Zhong Irene Wang,  PhD

Zhong Irene Wang, PhD

Epilepsy Center - Neurological Institute

Biomedical Engineering - Lerner Research Institute

Lerner Research Institute, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195
Phone: (216) 444-8867



Dr. Zhong Irene Wang is Research Director and Staff Scientist at the Cleveland Clinic Epilepsy Center, Joint Staff at Department of Biomedical Engineering, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, and Associate Professor of Neurology at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine.

The focus of Dr. Wang’s research is to advance surgical treatment of MRI-negative (nonlesional) epilepsy patients through novel imaging and neurophysiology techniques. Her specific research interests are: epilepsy imaging (3T and 7T structural MRI, MR fingerprinting), MRI post-processing (voxel-based and surface-based methods), as well as integration of multiple modalities used in pre-surgical evaluation. To date, her publications include 91 peer-reviewed papers and 11 book chapters featuring >1800 citations appearing in the ISI database. Dr. Irene Wang’s research has been featured on the cover of Brain, Human Brain Mapping and Journal of MRI. Her work has been highlighted many times on Epilepsy Currents, and more recently on Nature Reviews Neurology.

Dr. Wang has received several awards and grants from various funding agencies including National Institute of Health (NIH) R01, and serves on multiple NIH study sections including Imaging Technology Development (ITD) and Emerging Imaging Technologies in Neuroscience (EITN). She also serves as a committee member of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) Imaging Task Force of the Commission on Diagnostic Methods. Dr. Irene Wang also serves on the Scientific Program Committee and the Corporate Advisory Committee of the American Epilepsy Society.

Current Projects

  • MRI post-processing to improve detection of epileptogenic lesions with voxel-based and surface-based methods coupled with machine/deep learning (3T and 7T, adult and pediatric patients)
  • Application of quantitative MRI using MR fingerprintingin patients with epilepsy
  • Evaluation of the clinical impact of 7T MRI and its post-processing in patients undergoing epilepsy presurgical evaluation
  • Merging Stereo-EEG high-gamma activity and 7T functional MRI to explore the language network
  • Multimodal integration of MRI, PET, SPECT and MEG to assist SEEG and surgery planning
  • Summation of SEEG/stimulation responses and implantation patterns based on the Talairach system

Funding Sources

  • NIH R01 NS109439 (2019-2023)
  • NI Transformative Neuroscience Award (2019-2020)
  • JoshProvides Epilepsy Assistance Foundation Research Grant (2014-2016)
  • Epilepsy Foundation Post-doctoral Fellowship Grant (2012)

News and Media Reports

Consult QD
Crain's Cleveland Business

Dr Marc FOX 8 morning show, New Epilepsy Treatment

Selected publciations (Full list of publications can be found here; Citations: 1850, updated Dec 2020):

1.    (Corresponding author*) Wang I*, Oh S, Blümcke I, Coras R, Krishnan B, Kim S, McBride A, Grinenko O, Lin Y, Overmyer M, Aung TT, Lowe M, Larvie M, Alexopoulos AV, Bingaman W, Gonzalez-Martinez JA, Najm I, Jones SE. Value of 7T MRI and Post-processing in Patients with Nonlesional 3T MRI Undergoing Epilepsy Presurgical Evaluation. Epilepsia. 2020 Sep 19. doi: 10.1111/epi.16682. Highlighted on Nature Reviews Neurology Oct 2020.

2.    Wang I, Bernasconi A, Bernhardt B, Blumenfeld H, Cendes F, Chinvarun Y, Jackson G, Morgan V, Rampp S, Vaudano AE, Federico P. MRI Essentials in Epileptology: A Review from the ILAE Imaging Taskforce. Epileptic Disorders. 2020 Aug 1;22(4):421-437.

3.    Kaestner E, Reyes A, Chen A, Rao J, Macari, AC, Choi JY, Qiu D, Hewitt K, Wang ZI, Drane DL, Hermann B, Busch RM, Punia V, McDonald CR, for the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. Atrophy and Cognitive Profiles in Older Adults with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Are Similar to Mild Cognitive Impairment. Brain. Dec 5;awaa397. doi: 10.1093/brain/awaa397.

