Work in the Courtney Robertson Lab is focused on identifying interventions that could minimize the neurological deficits that can persist after pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI). One study used a preclinical model to examine potential disruption of mitochondrial function and alterations in cerebral metabolism. It was found that a substantial amount of mitochondrial dysfunction is present in the first six hours after TBI. In addition, we are using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to evaluate global and regional alterations in brain metabolism after TBI. We're also collaborating with researchers at the University of Pennsylvania to compare mitochondrial function after head injury in different clinically relevant models.
The Frueh Laboratory uses nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to study how protein dynamics can be modulated and how active enzymatic systems can be conformed. Non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS) are large enzymatic systems that biosynthesize secondary metabolites, many of which are used by pharmaceutical scientists to produce drugs such as antibiotics or anticancer agents. Dr. Frueh's laboratory uses NMR to study inter- and intra-domain modifications that occur during the catalytic steps of NRPS. Dr. Frueh and his team are constantly developing new NMR techniques to study these complicated enzymatic systems.
The MR Research Laboratory focuses on developing and applying nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques and on measuring energy metabolites and metabolic fluxes with phosphorous (31P) and proton (1H) MRS in patients with ischemia, infarction and heart failure.
Specific studies include: Phosphorus MR studies of myocardial energy metabolism in human heart: We have used spatially localized phosphorus MR spectroscopy (MRS) to noninvasively measure high-energy phosphate metabolites such as ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and phosphocreatine (PCr) in the heart. The PCr/ATP ratio can change during stress-induced ischemia, and a protocol for stress-testing in the MR system has been developed which can detect the changes noninvasively in the anterior wall. Additionally, we've developed methods for noninvasively measuring the creatine kinase (CK) ATP energy supply and used it to measure the CK ATP energy supply in the healthy heart at rest and exercise, in human myocardial infarction, and in ...human heart failure.
Interventional MRI technology: We are developing an RF dosimeter that measures incident-specific absorption rates applied during MRI independent of the scanner and developing MRI-safe internal detectors for higher field use. Outcomes of this research include the "MRI endoscope" that provides real-time, high-resolution views of vessel anatomy and a radiometric approach to detect any local heating associated with the device. view more