Dr. Puts is an assistant professor in the Division of Neuroradiology in the Russell. H Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science. His research focuses on studying the cortical inhibitory mechanisms underlying sensory dysfunction in children with neurodevelopmental disorders, predominantly Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the human brain, and is key in regulating brain activity, and encoding stimulus properties. While ASD is predominantly characterized by social and communicative symptoms, sensory impairments are common and have recently been added to core symptoms of ASD.
Dr. Puts uses edited Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) to measure GABA levels in vivo in the human brain. Furthermore, he used psychophysics (behavioral measurements) to study tactile function in children. By combing MRS with psychophysics, Dr. Puts studies how differences in inhibitory brain function are related to altered tactile sensitivity.
Aside from this work, Dr. Puts supports the development and dissemination of MRS acquisition and analysis methodologies to national and international sites. He supports the development of the Gannet software package (gabamrs.com).
Finally, Dr. Puts has a strong interest in professional development for young scientists. During his postdoctoral fellowship, he was co-president of the Johns Hopkins Postdoctoral Association, and he continues to support the association. With Dr. Richard Edden, Dr. Puts has developed workshops on oral presentations. He is currently enrolled in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Junior Faculty Leadership Program.