4.    Opheim G, van der Kolk A, Bloch KM, Colon AJ, Davis KA, Henry TR, Jansen JFA, Jones SE, Pan JW, Rössler K, Stein JM, Strandberg MC, Trattnig S, Van de Moortele PF, Vargas MI, Wang I, Bartolomei F, Bernasconi N, Bernasconi A, Bernhardt B, Björkman-Burtscher I, Cosottini M, Das SR, Hertz-Pannier L, Inati S, Jurkiewicz MT, Khan AR, LiangS, Ma RM, Mukundan S, Pardoe H, Pinborg LH, Polimeni JR, Ranjeva JP, Steijvers E, Stufflebeam S, Veersema TJ, Vignaud A, Voets N, Vulliemoz S, Wiggins CJ, Xue R, Guerrini R, Guye M. 7T Epilepsy Task Force consensus recommendations on the use of 7T in clinical practice. Neurology. (In press 2020)

5.    (Corresponding author*) Wang S, Wang ZI*, Tang Y, Alexopoulos AV, Chen C, Katagiri M, Aung T, Najm I, Ding M, Wang S, Chauvel P. Localization Value of Subclinical Seizures on Scalp Video-EEG in Epilepsy Presurgical Evaluation. Epilepsia. 2019 Dec;60(12):2477-2485. Highlighted on Epilepsy Currents 2020 March/April issue.

6.    (Corresponding author*) Wang S, Aung T, Chen C, Katagiri M, Jones SE, Prayson RA, Krishnan B, Gonzalez-Martinez JA, Burgess RC, Najm IM, Alexopoulos AV, Wang S, Ding M, Wang ZI*. Multimodal Non-invasive Evaluation in MRI-negative Operculo-insular Epilepsy. Journal of Neurosurgery. 2019 Apr 12:1-11. doi: 10.3171/2018.12.JNS182746.

7.    (Corresponding author*) Wang W, Lin Y, Wang S, Jones SE, Prayson RA, Moosa NVA, McBride A, Gonzalez-Martinez JA, Bingaman W, Najm IM, Alexopoulos AV, the Pediatric Imaging, Neurocognition and Genetics Study, Wang ZI*. Voxel-Based Morphometric MRI Postprocessing in Nonlesional Pediatric Epilepsy Patients Using Pediatric Normal Databases. European Journal of Neurology. 2019 Jan 27. doi: 10.1111/ene.13916.

8.    (Corresponding author*) Wang S, Jin B, Aung T, Katagiri M, Jones SE, Krishnan B, Gonzalez-Martinez JA, Prayson RA, Najm IM, Alexopoulos AV, Wang S, Ding M, Wang ZI*. Application of MRI post-processing in presurgical evaluation of nonlesional cngulate epilepsy. Frontiers in Neurology. 2018 Nov 27;9:1013. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2018.01013. eCollection 2018

9.    (Corresponding author*) Ma D, Jones SE, Deshmane A, Sakaie K, Pierre E, Larvie M, McGivney D, Blümcke I, Krishnan B, Lowe M, Gulani V, Najm I, Griswold M, Wang ZI*. Development of High-resolution 3D MR Fingerprinting for Detection and Characterization of Epileptic Lesions. JMRI. 2018 Dec 23. doi: 10.1002/jmri.26319. May 2019 Issue Cover Image.

10.  (Corresponding author*) El Tahry R, Wang ZI*, Thandar A, Podkorytova I, Krishnan B, Tousseyn S, Guiyun W, Burgess RC, Alexopoulos AV. Magnetoencephalography and Ictal SPECT in Patients with Failed Epilepsy Surgery. Clinical Neurophysiology. 2018 Aug;129(8):1651-1657. Nominated for the 2018 Mary Brazier Young Investigator Paper Award, International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology.

11.  (Corresponding author*) Lin Y, Fang YH, Wu G, Jones SE, Prayson RA, Moosa ANV, Overmyer M, Bena J, Larvie M, Bingaman W, Gonzalez-Martinez, JA, Najm IM, Alexopoulos AV, Wang ZI*. Quantitative-PET-guided MRI Post-processing in MRI-negative Epilepsies. Epilepsia. 2018 Aug;59(8):1583-1594.

12.  (Corresponding author*) Jin B, Krishnan B, Adler S, Wagstyl K, Hu W, Jones SE, Najm I, Alexopoulos AV, Zhang K, Zhang J, Ding M, Wang S, the Pediatric Imaging, Neurocognition and Genetics Study, Wang ZI*. Automated Detection of Focal Cortical Dysplasia Type II with Surface-based MRI Post-processing and Machine Learning. Epilepsia. 2018 May;59(5):982-992.

13.  Grinenko O, Li J, Mosher JC, Wang ZI, Bulacio JC, Gonzalez-Martinez JA, Nair D, Najm I, Leahy RM, Chauvel P. A Fingerprint of the Epileptogenic Zone in Human Epilepsies. Brain. 2018; 141(1):117-131.

