Danqing Xiao HeadshotDanqing Xiao, PhD, RT(MR), associate professor of biology at Regis, published her research paper “White matter integrity and key structures affected in Alzheimer’s disease characterized by diffusion tensor imaging,” in European Journal of Neuroscience. The research affirmed that aging is the main risk factor associated with Alzheimer’s, not gender or education level.

Dr. Xiao began this research in 2020 following a faculty Kaneb Grant award. She engaged and trained several Regis students in this research via an independent study, two of whom are included in the article authorship. Nursing major Luke Theriault ’21 is currently enrolled at St. Georges University School of Medicine, and biology major Charbel Elhelou ’23 is in Regis’ three-year degree program.

“Integral to the Regis undergraduate experience is hands-on faculty-student research,” said Prof. Xiao. “To prepare students for this rigorous study, I introduced them to the ways in which water diffuses in brain tissue and how this diffusion impacts neurological functions. This process provided students the skills and knowledge to understand scientific research data. I am grateful to the Regis community and the Kaneb Grant for recognizing the value of this innovative research.”

“Working with Dr. Xiao for the last year and half has been such a great and fun opportunity for me,” said Charbel. “The abundance of knowledge I was able to obtain regarding neuroscience, research and analysis, and data visualization has made me a much more confident student overall. During the moments where I wasn't sure of how to go about certain issues or revisions, Professor Xiao was more than helpful towards me. I believe that without her patience, eagerness to teach, and valuable knowledge, the odds of this paper being published would be much lower. Overall, I am grateful for being able to be a part of this wonderful team and thank Dr. Xiao for believing in me throughout this entire process. This has really enhanced my Regis College experience.”

Dr. Xiao joined Regis College faculty in 2013. Prior to this, she taught at Mass. College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and Boston University, and was a postdoctoral fellow in neurology at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital and department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School/New England Primate Center.

Her research interests include functional brain connectivity underlying mechanisms of neurological and psychiatric diseases, and their pharmacological and alternative therapies. She received a postdoctoral fellowship award from American Parkinson’s Disease Association (APDA) and a SMRT John A. Koveleski award. Dr. Xiao is a member of International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) and Society for Neuroscience.