Faculty Directory
Molly Bright

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences


645 N Michigan Ave
Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60611

Email Molly Bright


Bright Lab


Biomedical Engineering


D.Phil. Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom

B.S. Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA


Research Interests

Our research uses advanced imaging techniques to assess the interaction of neural activity and vascular physiology in healthy brains and neurological disease. This involves the design and implementation of tools to stimulate or monitor human physiology during MRI scanning, and the development of specialized MRI acquisition methods to characterize neurovascular function. In combination with bespoke signal processing pipelines developed in our lab, we aim to produce robust quantitative imaging biomarkers for studying Multiple Sclerosis, fatigue, migraine, stroke, dementia, spinal cord injury, and the response of individual patients to personalised therapeutic interventions. This work is in collaboration with Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences, Neurology, Radiology, the Center for Translational Imaging, and the Northwestern University Interdepartmental Neuroscience program.


Selected Publications

  • Gong, Jingxuan; Stickland, Rachael C.; Bright, Molly G., Hemodynamic timing in resting-state and breathing-task BOLD fMRI, Neuroimage (2023).
  • Zvolanek, Kristina M.; Moia, Stefano; Dean, Joshua N.; Stickland, Rachael C.; Caballero-Gaudes, César; Bright, Molly G., Comparing end-tidal CO2, respiration volume per time (RVT), and average gray matter signal for mapping cerebrovascular reactivity amplitude and delay with breath-hold task BOLD fMRI, Neuroimage (2023).
  • Hoggarth, Mark A.; Wang, Max C.; Hemmerling, Kimberly J.; Vigotsky, Andrew D.; Smith, Zachary Adam; Parrish, Todd B.; Weber, Kenneth A.; Bright, Molly G., Effects of variability in manually contoured spinal cord masks on fMRI co-registration and interpretation, Frontiers in Neurology (2022).
  • Stickland, Rachael C.; Zvolanek, Kristina M.; Moia, Stefano; Caballero-Gaudes, César; Bright, Molly G., Lag-Optimized Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent Cerebrovascular Reactivity Estimates Derived From Breathing Task Data Have a Stronger Relationship With Baseline Cerebral Blood Flow, Frontiers in Neuroscience (2022).
  • Stickland, Rachael C.; Zvolanek, Kristina M.; Moia, Stefano; Ayyagari, Apoorva; Caballero-Gaudes, César; Bright, Molly G., A practical modification to a resting state fMRI protocol for improved characterization of cerebrovascular function, Neuroimage (2021).
  • Vu, Jasmine; Nguyen, Bach T.; Bhusal, Bhumi; Baraboo, Justin; Rosenow, Joshua; Bagci, Ulas; Bright, Molly G.; Golestanirad, Laleh, Machine Learning-Based Prediction of MRI-Induced Power Absorption in the Tissue in Patients with Simplified Deep Brain Stimulation Lead Models, IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility (2021).
  • Moia, Stefano; Termenon, Maite; Uruñuela, Eneko; Chen, Gang; Stickland, Rachael C.; Bright, Molly G.; Caballero-Gaudes, César, ICA-based denoising strategies in breath-hold induced cerebrovascular reactivity mapping with multi echo BOLD fMRI, Neuroimage 233 (2021).
  • Pinto, Joana; Bright, Molly G.; Bulte, Daniel P.; Figueiredo, Patrícia, Cerebrovascular Reactivity Mapping Without Gas Challenges, Frontiers in Physiology 11 (2021).