Allen W Song


Professor in Radiology

The research in our lab is concerned with advancing structural and functional MRI methodologies (e.g. fast and high-resolution imaging techniques) for human brain imaging. We also aim to improve our understanding of functional brain signals, including spatiotemporal characterizations of the blood oxygenation level dependent contrast and alternative contrast mechanisms that are more directly linked to the neuronal activities. Additional effort is invested in applying and validating the developed methods to study human functional neuroanatomy.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Professor in Radiology
  • Director of the Center for Brain Imaging and Analysis
  • Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Professor in Neurobiology
  • Faculty Network Member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 40 Duke Medicine Circle, Davison 414, Box 3918, Durham, NC 27710
  • Office Phone: (919) 684-1215
  • Email Address:


  • Emory University, 1999
  • National Institutes of Health, 1996
  • Ph.D. Medical College of Wisconsin, 1995

Research Interests

Song's research program is centered on high-resolution MRI methodological development to best depict and detect human brain structure and function.

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. National Science Foundation. 2001

Courses Taught

  • NEUROBIO 393: Research Independent Study
  • NEUROBIO 793: Research in Neurobiology

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Zhang, L; Ellor, S; Sun, JM; Liu, C; Kurtzburg, J; Song, AW, DTI Tract-Based Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping: An Initial Feasibility Study to Investigate the Potential Role of Myelination in Brain Connectivity Change in Cerebral Palsy Patients During Autologous Cord Blood Cell Therapy Using a Rotationally-Invariant Quantitative Measure., J Magn Reson Imaging, vol 53 no. 1 (2021), pp. 251-258 [10.1002/jmri.27286] [abs].
  • Simhal, AK; Carpenter, KLH; Nadeem, S; Kurtzberg, J; Song, A; Tannenbaum, A; Sapiro, G; Dawson, G, Measuring robustness of brain networks in autism spectrum disorder with Ricci curvature., Scientific Reports, vol 10 no. 1 (2020) [10.1038/s41598-020-67474-9] [abs].
  • Dawson, G; Sun, JM; Baker, J; Carpenter, K; Compton, S; Deaver, M; Franz, L; Heilbron, N; Herold, B; Horrigan, J; Howard, J; Kosinski, A; Major, S; Murias, M; Page, K; Prasad, VK; Sabatos-DeVito, M; Sanfilippo, F; Sikich, L; Simmons, R; Song, A; Vermeer, S; Waters-Pick, B; Troy, J; Kurtzberg, J, A Phase II Randomized Clinical Trial of the Safety and Efficacy of Intravenous Umbilical Cord Blood Infusion for Treatment of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder., J Pediatr, vol 222 (2020), pp. 164-173.e5 [10.1016/j.jpeds.2020.03.011] [abs].
  • Ghusayni, R; Richardson, JP; Uchitel, J; Abdelnour, E; McLean, M; Prange, L; Abrahamsen, T; Song, A; Petrella, JR; Mikati, MA, Magnetic resonance imaging volumetric analysis in patients with Alternating hemiplegia of childhood: A pilot study., Eur J Paediatr Neurol, vol 26 (2020), pp. 15-19 [10.1016/j.ejpn.2020.02.001] [abs].
  • Krystal, AD; Pizzagalli, DA; Smoski, M; Mathew, SJ; Nurnberger, J; Lisanby, SH; Iosifescu, D; Murrough, JW; Yang, H; Weiner, RD; Calabrese, JR; Sanacora, G; Hermes, G; Keefe, RSE; Song, A; Goodman, W; Szabo, ST; Whitton, AE; Gao, K; Potter, WZ, A randomized proof-of-mechanism trial applying the 'fast-fail' approach to evaluating κ-opioid antagonism as a treatment for anhedonia., Nat Med, vol 26 no. 5 (2020), pp. 760-768 [10.1038/s41591-020-0806-7] [abs].