Yao Wu, Ph.D.
- Research Faculty
Yao Wu, Ph.D., is a Children’s National Hospital research faculty (tenure-track assistant professor) whose research interests include studying early brain development using non-invasive, in-vivo imaging techniques. Dr. Wu leverages these sophisticated imaging tools to understand and to measure critical brain maturational changes that occur during the prenatal and postnatal periods to identify the onset and timing of aberrant brain development.
Dr. Wu’s academic training and research experience have provided her with an excellent background in human brain image analyses. As an undergraduate student, she gained knowledge in computer science, image processing, and human anatomy. During her Ph.D. studies at Southern Medical University, she conducted research on medical image analyses, developing automatic methods to segment brain tumors and prostate cancer in medical images, as well as using MR images to predict CT images, which is clinically desired for dose planning in MR‐based radiation therapy and attenuation correction in PET/MR. In the second year of her Ph.D. study, Dr. Wu studied at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she developed machine-learning based registration methods for infant brain MR images.
Dr. Wu joined the Developing Brain Institute (D.B.I.) at Children’s National for her postdoctoral studies in 2015, which allowed her to extend her research training in the application of state-of-the-art MRI techniques to analyze fetal and neonatal brain structural development in uncomplicated and high-risk pregnancies. After joining D.B.I., Dr. Wu’s research has focused on analyzing fetal and neonatal brain MRI images and correlating image findings early in life with long-term behavioral development in healthy and high-risk populations.