Owen Robert Phillips, PhD

Core Expertise

I’m a collaborative interdisciplinary data neuroscientist who thrives working with people from both computation and medicine backgrounds in order to understand the biology of human health. My interests revolve around utilizing advances in deep learning to integrating multimodal brain MRI, genetic, environmental and whole body data with a biological driven perspective to uncover novel insights into the brain of healthy and diseased individuals.
• Innovative: Created and lead FreeBoost, a MRI Deep Learning processing and analysis platform (Freeboost.org).
• Expert: Developed a novel multimodal MRI analysis method (OwenPhillips.com/methods).
• Productive: 30+ highly cited publications (11 first authored) with active collaborations all over the world (US/France/Germany/Italy/Japan).

Professional Experience

Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California, 2016 – Current
Neuroscience Research: Postdoctoral Fellow
• Created and led Deep Learning in Genomics and Neuroimaging data team which resulted in a new tool (FreeBoost.org) that speeds up data processing and quality control of MRI data.
• Organized and led interdisciplinary international collaobrations (UCLA/France/Germany/Japan) focused on brain aging and autoimmune disorders.
• Managed novel analytic methods development for “big” data which led to a first authored publication (under review) and multiple conference presentations.
• Integrated genomics and MRI data and uncovered novel insights between genes and the brain (publication under review).
• Taught collaborators MRI scanning and data analysis.

Toulouse Mind and Brain Institute, Toulouse, France, 2017
Neuroscience Research: Visiting Scholar Fellowship
• Conducted neurodegenerative disease (Alzheimer’s disease and Multiple System Atrophy/Parkinson’s disease) research which led to a novel finding (publication in preperation).
• Fostered additional ongoing collaborations beyond the scope of the fellowship which has led to new interdisciplinary research.
• Trained collaborators on neuroimaging and data analysis methods.

Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome, Italy, 2012 – 2015
Neuroscience Research: Graduate Student
• Created, managed and mined large database which led to publications.
• Published five first authored manuscripts.
• Initiated successful international collaborations.

UCLA, Los Angeles, California, 2007 – 2012
Neuroscience Research: Research Associate
• Created a multimodal image analysis method that maps diffusion parameters to a surface mesh. This method has subsiquently been adopted by numerous collaborators and external groups: (OwenPhillips.com/methods).
• Published four first authored manuscripts.
• Managed Research Team & trained collaborators on Protocols.
• Assisted teaching a graduate level class on brain anatomy and created original materials for the class.


Ph.D., Neuroscience, University of Rome, Tor Vergata, 2012-2015
Thesis: White Matter Abnormalities in Huntington’s disease. Highest honors.

B.S., Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, 2003-2006

Business Education

Stanford University Graduate School of Business:
Ignite –Business fundamentals for entrepreneurs, 2017
• This certificate program is taught by the business school faculty and teaches innovators to formulate, develop, and commercialize their ideas. The professors teach the fundamentals of business, and the practical aspects of identifying and evaluating business ideas and moving them forward.

Venture Studio: Graduate School of Business Entrepreneurial community, 2017
NDE239SI: Analysis of Companies in the Life Sciences, 2017
HRP271: Scientific Communication and Media, 2016


Stanford University: Selected by the Executive Committee of the France-Stanford Center for Interdisciplinary Studies for a Visiting Junior Scholar Fellowship (2016) – Toulouse, France
Human Brain Project: Selected for the workshop on Future Computing, Obergurgl, Austria, (2015)
Human Brain Project: Selected for the workshop on Future Medicine, Lausanne, Switzerland, (2014)

