- Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury
- Acute and Longitudinal Functional Outcomes in Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury
- Neuropharmacology in the Management of Acquired Brain Injury
Board Certification and Academic Information
||Pediatrics - Associate Professor
||Pediatric Critical Care
||American Board of Pediatrics (Pediatrics)
American Board of Pediatrics (Sub: Crit Care Med)
Academic Office Locations
|Academic Office Phone Number
||Academic Office Address
Pediatric Critical Care
295 Chipeta Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84108
My research focus is cognitive outcome after pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) with an emphasis on pre-clinical and translational approaches. Specifically, I am interested in endogenous repair mechanisms, putative candidate therapies, and the potentially detrimental effects of the sedatives and analgesics that are used clinically after TBI. I believe that a bench-to-beside approach offers a way to study mechanisms of disease with the goal of advancing clinical care.
After joining the faculty at the University of Utah, I obtained a Master’s degree in Clinical Investigation with an emphasis on basic science research and Neuroscience. This training program prepares physicians for translational research. I was funded by a Child Health Research Career Development Award in May 2010 to study short and long-term effects of erythropoietin administration on molecular, histologic and functional outcomes in a rat pup model of pediatric TBI. Manuscripts based on this research are in progress.
I have been funded as a lead PI since May 2011 to conduct a prospective observational study of children admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit for severe traumatic brain injury. Using cerebrospinal fluid collected from TBI patients over time, I will measure breakdown products of a brain-specific protein to study patterns of cell death, and levels of endogenously produced erythropoietin, after pediatric TBI. In addition, I have measured these breakdown products in the hippocampus and cortex of rat pup brains after TBI. Together with the other co-PIs, we are collecting clinical, demographic and laboratory data, including EEG patterns on these patients as well as data regarding functional outcome after TBI. Finally, we are creating a serum and CSF bank using samples from children with severe TBI. I also was funded in January 2013 as a CoPI to determine if the dietary DHA intake/DHA blood levels of high school athletes at risk for concussion correlate with concussion severity. In parallel, I am examining the impact of DHA supplementation in my rodent model of TBI expanded to include "adolescent" rats as well as rat pups. I am involved in creating a consortium of researchers in TBI at the University of Utah.
Once our current observational study is complete, I plan to proceed to an interventional study possibly of EPO or DHA to improve cogntive outcome in children after TBI. Preliminary data will come from our database, EEG and laboratory results using CSF and blood collected.