2012: 196-203 

    Alex Leow, Olusola Ajilore, Liang Zhan, Donatello Arienzo, Johnson GadElkarim, Aifeng Zhang, Teena Moody, John Van Horn, Jamie Feusner, Anand Kumar, Paul Thompson, Lori Altshuler Impaired inter-hemispheric integration in bipolar disorder revealed using brain network analyses. Biological Psychiatry 2012 Nov 1. [Epub ahead of print]

    Torgerson CM, Irimia A, Leow AD, Bartzokis G, Moody TD, Jennings RG, Alger JR, Van Horn JD, Altshuler LL.DTI tractography and white matter fiber tract characteristics in euthymic bipolar I patients and healthy control subjects. Brain Imaging Behav. 2012 Oct 16. [Epub ahead of print]

    Jamie Feusner, Donatello Arienzo, Wei Li, Liang Zhan, Johnson GadElkarim, Paul Thompson, Alex Leow (2012) White matter microstructure in body dysmorphic disorder and its clinical correlates. Accepted and to appear in Psychiatric Research: Neuroimaging

    Zhan L, Jahanshad N, Ennis DB, Jin Y, Bernstein MA, Borowski BJ, Jack CR Jr, Toga AW, Leow AD, Thompson PM. Angular versus spatial resolution trade-offs for diffusion imaging under time constraints. Hum Brain Mapp. 2012 Apr 21. [Epub ahead of print]

    Arienzo D, Leow A, Brown JA, Zhan L, Gadelkarim J, Hovav S, Feusner JD. Abnormal Brain network organization in body dysmorphic disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2013 Jan 15.

    Zhang AF, Ajilore O, GadElkarim J, Zhan L, Yang SL, Leow A, Kumar, A.  White Matter Tract Integrity of Anterior limb of Internal Capsule in Major Depression and Type 2 Diabetes. Accepted and to appear in Neuropsychopharmacology.

    Gadelkarim J, Ajilore O, Schonfeld D, Zhan L, Thompson P, Feusner J, Kumar A, Altshuler L, Leow A. Investigating Brian community structure abnormalities in bipolar disorder using path length associated community estimation. Human Brain Mapping (in press).

  • the CoNECt lab

    The Collaborative Neuroimaging Environment for Connectomics at the University of Illinois Chicago (CoNECt@UIC) is an interdisciplinary team of researchers and clinicians devoted to improving our understanding of brain connectivity using novel techniques from neuroimaging and computational neuroscience. We apply these innovative brain mapping methods to elucidate network-based mechanisms associated with a wide variety of clinical conditions and develop new technology-based treatments to address these mechanisms.

Title Description Investigator(s) Category Status
BiAffect the CoNECt lab On-going
Connectome Visualization the CoNECt lab On-going
Connectomics of Mood Disorders the CoNECt lab On-going
Cyclical Neuroactive Steroid Changes, Arousal, and Proximal Suicide Risk: An Experimental Approach R01-NIMH-120843 Experimentally delineating the neurosteroid pathways which may be involved in perimenstrual worsening of depression and suicide risk.  CLEAR – Eisenlohr-Moul Lab On-going
DiaBetty the CoNECt lab On-going
Machine Learning-Deep Learning the CoNECt lab On-going
Neuromodulation the CoNECt lab On-going
Virtual Reality the CoNECt lab On-going
Passive, Mobile Assessment of Sleep, Circadian Timing, and Keyboard Dynamics to Prospectively Predict Depression Severity, Cognition, Emotion Processing, and Emotion Regulation R21 MH121852-01 This study combines actigraphy with the smartphone app ‘BiAffect’ to understand digital behaviors, sleep, and circadian patterns on cognitive function and emotion processing in individuals with major depressive disorder or insomnia.    Clinical Cognitive Affective Neuroscience Lab Completed

*System-generated list from psychiatry research website.