Google Scholar

1. Phillips O, Joshi S, Narr K, Shattuck D, Singh M, Di Paola M, Ploner C, Pruess H, Paul F, Finke C. Superficial white matter damage in anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry (2017)
2. Phillips O, Joshi S, Squitieri F, Sanchez-Castaneda C, Narr K, Shattuck D, Caltagirone C, Sabatini U DPM. Major Superficial White Matter Abnormalities in Huntington disease. Frontiers (2016)
3. Phillips O, Joshi S, Piras F, D OM, M I, Narr K, Shattuck D, Caltagirone C, Spalletta G, Di Paola M. The Superficial White Matter in Alzheimer’s Disease. Hum Brain Mapp (2016)
4. Phillips O, Squitieri F, Sanchez-Castaneda C, Elifani F, Caltagirone C, Sabatini U, Di Paola M. Deep White Matter in Huntington’s Disease. PLoS One (2014) 9:e109676.
5. Phillips O, Squitieri F, Sanchez-Castaneda C, Elifani F, Griguoli A, Maglione V, Caltagirone C, Sabatini U, Di Paola M. The Corticospinal Tract in Huntington’s Disease. Cereb Cortex (2014)
6. Phillips O, Sanchez-Castaneda C, Elifani F, Maglione V, Di Pardo A, Caltagirone C, Squitieri F, Sabatini U, Di Paola M. Tractography of the Corpus Callosum in Huntington’s Disease. PLoS One (2013)
7. Phillips O, Nuechterlein KH, Asarnow RF, Clark KA, Cabeen R, Yang Y, Woods RP, Toga AW, Narr KL. Mapping corticocortical structural integrity in schizophrenia and effects of genetic liability. Biol Psychiatry (2011)
8. Phillips O, Clark K a., Woods RP, Subotnik KL, Asarnow RF, Nuechterlein KH, Toga AW, Narr KL. Topographical relationships between arcuate fasciculus connectivity and cortical thickness. Hum Brain Mapp (2011)
9. Phillips O, Clark KA, Luders E, Azhir R, Joshi SH, Woods RP, Mazziotta JC, Toga AW, Narr KL. Superficial white matter: effects of age, sex, and hemisphere. Brain Connect (2013)
10. Phillips O, Nuechterlein KH, Clark KA, Hamilton LS, Asarnow RF, Hageman NS, Toga AW, Narr KL. Fiber tractography reveals disruption of temporal lobe white matter tracts in schizophrenia. Schizophr Res (2009)
11. Phillips O; Onopa, Alexander; Hsu, Vivian; Ollila, Hanna; Hillary Ryan; Hallmayer, Joachim; Gotlib, Ian; Taylor, Jonathan; Mackey, Lester; Singh M. Beyond a Binary Classification of Sex: An Examination of Brain Morphism, Psychopathology, and Genotype. ~In Submiss
12. Phillips O; Del campo, Natalia; Joshi, Shantanu; Rascol, Olivier; Péran P. Broad White Matter Impairment and Dysfunction in Multiple System Atrophy. ~In progress
13. Phillips O; Zaiko, Yevgenia; Onopa, Alexander; Singh M. Insulin Resistance is Associated with Smaller Brain Volumes in a Preliminary Study of Depressed and Obese Children Pediatric Diabetes (2018)
14. Joshi SH, Narr KL, Phillips O, Nuechterlein KH, Asarnow RF, Toga AW, Woods RP. Statistical shape analysis of the corpus callosum in Schizophrenia. Neuroimage (2013)
15. Di Paola M, Phillips O, Sanchez-Castaneda C, Di Pardo A, Maglione V, Caltagirone C, Sabatini U, Squitieri F. MRI measures of corpus callosum iron and myelin in early Huntington’s disease. Hum Brain Mapp (2014)
16. Hamilton LS, Levitt JG, O’Neill J, Alger JR, Luders E, Phillips O, Caplan R, Toga AW, McCracken J, Narr KL. Reduced white matter integrity in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Neuroreport (2008)
17. Narr KL, Woods RP, Lin J, Kim J, Phillips O, Del’Homme M, Caplan R, Toga AW, McCracken JT, Levitt JG. Widespread cortical thinning is a robust anatomical marker for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry (2009)
18. Luders E, Narr KL, Hamilton LS, Phillips O, Thompson PM, Valle JS, Del’Homme M, Strickland T, McCracken JT, Toga AW, et al. Decreased callosal thickness in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Biol Psychiatry (2009)
