Franco Cauda

Franco

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After a BA in Radiological Sciences with a thesis titled “Flickering artefact caused by antidiffusion grille in digital Radiology”, Prof. Cauda was based for seven years at the Department of Neuroradiology – University of Turin, where he participated in the following activities: diagnostic assessment performed with magnetic resonance (MR), computed tomography (CT) and digital subtraction angiography (DSA); the development of the first research projects carried out with fMRI.

Since 2004 Prof. Cauda joined the Department of Psychology – University of Turin and the Koelliker Hospital, Turin. The collaboration between the University and Koelliker Hospital resulted in creation of a functional neuroimaging research centre. In 2005 Prof. Cauda gained a Master Degree in Psychology with a thesis entitled “Effects of motor training on cerebral plasticity, an fMRI study”. In the same year he obtained a research grant from the University of Turin and, together with Dr. Sergio Duca, Prof. Giuliano Geminiani and Dr. Katiuscia Sacco, dedicated himself to the development of the clinical and experimental centre for functional neuroimaging research based at Koelliker Hospital (CCS-fMRI, now GCS-fMRI). Prof. Cauda is currently the scientific Coordinator of this centre, which is composed of 12 members among researchers and students. This lively research group has thus far published more than 60 scientific articles on peer-reviewed journals and offers high-level teaching courses to graduate students.

Since 2006 Prof. Cauda’s research interests have focused on the study of brain connectivity and the resting state networks, especially the functional abnormalities caused by chronic pain and altered states of consciousness on brain connectivity during the resting state. Within these scientific fields Prof. Cauda has published many studies that were among the most cited and influential, focusing on the study of certain brain areas that have attracted increasing attention (i.e., insula, cingulate cortex, and precuneus).The growing interest for this line of research has led Prof. Cauda to study a method for constructing functional parcellations of the surface of brain regions so as to achieve a better understanding of their functional connectivity in both normal and pathological conditions.

Prof. Cauda have long-standing collaborations with Professor Andrea Cavanna (University of Birmingham and BSMHFT, Birmingham, Aston University, Birmingham, and Institute of Neurology and University College London, UK), Professor Alessandro Vercelli (University of Turin, Neuroscience Institute, Turin, Italy), and Dr.Andrew Bagshaw (University of Birmingham, School of Psychology, Birmingham, UK). In 2010 he earned his PhD with a thesis entitled “Exploring the brain connectivity using resting state BOLD fluctuations”. He then obtained a postdoctoral research grant from the University of Turin for studying how brain connectivity is altered by brain disorders.

In addition to the research activity focused on the study of chronic pain and of neural connectivity alterations due to brain disorders (pathoconnectomics), Prof. Cauda extensively works on methodological issues regarding voxel-based meta-analysis techniques and the development of new mathematical approaches in order to better identify patterns of brain connectivity obtained from meta-analytic data. This research interest has led him to start a collaboration with Professor Peter Fox (University of Texas, Health Science Center at San Antonio, USA), which has resulted in his inclusion as collaborator in the BrainMap collaborative Team, University of Texas, San Antonio, USA.