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MRI | Brain | Neurodegenerative diseases | Medical imaging

Building large instruments for neuroimaging: from population imaging to ultra-high magnetic fields


The BAOBAB unit(also affiliated with CNRS) is primarily engaged in MR physics, software development, and MR population imaging. ​​FRENCH

Published on 8 June 2023
​The overarching goal of the BAOBAB unit is to build large instruments for neuroimaging from ultra-high magnetic fields to population imaging. 
Head​ Jean-François Mangin 

Affiliated to CEA, Paris-Saclay University and CNRS, the unit comprises three distinct laboratories:

  • METRIC laboratory, directed by Alexandre Vignaud, develops ultra-high and extreme fields MRI methods and hardware to map the human and non-human primate brains at unprecedented resolutions.
  • CIEL laboratory, directed by Sébastien Mériaux, develops innovative methodologies for understanding the biophysics of brain mechanisms such as metabolism, neuronal activity and molecules transport, both in normal and pathological conditions using ultra-high and extreme field MRI and MRS, ultrasounds, and histology, following a translational strategy from animals to humans.
  • GAIA laboratory, directed by Jean-François Mangin, develops new computer vision systems dedicated to the modeling of the inter-subject variability of complex brain phenotypes, is the algorithmic forefront of the exploitation of high field MRI, designs dedicated artificial intelligence methods and software environments to exploit brain phenotypes in a variety of contexts (biomarker research, genetics, cognitive neuroscience, etc).


BAOBAB also ensures the development of methodological research on the NeuroSpin platform, currently equipped with preclinical and clinical imagers:

Support cells

In addition, BAOBAB also includes two support cells to support the optimization of data acquisition on all imagers :

  • Data Analysis Cell (Antoine Grigis, Isabelle Denghien-Courcol, Yann Leprince & Antonio Moreno)