Christine Fennema-Notestine, Ph.D. 

Associate Professor


Contact Information

T: 858-246-0605


Dr. Fennema-Notestine is a cognitive neuroscientist with expertise in neuroimaging methods development and validation, clinical research neuroimaging, cognitive neuropsychology, and biomedical informatics. She received her B.S. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her Ph.D. in Cognitive Science and Psychology from UCSD, supported by graduate fellowships from the National Science Foundation and McDonnell-Pew Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. Her post-doctoral work emphasized clinical applications and methods development of structural and functional neuroimaging techniques. Dr. Fennema-Notestine’s subsequent roles in national, multi-site initiatives, including the Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN), led to critical methods evaluations and improved infrastructure for multi-site neuroimaging. She also served as the Director of the BIRN Data Repository and continues to play a role in national initiatives that enable data sharing and integration. Currently, Dr. Fennema-Notestine directs methods development, validation, and multi-site studies in support of the neuroimaging characterization of HIV neuropathogenesis and other disorders through NIH funded initiatives.

Research Interests

Research Focus

Dr. Fennema-Notestine’s research emphasizes development and validation of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods and the clinical application of these methods to neurodegenerative and psychiatric populations, including normal aging, Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), and HIV. Currently, she is directing studies to examine statistical procedures that may improve performance of existing image analysis methods and explorations of modeling approaches to better integrate information across multiple modalities. Her work also includes enabling multi-site clinical neuroimaging initiatives to increase the power to detect subtle effects and to evaluate the potential of MRI biomarkers in monitoring disease progression and treatment efficacy. Dr. Fennema-Notestine’s work aims to provide a more sensitive characterization of underlying neuropathogenesis and to better understand the relationship between neuroimaging biomarkers and cognitive, psychiatric, and neuromedical profiles.

Clinical Focus

The end goal for such neuroimaging research, including support for multi-site initiatives and pooling of shared data, is to guide the development of biomarkers for establishing diagnosis and monitoring treatment efficacy, through better descriptions of disease-related brain abnormalities and their relationship to medical variables, cognition, and treatment regimens.


  • Fennema-Notestine C, Ozyurt IB, Clark CP, Morris S, Bischoff-Grethe A, Bondi MW, Jernigan TL, Fischl B, Segonne F, Shattuck DW, Leahy RM, Rex DE, Toga AW, Zou KH, & Brown GG. (2006). Quantitative evaluation of automated skull-stripping methods applied to contemporary and legacy images: Effects of diagnosis, bias correction, and slice location. Human Brain Mapping, 27(2), 99-113. Epub date 2005/06/30.
  • Fennema-Notestine C, Gamst AC, Quinn BT, Pacheco J, Jernigan TL, Thal L, Buckner R, Killiany R, Blacker D, Dale AM, Fischl B, Dickerson B, & Gollub RL. (2007). Feasibility of multi-site clinical structural neuroimaging studies of aging using legacy data. Neuroinformatics, 5(4), 235-245. Epub date 2007/11/14.
  • Fennema-Notestine C, Hagler DJ, Jr., McEvoy LK, Fleisher AS, Wu EH, Karow DS, & Dale AM for the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. (2009). Structural MRI biomarkers for preclinical and mild Alzheimer's disease. Human Brain Mapping, 30(10), 3238-3253. Epub date 2009/03/12. PMCID: 2951116.
  • Fennema-Notestine C, McEvoy LK, Hagler DJ, Jr., Jacobson MW, & Dale AM for the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. (2009). Structural neuroimaging in the detection and prognosis of pre-clinical and early AD. Behavioural Neurology, 21(1), 3-12. Epub date 2009/10/23. PMCID: 2873895
  • Fennema-Notestine C. (2009). Enabling public data sharing: Encouraging scientific discovery and education. Methods Mol Biol, 569, 25-32. Epub date 2009/07/23.
  • Walhovd KB, Fjell AM, Dale AM, McEvoy LK, Brewer J, Karow DS, Salmon DP, & Fennema-Notestine C for the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. (2010). Multi-modal imaging predicts memory performance in normal aging and cognitive decline. Neurobiology of Aging, 31(7), 1107-1121. Epub date 2008/10/08. NIHMSID: 416311.
  • Kremen WS, Prom-Wormley E, Panizzon MS, Eyler LT, Fischl B, Neale MC, Franz CE, Lyons MJ, Pacheco J, Perry ME, Stevens A, Schmitt JE, Grant MD, Seidman LJ, Thermenos HW, Tsuang MT, Eisen SA, Dale AM, & Fennema-Notestine C. (2010). Genetic and environmental influences on the size of specific brain regions in midlife: the VETSA MRI study. Neuroimage, 49(2), 1213-1223. Epub date 2009/09/30. PMCID: 3397915.
  • Fennema-Notestine C, Panizzon MS, Thompson WR, Chen CH, Eyler LT, Fischl B, Franz CE, Grant MD, Jak AJ, Jernigan TL, Lyons MJ, Neale MC, Seidman LJ, Tsuang MT, Xian H, Dale AM, & Kremen WS. (2011). Presence of ApoE epsilon4 allele associated with thinner frontal cortex in middle age. Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD, 26 Suppl 3, 49-60. Epub Date 2011/10/06. PMCID: 3302177.
  • Fennema-Notestine C. (2009). Enabling public data sharing: Encouraging scientific discovery and education. Methods Mol Biol, 569, 25-32. Epub date 2009/07/23.
  • Fennema-Notestine C, Ellis RJ, Archibald SL, Jernigan TL, Letendre SL, Notestine RJ, Taylor MJ, Theilmann RJ, Julaton MD, Croteau DJ, Wolfson T, Heaton RK, Gamst AC, Franklin DR, Jr., Clifford DB, Collier AC, Gelman BB, Marra C, McArthur JC, McCutchan JA, Morgello S, Simpson DM, & Grant I for the CHARTER Group. (2013). Increases in brain white matter abnormalities and subcortical gray matter are linked to CD4 recovery in HIV infection. Journal of NeuroVirology, 19(4), 393-401. Epub Date 2013/07/11. PMCID: 3776609.