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Richard D. King


Assistant Professor of Neurology,

Neurobiology of Disease
Brain and Behavior





B.S. 1994, Texas A & M University; Ph.D. 2000, Baylor College of Medicine; M.D. 2002, Baylor College of Medicine; Internship 2002-2003, Baylor College of Medicine; Residency 2003-2006 Harvard Medical School.


The use of advanced neuroimaging analysis tools to study morphometric changes in the brain associated with neurodegenerative diseases.

Innovations in Neuroimaging:
Dr. King serves as Director of the Alzheimer's Image Analysis Laboratory.

Academic History:
Dr. King received a Bachelor's in Bioengineering from Texas A&M University, where he graduated cum laude, and with University and Foundation honors. He received his PhD in Neuroscience and his MD from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, where he also interned in internal medicine. In 2002, he was honored with the First Annual Richard R. Dickason Outstanding Physician Scientist award from Baylor College of Medicine's Medical Scientist Training Program. He completed his neurology residency at Harvard Medical School in Massachusetts, followed by a fellowship in Behavioral Neurology and Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Texas at Dallas. In October 2008, Dr. King completed a six-week mini-fellowship in Cognitive Disorders at the University of Utah.

Before coming to Utah, Dr. King was Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where he also served on the Institutional Review Board. He also was Visiting Assistant Professor of Cognition and Neuroscience at the Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas at Dallas, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M.

Dr. King is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, Society for Neuroscience, Cognitive Neuroscience Society, and National Medical Association. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a prestigious grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program.

Clinical Interests:
Dr. King sees patients in the University of Utah Cognitive Disorders Clinic, which focuses on early diagnosis and interventions for those suffering from Alzheimer's disease and related memory disorders — especially dementia that is atypical, rapidly progressive, early-onset, focal, or familial.

Research Interests:
Dr. King's research uses multi-disciplinary translational approaches to understand Alzheimer's disease and related neurodegenerative disorders. His current focus is the use of advanced neuroimaging analysis tools to study morphometric changes in the brain associated with neurodegenerative diseases.

One area of focus is applying a novel method of computing cerebral cortical complexity known as fractal analysis. This technique is applied to high-resolution, high-contrast MR images to quantitatively characterize changes in the shape of the cerebral cortex caused by atrophy. Such changes in cortical shape could be useful for early detection of Alzheimer's and other neurologic diseases. These tools could be used as a surrogate biomarker for disease progression or as a metric for the success of therapeutic interventions.

"We really don't have a good, clinically useful way to quantify changes in the shape of the brain," Dr. King said. "Such shape changes, we think, can be related to changes in function and can precede losses of function, so they might tell us who is at risk of losing function. Also, if we have medication that can help maintain function, we would know which patients could benefit from those medications."

Dr. King will study the application of fractal analysis and other neuroimaging analysis tools in the new Alzheimer's Image Analysis Laboratory, which was designed to be a shared resource for the University of Utah imaging community. To conduct his research, Dr. King will work closely with the Utah Center for Neuroimage Analysis, a division of the Scientific Computing and Imaging (SCI) Institute.

Selected Publications:

King, R.D., Brown, B., Hwang, M., Jeon, T., George, A.T., and the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (2010) Fractal dimension analysis of the cortical ribbon in mild Alzheimer's disease. NeuroImage, 53:471-479.

King, R.D., George, A.T., Jeon, T., Hynan, L.S., Youn, T.S., Kennedy, D.N., Dickerson, B., and the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (2009) Characterization of Atrophic Changes in the Cerebral Cortex Using Fractal Dimensional Analysis. Brain Imaging and Behavior, Jun;3(2):154-166.

Last Updated: 4/17/17