Acute Brain Injury Research Group
My laboratory is interested in understanding key mechanisms leading to neurodegeneration after traumatic brain injury. It has recently become evident that individuals with brain injury can further suffer from chronic consequences including dementia, epilepsy, psychiatric and neuroendocrine & metabolic disorders. While these chronic complications are suggestive of continuous alterations in the injured brain circuitry, virtually nothing is known about how the initial trauma alters the brain structure and ultimately its function.
One of the main struggles in Neuroscience in general is the difficulty to accurately analyze long connections in the brain using tissue sections, which deliver only limited spatial information. We use a novel approach aiming at mapping the acute and chronic changes in the entire brain caused by small, well-defined brain lesions. To map the pathological brain, we utilize cutting-edge imaging techniques including high-resolution 3D imaging of the entire brain –that we recently developed– and in vivo 2-photon imaging. Subsequently, we screen for novel molecular players that are altered in chronically affected brain regions to halt secondary neurological problems.
In parallel, we continue to develop and apply new imaging tools to improve our capability to visualize and analyze complicated anatomical connections in the brain. We believe that a global appreciation of cellular changes in the entire brain should lead to a much deeper understanding of the morphological substrate affecting brain function in disease and deliver useful prognostic and therapeutic information.
3D imaging of unsectioned spinal
3D imaging of entire brain
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Group Leader: Dr. Ali Ertürk