19. Hamilton LS, Altshuler LL, Townsend J, Bookheimer SY, Phillips O, Fischer J, Woods RP, Mazziotta JC, Toga AW, Nuechterlein KH, et al. Alterations in functional activation in euthymic bipolar disorder and schizophrenia during a working memory task. Hum Brain Mapp (2009
20. Narr KL, Szeszko PR, Lencz T, Woods RP, Hamilton LS, Phillips O, Robinson D, Burdick KE, DeRosse P, Kucherlapati R, et al. DTNBP1 is associated with imaging phenotypes in schizophrenia. Hum Brain Mapp (2009)
21. Narr KL, Hageman N, Woods RP, Hamilton LS, Clark K, Phillips O, Shattuck DW, Asarnow RF, Toga AW, Nuechterlein KH. Mean diffusivity: a biomarker for CSF-related disease and genetic liability effects in schizophrenia. Psychiatry Res (2009)
22. Luders E, Phillips O, Clark K, Kurth F, Toga AW, Narr KL. Bridging the Hemispheres in Meditation: thicker callosal regions and enhanced fractional anisotropy (FA) in long-term practitioners. Neuroimage (2012)
23. Zhang J, Narr K, Woods R, Phillips O, Alger J, R; E. Glutamate normalization with ECT treatment response in major depression. Mol Psychiatry (2013)
24. Yang Y, Phillips O, Kan E, Sulik KK, Mattson SN, Riley EP, Jones KL, Adnams CM, May P a., O’Connor MJ, et al. Callosal Thickness Reductions Relate to Facial Dysmorphology in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. Alcohol Clin Exp Res (2012) 36:798–806.
25. Di Paola M, Phillips O, Costa A, Ciurli P, Bivona U, Catani S, Formisano R, Caltagirone C, Carlesimo GA. Selective Cognitive Dysfunction Is Related to a Specific Pattern of Cerebral Damage in Persons With Severe Traumatic Brain Injury. J Head Trauma Rehabil (2014)1.
26. Clark K, Narr KL, O’Neill J, Levitt J, Siddarth P, Phillips O, Toga A, Caplan R. White matter integrity, language, and childhood onset schizophrenia. Schizophr Res (2012)
27. Clark KA, Nuechterlein KH, Asarnow RF, Hamilton LS, Phillips O, Hageman NS, Woods RP, Alger JR, Toga AW, Narr KL. Mean diffusivity and fractional anisotropy as indicators of disease and genetic liability to schizophrenia. J Psychiatr Res (2011)
28. Joseph J, Warton C, Jacobson SW, Jacobson JL, Molteno CD, Eicher A, Marais P, Phillips O, Narr KL, Meintjes EM. Three-dimensional surface deformation-based shape analysis of hippocampus and caudate nucleus in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Hum Brain Mapp (2014)
29. Kurth F, Levitt JG, Phillips O, Luders E, Woods RP, Mazziotta JC, Toga AW, Narr KL. Relationships between gray matter, body mass index, and waist circumference in healthy adults. Hum Brain Mapp (2013)
30. Luders E, Thompson PM, Kurth F, Hong JY, Phillips O, Wang Y, Gutman B a., Chou YY, Narr KL, Toga AW. Global and regional alterations of hippocampal anatomy in long-term meditation practitioners. Hum Brain Mapp (2013)
31. Narayan VM, Narr KL, Phillips O, Thompson PM, Toga AW, Szeszko PR. Greater regional cortical gray matter thickness in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Neuroreport (2008)
32. Szeszko PR, Narr KL, Phillips O, McCormack J, Sevy S, Gunduz-Bruce H, Kane JM, Bilder RM, Robinson DG. Magnetic resonance imaging predictors of treatment response in first-episode schizophrenia. Schizophr Bull (2012)
33. Yang Y, Nuechterlein KH, Phillips O, Hamilton LS, Subotnik KL, Asarnow RF, Toga AW, Narr KL. The contributions of disease and genetic factors towards regional cortical thinning in schizophrenia: the UCLA family study. Schizophr Res (2010)
34. Yang Y, Nuechterlein KH, Phillips O, Gutman B, Kurth F, Dinov ID, Thompson PM, Asarnow RF, Toga AW, Narr KL. Disease and genetic contributions toward local tissue volume disturbances in schizophrenia: a tensor-based morphometry study. Hum Brain Mapp (2012)