John W Vanmeter


Director, Medical Center, Associate Professor, Department of Neurology Director, Center for Function
Director, Center for Functional and Molecular Imaging Associate Professor, Dept of Neurology


General profile


+1 202-687-8767

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Dr. VanMeter has significant expertise in the analysis of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data. His graduate work involved the development of computer algorithms used for the analysis of white matter and gray matter segmentation in structural MRI scans. Before joining the faculty at Georgetown, he was a staff fellow in the Laboratory of Neuroscience in the National Institute of Aging, where he co-authored the first paper to use fMRI to investigate dyslexia (Eden, et al. Nature, 1996). In addition, Dr. VanMeter led the development of a number of major software programs as the Director of Research and Development at Sensor Systems, Inc. This includes a commercial software package that is utilized at over 300 research institutions worldwide in the analysis of multi-modal datasets including structural MRI and fMRI as well as the subsequent development of one of the first FDA cleared fMRI clinical analysis package. He designed and developed the database and data transfer systems used for the MRI data collected in the NIH Pediatric Brain Development project, a longitudinal study utilizing MRI that studied brain development in 500 children at 7 sites across the country. He was later PI of an NIH-funded STAART (Studies to Advance Autism Research and Treatment) center grant project, in which I have used a number of MRI-based techniques including fMRI, DTI, and MR spectroscopy to investigate the neurobiological basis of autism.

Currently, his NIH funded R01 grant is applying these same techniques to prospectively identify specific deficits or features of underdevelopment in prefrontal cortex and other reward processing centers that predict alcohol initiation and act as risk factors in escalation of alcohol use in a longitudinal study of adolescents. His research focuses on the study of neurodevelopment and adolescent drug and alcohol use by employing longitudinal studies and the integration of different kinds of MRI data.


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  • Ph.D. (1993) Dartmouth College, Computer Science
  • M.S. (1991) Dartmouth College, Computer Science
  • B.S. (1987) University of Oklahoma, Computer Science