Ron Killiany, PhD

Phone: 617-638-8082
Fax: 617-638-4922
Location: W-701, BUSM


Dr. Killiany received his master’s degree in psychology from the University of Hartford and completed doctoral training in psychology at Northeastern University. He completed postdoctoral fellowship training in neuroanatomy, neurobiology, and neuropsychology at the Boston University School of Medicine and joined its faculty in 2001. In addition to his appointments at BUSM, Dr. Killiany currently teaches psychology at Northeastern University and is a Research Associate of Radiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Research Associate of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

Research Interests

Dr. Killiany’s research has been focused on exploring the relationship between brain structure and behavior. To a large extent, the studies have focused on the morphological changes that take place in the brain during aging and disease processes. Initial work began in his graduate work with developmental studies to determine specific structure/function relationships in the memory system of the non-human primate as a model for human development. This theme continued into his postdoctoral studies of normal aging and cerebrovascular disease using non-human primates, where the focus was been on characterizing cognitive changes. In collaboration with investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, his studies began using structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to assess volumetric changes in the brains of healthy elderly and cognitively impaired human subjects. As these collaborative studies evolved, functional techniques such as fMRI (functional magnetic resonance images) SPECT (single photon emission computerized tomography) and PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scanning were included. Iin recent years, his work has shifted focus to include studies aimed at exploring the value of MRI in predicting which subjects will progress to develop cognitive decline of Alzheimer’s disease and which will remain cognitively stable.

ADC Role

Dr. Killiany collaborates with Center investigators on neuroimaging studies of Alzheimer’s disease and is Co-PI at the BU site for the nationwide Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative.


Dr. Killiany is a member of the American Psychological Association, American Psychological Society, International Behavioral Neuroscience Society, International Neuropsychological Society, Massachusetts Neuropsychological Society, Massachusetts Psychological Association, and Society for Neuroscience.

Recent Publications

Dickerson BC, Salat DH, Bates JF, Atiya M, Killiany RJ, Greve DN, Dale AM, Stern CE, Blacker D, Albert MS, Sperling RA. Medial temporal lobe function and structure in mild cognitive impairment. Ann Neurol 2004 Jul; 56(1): 27-35. [PDF]

Atiya M, Hyman BT, Albert M, Killiany RJ. Structural magnetic resonance imaging in established and prodromal Alzheimer’s disease: A review. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2003 Jul-Sep; 17(3): 177-95. [PDF]

Killiany RJ, Hyman B, Gomez-Isla T, Moss M, Kikinis R, Jolesz F, Guttmann C, Tanzi R, Jones K, Albert MS. The entorhinal cortex is selectively atrophied in preclinical AD: Comparison of MRI measures of the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus. Neurology 2002 Apr 23; 58(8): 1188-96. [Abstract]

Rollinson DC, Rathley NK, Moss MB, Killiany RJ, Sassower KC, Auerbach S, Fish SS. The effects of consecutive nightshifts on neuropsychological performance of interns in the emergency department. Ann Emerg Med. 2003 Mar; 41(3): 400-06. [PDF]

Fischl B, Salat D, Kennedy D, Albert M, Dieterich M, Haselgrove C, van der Kouwe A. Killiany R, Kennedy D, Montillo A, Makris N, Rosen B, Dale A. Whole brain segmentation: Automated labeling of neuroanatomical structures in the human brain. Neuron. 2002 Jan 31; 33(3): 341-55. [PDF]

Dr. Killiany’s curriculum vitae