Felix Werner Wehrli, PhD

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Professor of Radiologic Science in Radiology
Director, Laboratory for Structural, Physiologic and Functional Imaging, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center
Member, Research Executive Committee, Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center
Department: Radiology

Contact information
University of Pennsylvania
Perelman School of Medicine
Department of Radiology
MRI Education Center
First Floor Founders Building
3400 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4283
Office: (215) 662-7951
Fax: (215) 662-7263
Lab: (215) 349-8519
MS (Chemistry)
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology , 1967.
PhD (Chemistry)
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, 1968.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research of the Laboratory for Structural, Physiologic and Functional Imaging is aimed at quantitatively characterizing tissue microarchitecture and its relationship to physiology and function by means of spatially resolved nuclear magnetic resonance in animals and humans.

A major focus of the Laboratory is the development of new methods for the quantitative assessment of metabolic bone disease by means of the MR-based "virtual bone biopsy" and image-based computational biomechanics. A related area of concentration is the reduction to practice and translation to the clinic of novel quantitative solid-state proton and phosphorus MRI techniques for the study of bone matrix and mineral properties. A further line of work focuses on the quantification of systemic vascular disease via functional MRI-based methods including time-resolved blood flow, vascular compliance and venous blood oximetry with applications to the peripheral and central vascular system

Other areas of active in-house and collaborative research comprise the further development of novel non-Cartesian imaging techniques for cancer staging in the abdomen and chest, research aimed at the study of gene expression in mouse models of disease using novel micro-CT approaches, the study of neuronal architecture in mouse models of spinal cord injury by means of diffusion diffraction NMR, the development of MRI techniques to map internal strains of the intervertebral disc, and the development of novel RF coil hardware for ultra-high field MRI. Investigators in the lab have also recently embarked on a program aimed to develop and implement methods for imaging with real-time feedback control applied to fMRI of drug addiction and treatment.

Selected Publications

Caporale AS, Barclay AM, Xu J, Rao H, Lee H, Langham MC, Detre JA, Wehrli FW.: Superior sagittal sinus flow as a proxy for tracking global cerebral blood flow dynamics during wakefulness and sleep. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 43(8): 1340-1350, Aug 2023.

Jones BC, Wehrli FW, Kamona N, Deshpande RS, Vu BD, Song HK, Lee H, Grewal RK, Chan TJ, Witschey WR, MacLean MT, Josselyn NJ, Iyer SK, Al Mukaddam M, Snyder PJ, Rajapakse CS.: Automated, calibration-free quantification of cortical bone porosity and geometry in postmenopausal osteoporosis from ultrashort echo time MRI and deep learning. Bone 171: 116743, June 2023.

Jones BC, Lee H, Cheng CC, Al Mukaddam M, Song HK, Snyder PJ, Kamona N, Rajapakse CS, Wehrli FW.: MRI quantification of cortical bone porosity, mineralization, and morphologic structure in postmenopausal osteoporosis. Radiology 307(2): e221810, Apr 2023.

Jain V, de Godoy LL, Mohan S, Chawla S, Learned K, Jain G, Wehrli FW, Alonso-Basanta M.: Cerebral hemodynamic and metabolic dysregulation in the postradiation brain. J Neuroimaging 32(6): 1027-1043, Nov 2022.

Englund EK, Langham MC, Wehrli FW, Fanning MJ, Khan Z, Schmitz KH, Ratcliffe SJ, Floyd TF, Mohler ER 3rd.: Impact of supervised exercise on skeletal muscle blood flow and vascular function measured with MRI in patients with peripheral artery disease. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 323: H388-H396, Sep 2022.

Deshpande RS, Langham MC, Cheng CC, Wehrli FW.: Metabolism of oxygen via T(2) and interleaved velocity encoding: A rapid method to quantify whole-brain cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen. Magn Reson Med 88(3): 1229-1243, Sept 2022.

Chiarelli AM, Germuska M, Chandler H, Stickland R, Patitucci E, Biondetti E, Mascali D, Saxena N, Khot S, Steventon J, Foster C, Rodríguez-Soto AE, Englund E, Murphy K, Tomassini V, Wehrli FW, Wise RG.: A flow-diffusion model of oxygen transport for quantitative mapping of cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO(2)) with single gas calibrated fMRI. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 42(I 7): 1192-1209, Jul 2022.

Wu PH, Rodríguez-Soto AE, Wiemken A, Englund EK, Rodgers ZB, Langham MC, Schwab RJ, Detre JA, Guo W, Wehrli FW.: MRI evaluation of cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO(2)) in obstructive sleep apnea. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 42(6): 1049-1060, Jun 2022.

Lee H, Wehrli FW.: Whole-brain 3D mapping of oxygen metabolism using constrained quantitative BOLD. Neuroimage 250: 118952, Apr 2022.

Caporale A, Bonomo GB, Tani Raffaelli G, Tata AM, Avallone B, Wehrli FW, Capuani S.: Transient Anomalous Diffusion MRI in Excised Mouse Spinal Cord: Comparison Among Different Diffusion Metrics and Validation With Histology. Front Neurosci 15: 797642, Feb 2022.

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Last updated: 09/05/2023
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