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.
Research in the Ivor Berkowitz Lab targets pediatric critical care medicine. We are particularly interested in the pathophysiology behind the cerebrovascular dysfunction that occurs in bacterial meningitis as well as the anesthetic and perioperative complications of patients with dwarfing syndromes.
Research in the John McCloskey Lab focuses on quality improvements in the operating room and pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Our work aims to improve the throughput of adolescents undergoing spinal fusions in order to better define interventions to ameliorate anesthesia emergence delirium and to improve protocols for sedation. One of our projects established an early oral feeding program for critically ill patients. Our goal is to enhance the delivery and quality of children’s health care while making it safer and more affordable.
Dr. Raul Chavez-Valdez is an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics with great interest in the mechanisms of delayed injury and repair/regeneration in the developing neonatal brain following injury, specifically following hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (birth asphyxia). He collaborates with Dr. Frances Northington (Pediatrics) and Dr. Lee Martin (Pathology/Neuroscience) in unveiling the importance of programmed necrosis in the setting of brain injury induced by birth asphyxia. He is especially interested in the role of brain derived neurotrophic factor and neurotrophin-4 following birth asphyxia and the changes that may explain the suspected excitatory/ inhibitory (E/I) imbalance particularly in the hippocampus. His work is highly translational since delayed hippocampal injury due to E/I imbalance may explain memory deficits observed despite therapeutic hypothermia in neonates suffering birth asphyxia. All of these aspects of developmental neuroplasticity are the base of ...his Career Development Award (NIH/NINDS-K08 award) and applications to other agencies. Additionally, he is part of multiple clinical efforts as part of the Neuroscience Intensive Care Nursery (NICN). He has been a Sutland-Pakula Endowed Fellow of Neonatal Research since September 2013.view more
Work in the Sapna Kudchadkar Lab focuses on the impact of sleep disturbances on critically ill children and the impact of sleep promotion, optimizing sedation and preventing delirium in pediatric critical care patients. We're investigating the effects of critical illness on sleep-wake cycles during short- and long-term recovery using actigraphy.