14.  Obusez E, Lowe M, Oh S, Wang ZI, Bullen J, Ruggieri P, Hill V, Lockwood D, Emch T, Moon D, Lee J, Kiczek M, Loy G, Massand M, Statsevych, V, Stultz T, Jones SE. 7T MR of Intracranial Pathology: Preliminary Observations and Comparisons to 3T and 1.5T. NeuroImage. 2018 Mar;168:459-476.

15.  Tousseyn S, Krishnan B, Wang ZI, Wongwiangjunt S, Nayak CS, Mosher JC, Wu G, Van Paesschen W, Leahy RM, Gonzalez-Martinez J, Bulacio J, Najm I, Alexopoulos A, Nair D. Connectivity in ictal SPECT perfusion: a cortico-cortical evoked potential study. Brain. 2017; 140(7):1872-1884. July 2017 Issue Editor’s Choice and Cover Image.

16.  Wang ZI, Krishnan B, Shattuck DW, Leahy RM, Moosa A NV, Wyllie E, Burgess RC, Al-Sharif NB, Joshi AA, Alexopoulos AV, Mosher JC, Udayasankar U, the Pediatric Imaging, Neurocognition and Genetics Study, Jones SE. Automated MRI Volumetric Analysis in Epilepsy Patients with Rasmussen's Syndrome. American Journal of Neuroradiology. 2016 Dec;37(12):2348-2355.

17.  (Corresponding author*) Murakami H, Wang ZI*, Marashly A, Krishnan B, Prayson RA, Kakisaka Y, Mosher JC, Bulacio J, Gonzalez-Martinez JA, Bingaman WE, Najm IM, Burgess RC, Alexopoulos, AV. Correlating Magnetoencephalography to Stereotactic EEG in Patients Undergoing Epilepsy Surgery. Brain. 2016 139 (11): 2935-2947. Nov 2016 Issue Cover Image. Highlighted on Epilepsy Currents 2017 March/April issue as “New and Noteworthy Current Literature”.

18.  Wang ZI, Suwanpakdee P, Jones SE, Jaisani Z, Ahsan NV Moosa, Najm IM, von Podewils F, Burgess RC, Krishnan B, Prayson RA, Gonzalez-Martinez JA, Bingaman W, Alexopoulos AV. Re-review of MRI with Post-processing in Nonlesional Patients in whom Epilepsy Surgery has Failed. Journal of Neurology. 2016 Sep;263(9):1736-45.

19.  Wang ZI, Alexopoulos AV. MRI postprocessing in presurgical evaluation. Current Opinion in Neurology. 2016 Apr;29(2):168-74.

20.  Wang ZI, Jones SE, Jaisani Z, Najm IM, Prayson RA, Burgess RC, Krishnan B, Ristic A, Wong CH, Bingaman W, Gonzalez-Martinez JA, Alexopoulos AV. Voxel-based Morphometric MRI Post-processing in MRI-negative Epilepsies. Annals of Neurology. 2015 Jun;77(6):1060-75. Highlighted on Epilepsy Currents 2016 March/April issue.

21.  Wang ZI, Alexopoulos AV, Jones SE, Ristic A, Wong C, Schneider F, Kakisaka Y, Wang S, Prayson R, Najm IM, Burgess RC. Linking MRI Post-processing with Magnetic Source Imaging in MRI-negative Epilepsy. Annals of Neurology. 2014 May;75(5):759-70. 

22.  Wang ZI, Ristic A, Wong C, Jones SE, Gonzalez-Martinez JA, Najm IM, Alexopoulos AV. Neuroimaging Characteristics of MRI-negative Orbitofrontal Epilepsy with Focus on Voxel-based Morphometric MRI Post-processing. Epilepsia. 2013 Dec;54(12):2195-203.

23.  Wang ZI, Alexopoulos AV, Jones SE, Jaisani Z, Najm IM, Prayson RA. Pathological Substrates Underlying Magnetic-resonance-imaging-negative Epilepsy. Modern Pathology. 2013 Aug;26(8):1051-8.

24.  Wang ZI, Jones SE, Ristic A, Wong C, Kakisaka Y, Jin K, Schneider F, Mosher JC, Burgess RC, Najm IM, Alexopoulos AV. Voxel-based Morphometric MRI Post-processing in MRI-negative Focal Cortical Dysplasia Followed by Simultaneously-recorded MEG and Stereo-EEG. Epilepsy Research. 2012 Jun;100(1-2):188-93.

25.  Wang ZI, Jin K, Kakisaka Y, Mosher JC, Bingaman WE, Kotagal P, Burgess RC, Najm IM, Alexopoulos AV. Imag(in)ing seizure propagation: MEG-guided interpretation of epileptic activity from a deep source. Human Brain Mapping. 2012 Dec;33(12):2797-801. December 2012 Cover Page of Human Brain Mapping.

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