Petiet Alexandra


Alexandra Petiet is a Biomedical Engineer who received her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University In 2007 (North Carolina, USA) under the supervision of Pr. Allan Johnson.

In her doctoral work, she developed a 4-dimensional atlas of the developing mouse, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. She was then a postdoctoral fellow at Sanofi-Aventis (France) in Jesus Benavides‘team and at the French Alternatives Energy and Atomic Energy Commission(NeuroSpin, MIRCen) in Marc Dhenain’s team, where she developed MRI methods for the longitudinal evaluation of amyloid plaque load in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. She joined ICM and the MOV’IT team in 2011 as a researcher and scientific head of the preclinical MRI platform within the Center for Neuroimaging Research (CENIR) directed by Pr. Stéphane Lehéricy.

She has been developing biomarkers in various animal models (both rodents and small primates) of brain diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and more. Among other skills, Alexandra has expertise in structural, parametric, functional,manganese and diffusion imaging at high and ultra-high magnetic fields (7T, 9.4T, 11T, 17T) as well as in various animal handling, anesthesia and surgical procedures for imaging applications.

Her research focuses on the validation of translational MRI and MRS biomarkers and on therapeutical evaluations in animal models of brain diseases.

Academic Degrees


PhD in Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, NC, USA


M.S. in Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, NC, USA


BSc in Biomedical Engineering, Université de Technologie de Compiègne, France 



Post-Doctoral fellow at Neurospin (CEA, Gif-sur-Yvette)


Experimental Surgery Certificate, National Veterinary School of Lyon


Post-Doctoral fellow at Sanofi-aventis (Vitry-sur-Seine) / MIRCen (CEA, Fontenay-aux-Roses) /Neurospin (CEA, Gif-sur-Yvette)


Animal Care and Handling Training, Level 1 Certificate, National Veterinary School of Alfort.


Murine Embryo and Fetal Pathology Training, Integrated Laboratory Systems, NC, USA,2006.


Research Assistant at the Center for InVivo Microscopy, Duke University, NC, USA

 1.    Ahmed M, Hernández-Verdin I, Quissac E, Lemaire N, Guerin CL, GuyonnetL, Zahr N, Mouton L, Santin M, Petiet A, Schmitt C, Bouchoux G, CanneyM, Sanson M, Verreault M, Carpentier A, Idbaih A, “Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound-mediated blood-brain barrier opening increases anti-programmed death-ligand 1 delivery and efficacy in glioblastoma mouse models”, submitted 2021.

2.     PetietA. Current and Emerging MR Methods and Outcome in Rodent Models of Parkinson's Disease: A Review. Front. Neurosci. 2021 Apr 7;15:583678. doi:10.3389/fnins.2021.583678.

3.    Genovese G, Palombo M,Santin MD, Valette J, Ligneul C, Aigrot MS, Abdoulkader N, Langui D, MillecampsA, Baron-Van Evercooren A, Stankoff B, Lehericy S, Petiet A*,Branzoli F*. Inflammation-driven glial alterations in the cuprizone mouse model probed with diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance spectroscopy at11.7 T. NRM Biomed. 2021 Apr;34(4):e4480. doi:10.1002/nbm.4480. *Equal contribution

4.     Hill I, Palombo M, Santin M, Branzoli F, PhilippeA-C, Wassermann D, Aigrot M-S, Stankoff B, Baron-VanEvercooren A, Felfi M,Langui D, Zhang H, Lehéricy S, Petiet A, Alexander DC, Ciccarelli O, DrobnjakI. Machine learning based white matter models with permeability: An experimental study in cuprizone treated in-vivo mouse model of axonal demyelination. Machine learning based white matter models with permeability : an experimental study in cuprizone treated in-vivo mouse model of axonal demyelination. Neuroimage 2020.

5.    Petiet A, Adanyeguh I, Aigrot MS,Poirion E, Nait-Oumesmar B, Santin M, Stankoff B. Ultrahigh field imaging of myelin disease models: Toward specific markers of myelin integrity? J Comp Neurol. 2019 Sep 1;527(13):2179-2189. doi: 10.1002/cne.24598. Review.

6.    Androuin A, Abada YS, Ly M, Santin M, Petiet A, Epelbaum S, Bertrand A,Delatour B. Activity-induced MEMRI cannot detect functional brain anomalies in the APPxPS1-Ki mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Sci Rep. 2019 Feb 4;9(1):1140. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-37980-y.

7.    FilipiakP, Fick R, Petiet A, Santin M,Philippe AC, Lehericy S, Ciuciu P, Deriche R, Wassermann D. Reducing the number of samples in spatiotemporal dMRI acquisition design. Magn Reson Med. 2019May;81(5):3218-3233. doi: 10.1002/mrm.27601.

8.     Rebagliati M., Vilhais-Neto GC., Petiet A., Lange M., Michaut A.,Plassat JL., Vermot J., Riet F., Noblet V., Brasse D., Laquerrière P., CussighD., Bedu S., Dray N., Gomaa MS., Simons C., Meziane H., Lehéricy S., Bally-CuifL., Pourquié O. Rere-dependent Retinoic Acid signaling controls brain asymmetry and handedness. BioRxiv Mar 15, 2019.doi:

9.    PerlbargV, Lambert J, Butler B, Felfli M, Valabrègue R, Privat AL, Lehéricy S, Petiet A. Alterations of the nigrostriatal pathway in a 6-OHDA rat model of Parkinson's disease evaluated with multimodal MRI. PLoS One 2018 Sep 6;13(9):e0202597. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0202597.eCollection 2018.

