DeepNeuro: an open-source deep learning toolbox for neuroimaging


Translating deep learning research from theory into clinical practice has unique challenges, specifically in the field of neuroimaging. In this paper, we present DeepNeuro, a Python-based deep learning framework that puts deep neural networks for neuroimaging into practical usage with a minimum of friction during implementation. We show how this framework can be used to design deep learning pipelines that can load and preprocess data, design and train various neural network architectures, and evaluate and visualize the results of trained networks on evaluation data. We present a way of reproducibly packaging data pre- and postprocessing functions common in the neuroimaging community, which facilitates consistent performance of networks across variable users, institutions, and scanners. We show how deep learning pipelines created with DeepNeuro can be concisely packaged into shareable Docker and Singularity containers with user-friendly command-line interfaces.

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The Center for Clinical Data Science at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Brigham and Woman’s Hospital provided technical and hardware support for the development of DeepNeuro, including access to high-powered graphical processing units.


This project was supported by a training grant from the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research (T90DA022759/R90DA023427) and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) of the National Institutes of Health under award number 5T32EB1680 to KC. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. This study was supported by National Institutes of Health grants U01 CA154601, U24 CA180927, and U24 CA180918 to JKC. This research was carried out in whole or in part at the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at the Massachusetts General Hospital, using resources provided by the Center for Functional Neuroimaging Technologies, P41EB015896, a P41 Biotechnology Resource Grant supported by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), National Institutes of Health.

Author information




AB, with contributions from JB and KC, was the original creator of the DeepNeuro package and all of its component parts. KH and JP contributed to modules within DeepNeuro, as well as additional data processing features. EG conducted clinical trials at Massachusetts General Hospital, contributed to data organization for clinical datasets, and was consulted on matters pertaining to clinical trials during DeepNeuro development. KIL contributed to the evaluation of results of trained network algorithms. ST and PB conducted clinical trials for brain metastases, supporting the development of DeepNeuro’s segmentation modules. BR and JKC guided the conceptual development of the package, especially with regards to clinical end-users. All the authors read, reviewed, and approved the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jayashree Kalpathy-Cramer.

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Conflict of interests

JKC is a consultant/advisory board member for Infotech, Soft. ERG is an advisory board member for Blue Earth Diagnostics. BR is on the advisory board for ARIA, Butterfly, Inc., DGMIF (Daegu-Gyeongbuk Medical Innovation Foundation), QMENTA, Subtle Medical, Inc., is a consultant for Broadview Ventures, Janssen Scientific, ECRI Institute, GlaxoSmithKine, Hyperfine Research, Inc., Peking University, Wolf Greenfield, Superconducting Systems, Inc., Robins Kaplin, LLC, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, GE Healthcare, Siemens, Quinn Emanuel Trial Lawyers, Samsung, Shenzhen Maternity and Child Healthcare Hospital, and is a founder of BLINKAI Technologies, Inc. PB is a consultant for Angiochem, Lilly, Tesaro, Genentech-Roche; has received honoraria from Genentech-Roche and Merckl and has received institutional funding from Merck and Pfizer. SMT receives institutional research funding from Novartis, Genentech, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Merck, Exelixis, Eisai, Bristol Meyers Squibb, AstraZeneca, Cyclacel, Immunomedics, Odenate, and Nektar. SMT has served as an advisor/consultant to Novartis, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Merck, AstraZeneca, Eisai, Puma, Genentech, Immunomedics, Nektar, Tesaro, and Nanostring. The other authors declare no competing interests.

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Information Sharing Statement

DeepNeuro is open-source, free, and available at (RRID:SCR 016911). DeepNeuro makes use of the following packages via Python wrappers: 3D Slicer (RRID:SCR 005619), ANTS (RRID:SCR 004757), and dcmqi (RRID:SCR 016933). DeepNeuro depends on the following third-party Python libraries: tqdm, scikit-image, scipy (RRID:SCR 008058), numpy, pydot, matplotlib (RRID:SCR 008624), imageio, six, pyyaml, nibabel (RRID:SCR 002498), pynrrd, and pydicom (RRID:SCR 002573) (van der Walt et al. 2014; Jones et al. 2014; Hunter 2007).

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Beers, A., Brown, J., Chang, K. et al. DeepNeuro: an open-source deep learning toolbox for neuroimaging. Neuroinform 19, 127–140 (2021).

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  • Neuroimaging
  • Deep learning
  • Preprocessing
  • Augmentation
  • Docker