As Associate Professor in the Division of Neuroradiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, I develop new methods and applications of in vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in the human brain. I worked recently as an RCUK academic fellow attached to the Schools of Biosciences and Chemistry at Cardiff University in Wales. Prior to that, I spent two years as a postdoc working at Johns Hopkins University for Peter Barker in the area of in vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and spectroscopic imaging (MRSI). More details of this work can be found in the section below. Prior to April 2005, I was a graduate student in the lab of James Keeler, developing novel pulse sequences for small-molecule solution-state NMR spectroscopy. Both my graduate and undergraduate studies were undertaken within the Department of Chemistry of the University of Cambridge, as a scholar of Selwyn College.
My research is concerned with both the development of new MRS methods and the application of existing methods to investigate the brain. We are publishing a series of papers (see PubMed) applying edited MRS to detect inter-subject differences in GABA concentration and investigate the impact that these have on functional imaging and behaviour. One technical area of my research is the behaviour of coupled spin systems (such as lactate, citrate, GABA and Glx) during localised spectroscopy experiments; in particular, considering the interplay between finite-bandwidth slice-selective pulses and the chemical shift difference between coupled spins. The result of coupling evolution can change significantly across selected volumes, resulting in loss of signal intensity.
With collaborators in the School of Psychology of Cardiff University, we have recently been applying edited MRS to investigate the role of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in high-frequency (or gamma) neural oscillations, and various simple tasks.