10.  Rutger H.J. Fick, Alexandra Petiet, Mathieu Santin,Anne-Charlotte Philippe, Stephane Lehericy, Rachid Deriche, Demian Wassermann.Non-parametric graphnet-regularized representation of dMRI in space and time, Medical Image Analysis 43 :37-53, 2018. doi:10.1016/

11. FilipiakP., Fick RHJ., Petiet A., Santin M.,Philippe AC., Lehéricy S., Deriche R., Wassermann D. Spatio-Temporal dMRI Acquisition Design: Reducing the Number of qτ Samples Through a Relaxed Probabilistic Model. January 2018.DOI:10.1007/978-3-319-73839-0_3. In book: Computational Diffusion MRI.

12. Petiet A, Aigrot MS,Stankoff B. Gray and White Matter Demyelination and Remyelination Detected with Multimodal Quantitative MRI Analysis at 11.7T in a Chronic Mouse Model of Multiple Sclerosis. Front. Neurosci., 27 October 2016.

13. Vilhais-Neto GC, Fournier M, Petiet A, Plassat JL, Riet F, Noblet V,Laquerrière P, Sardiu ME, Saraf A, Maruhashi M, Garnier JM, Florens L, MezianeH, Washburn MP, Lehéricy S, and Pourquié O, Control of embryo and brain symmetry by the retinoic acid coactivator Rere, in revision.

14. Kundu P, Santin MD, Bandettini PA, Bullmore ET and Petiet A.Differentiating BOLD and non-BOLD signals in 11.7 Tesla Rat Resting State fMRI. NeuroImage 2014. 102:861–874. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.07.025.

15. Bertrand A, PasquierA, Petiet A, Wiggins CJ, Kraska A, Joseph-Mathurin N, Aujard F, Mestre-FrancesN and Dhenain M, Micro-MRI study of cerebral aging in mouse lemur primates:detection of hippocampal subfield reorganization, microhemorrhages and amyloid plaques. PlosOne, 8(2):e56593, 2013. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056593.

16. Petiet A, Santin MD, Bertrand A, Wiggins CJ, Petit F,Houitte D, Hantraye P, Benavides J, Debeir T, Rooney T and Dhenain M,Gadolinium-stained brains reveal amyloid plaques in live Alzheimer’s transgenic mice. Neurobiology of Aging, 33:1533-1544,2012. doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2011.03.009.

17.  PetietA, Delatour B, Dhenain M, Models of neurodegenerative disease – Alzheimer’s anatomical and amyloid plaque imaging, In: “In vivo NMR Imaging: Methods and Protocols”, Methods in Molecular Biology, Vol. 771, 2011. doi:10.1007/978-1-61779-219-9_16.

18.  PetietA and Dhenain M, Improvement of microscopic MR imaging of amyloid plaques with contrast agents: targeting and non-targeting agents, Current Medical Imaging Review, 7(1):8-15, 2011.

19.  PetietAand Johnson GA, Active staining of mouse embryos for magnetic resonance microscopy,Methods in Molecular Biology,611:141-149, 2010. doi:10.1007/978-1-60327-345-9_11.

20.  Delatour B, Epelbaum S, Petiet A and DhenainM, In vivo imaging biomarkers in mice models of Alzheimer’s disease: are we lost in translation or breaking through? Int.J.Alz.Dis. 2010:604853, 2010. doi:10.4061/2010/604853.

21.  N. Joseph-Mathurin, A. Petiet, P.Hantraye, J.M.Verdier, E.Sigurdsson, N.Mestre-Francés, M.Dhenain, P2b-16 Evaluation in-vivo par IRM des effets toxiques d’une immunothérapie anti-Alzheimer chez le primate microcèbemurin. Revue Neurologique, Oct 2009, Suppl 1,165(10):73-74. DOI: 10.1016/S0035-3787(09)72644-X.

22.  A. Pasquier, A. Bertrand, A. Petiet, A. Kraska, C. Wiggins, F. Petit, C. Jan, S. Mériaux, P. Hantraye, F. Aujard, N. Mestre-Francés, M. Dhenain. O2-2 Détection par IRM haute résolution de plaques amyloïdes chez un primate : Le microcèbe. Revue Neurologique, Oct 2009, 165(10):41-42. DOI: 10.1016/S0035-3787(09)72591-3.

23.  Petiet AE,Kaufman MH, Goddeeris MM, Brandenburg JL, Elmore SA, Johnson GA,High-resolution magnetic resonance histology of the embryonic and neonatal mouse: a 4D atlas and morphologic database,Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA,105(34):12331-6, 2008. doi:10.1073/pnas.0805747105.

24.  DrieyhusB, Nouls J, Badea A, Bucholz L, Ghaghada K, Petiet A and Hedlund L, Small animal imaging with magnetic resonance microscopy, ILAR J,49(1):35-53, 2008.

25.  Goddeeris MM, Rho SY, Petiet A, Johnson GA,Klingensmith J and Meyers EN, Intracardiac septation requires hedgehog-dependent cellular contributions from outside the heart, Development,135(10):1887-95, 2008. doi: 10.1242/dev.016147.

26.  Petiet A,Hedlund LW, Johnson GA, Staining methods for magnetic resonance microscopy of the developing rat, JMRI,25(6):1192-98, 2007.

Project 1:

Validation of MRI markers of neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation

Project 2:

Development of vectorized contrast agents for the detection of protein aggregates

·      ICM R&D grant 62 k€ (2021)

·      ICM research grant 200 k€ (2016)

·      France Parkinson: research project grant 30 k€(2013)

·      DIM Cerveau et pensées: heavy equipment grant 150k€ (2012)

·      Best Poster Award, Imaging and brain diseases (Caen,France, 2008)

·     International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine Educational Stipend (2007)

·     Duke University Engineering Award (2003– 2008)

·     Abstract Award, Duke Biological Sciences Graduate Student Symposium (2005)

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