I am currently a post-doctoral
research fellow at Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science
(VUIIS). The primary focus
of my research is the technical development of functional
magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) approaches to understand
mechanisms of neurological disorders. Specifically, I am interested
in investigating the relation of hemodynamic factors such as
cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebral blood volume (CBV) as
well as metabolic demands or oxygen metabolism (CMRO2)
to neural activity. To this effect, my postdoctoral work broadly
covers three directions as follows:
Technical development: I program, develop, validate and improve MR sequences for CBV quantification with and without contrast. I have also developed protocols for multi-echo fMRI for R2* measurement for better microvascular sensitivity. Currently I work on a novel fMRI contrast mechanism using spin locking at very low B1 fields to improve sensitivity to microvasculature.
Neuroenergetic mechanisms: I perform single voxel spectroscopy measurement of γ aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate (Glu) and investigate its relation to CBF, CBV, CMRO2, and blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signals. Recent work has focused on investigating the effect of GABA and Glu concentrations on CBF and resting state BOLD synchrony and BOLD amplitude.
Application to neurological disorders: I apply fMRI methods to Alzheimer's disease and aging related alterations in cognition. I study functional (CBF, CBV, and BOLD) changes and tissue atrophy in context of memory and cognitive performance in older adults, and adults at risk of Alzheimer's disease.
Other avenues: My work on contrast enhanced CBV mapping is used for measuring hippocampal dysfunction in first episode and chronic patients of Schizophrenia. Here at VUIIS, we have extended the arterial spin labeling approach to measure lymphatic flow in the axillary nodes. We are in the process of applying this methodology to determine risk of lymphedema in breast cancer surgery patients. New initiatives include cortical and sub-cortical atrophy assessment in motor sub-types of Parkinson's disease and differentiation of dementia in Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.
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Key: MeSH Term KeywordAdult Agenesis of Corpus Callosum Blood Flow Velocity BOLD imaging Brain Brain Mapping Cerebral Angiography cerebral blood flow imaging cerebral blood volume imaging Cerebrovascular Circulation Entropy Feasibility Studies Female Functional MRI gamma-Aminobutyric Acid Hyperoxia Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted Image Processing, Computer-Assisted Incidental Findings Lymph Lymphedema Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Middle Aged Nerve Fibers, Myelinated Nerve Net neurodenegration Neurophysiology Occipital Lobe Oxygen Parietal Lobe Schizophrenic Psychology Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted Spin Labels Time Factors Tissue Fixation