Dr Hongfu Sun

Research Fellow in Biomedical

School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
+61 7 336 54307


Dr. Hongfu Sun completed his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Alberta in 2015, followed by postdoctoral training at the University of Calgary until 2018. Hongfu then joined the BME team in the school of ITEE at UQ since 2019. His research interests include developing novel MRI contrast mechanisms, e.g. Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping (QSM), fast and multi-parametric MR acquisitions, as well as advanced image analysis techniques, e.g. machine/deep learning, to study neuroscience and neurological diseases.

Dr. Sun is currently recruiting graduate students. Check out Available Projects for details. Open to both Domestic and International students.



Research Interests

  • MR image processing through advanced optimization techniques and machine learning
    My research interest is to develop advanced image reconstruction and processing methods to solve some of the mathematical challenges in MRI research, such as the ill-posed inverse problem in Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping (QSM). Some of the approaches I am particularly interested in are (1) image optimization techniques such as image regularization and compressed sensing, and (2) machine learning and especially deep learning through the convolutional neural network (CNN).
  • Fast, multi-parametric, and quantitative MRI acquisition methods at ultra-high field
    A single MRI acquisition usually takes 3-5 minutes, and a standard clinical protocol may require a couple of them for complementary contrasts. My research interest is to significantly reduce the total scan time for each patient while maintaining the same amount of information for diagnosis, by (1) accelerating individual scans with parallel imaging techniques at ultra-high field, and (2) designing novel MRI sequences that can produce multi-contrast weighted images and multi-parametric quantitative maps from a single MR acquisition.
  • Brain imaging applications in neuroscience and neurological diseases
    MRI is one of the best tools to study the brain in vivo, thanks to its excellent soft tissue contrast and its versatile contrast mechanisms. I am interested in applying advanced and comprehensive image analysis on different MRI methods to better understand neuroscience, such as brain development in children and structural and functional connectivity of the brain, as well as some of the neurological diseases such as Alzheimer/Dementia, Multiple Sclerosis, Schizophrenia, and Stroke.

Research Impacts

Dr. Hongfu Sun is one of the early pioneers in developing a novel MRI technique - Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping (QSM), which is one of the most significant MRI contrast breakthroughs in recent years, that has demonstrated wide clinical applications in healthy, aging and diseased human brains, such as dementia, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, stroke, etc.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Alberta


View all Publications


  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

View all Available Projects


Featured Publications

Journal Article

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.