Crump/JCCC Joint Seminar: Jacob M. Hooker, PhD

Apr 17, 2017
4:00pm to 5:00pm
13-105 CHS
Research

 Jacob M. Hooker, PhD

Associate Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School
Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital

Title: "Neurochemical imaging of the human brain: from methods with palladium to mapping the pallidum"

Abstract:
There are an estimated 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease and over 4% of all adults have suffered from a serious mental illness in the past year. Considering that these represent a fraction of all brain-related disorders, it is easy to appreciate the current and growing challenge that we face in terms of the brain and human health. The challenge may seem daunting given our incredibly limited understanding of the dynamic relationship between neurochemicals in the living human brain at rest, during stimulation, or through drug manipulation. However, new hybrid, non-invasive imaging cameras can now provide the first glimpse of both chemical changes in the brain and the functional changes that result. What’s more is that these new systems have the potential to allow us to explore the interplay between two (or more!) neurotransmitter systems and the functional consequence they facilitate in the brain. These changes can be resolved into temporal components and taken together can provide the basis for the first whole-brain neurochemical models. My presentation will review human imaging technologies that can be used to understand neurochemistry and accelerate drug discovery. I will highlight, for example, how simultaneous MR-PET imaging can help understand clinical drug treatment effects in glioblastoma (GBM). Using examples from my research group, I will explore the signatures of neuroinflammation that exist in neurodegeneration, consider emerging opportunities for neuroepigenetic imaging in oncology and brain diseases, and highlight new technologies that we are developing that are poised to fundamentally change what we can measure in the living human brain. Additionally, I will highlight how recent advances in radiotracer chemistry hold the promise to accelerate the rate of new discoveries in neuroscience.