Events / CBICA Seminar: Eric Westman

CBICA Seminar: Eric Westman

February 24, 2022
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

online offering

Center for Biomedical Image Computing and Analytics (CBICA) Seminar



Eric Westman
Head of Division and Acting/Vice Head of Department
Karolinska Institutet
Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS)
Division of Clinical Geriatrics


Virtual seminar –



Unravel the heterogeneity in Alzheimer’s disease with the help of neuroimaging


To understand the heterogeneity in AD and define biologically meaningful subtypes has recently gained attention as a driver of precision medicine and for future clinical trials [1, 2]. The field is still missing longitudinal studies to model disease subtypes over time. Further, research has been dominated by subtypes from structural MRI, which may be less sensitive to the earliest brain changes. Other imaging modalities need to be further tested for better subtyping. Cross-modal comparisons and multimodal subtyping studies are still very limited. To fully understand the complexity and heterogeneity within AD, we need to model subtypes leveraging on multimodal imaging and machine learning considering the complex relationship between protective/risk factors and concomitant non-AD pathologies [1, 2]. I will give a short update on where we stand today and present new data from the group. By disentangling the heterogeneity in AD, will in the future result in more personalized medicine, which is of great importance with emerging disease modifying treatments and for the recruitment of participants for successful drug trials.


1. Ferreira, D., A. Nordberg, and E. Westman, Biological subtypes of Alzheimer disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Neurology, 2020. 94(10): p. 436-448.


2. Habes, M., et al., Disentangling Heterogeneity in Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Using Data-Driven Methods. Biol Psychiatry, 2020. 88(1): p. 70-82.





I have an engineering background from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm and I obtained my PhD in 2009 at Karolinska Institutet (KI). I did my postdoc at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London and I became Associate professor in 2014 and Professor of Neurogeriatrics in 2020 at KI. I am the head of the Division for Clinical Geriatrics as well as Vice/Acting head of department.


My research has strong focus on improving early diagnosis and to get a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of different neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). I am also very interested in healthy ageing and have several ongoing projects in this area as well. My research is based on the use of different imaging modalities, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), and positron emissions tomography (PET). However, most of my work is focused on MRI and I have extensive experience from structural MRI, magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), functional MRI as well as diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). I am also very interested in optimizing imaging practice today. I work closely with radiologists and clinicians to validate and implement different visual assessment scales for global and regional atrophy as well as white matter changes. These can be implemented and used in both specialist memory clinics as well as in the primary care. My hope is also that more advance techniques can be implemented and used in clinical practice in the future.