Understanding Why Head Rotation Direction Matters

Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, 3:15 pm

Mechanical Engineering
Distinguished Seminar Series
Warnock Engineering Bldg. (WEB) 2230
Reception to follow at 4:15 pm

Susan Margulies, Ph.D.

George H. Stephenson Professor in Bioengineering
School of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Pennsylvania
All are invited and welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be served.

Abstract: Previously we reported that traumatic axonal injury and neurofunctional outcomes after rapid head rotations are influenced by head rotation direction. We hypothesized that injury is closely correlated with white matter tract deformation, and that these deformations vary with head rotation direction. We used our animal studies to identify relationships between rapid head rotation direction and velocity and regional axonal pathology, diffusion tensor images to define white matter tract orientation, and computational simulations validated with actual brain tissue displacement in physical model studies, and found that white matter tract-oriented strains and strain rates vary with head rotation direction, and are strongly correlated with traumatic axonal injury.

Bio: Dr. Margulies is the George H. Stephenson Professor in Bioengineering, in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania, with over 30 years of experience in the area of traumatic brain injury research, and over 25 years in pulmonary biomechanics. Dr. Margulies is an international leader in biomechanics of head injury in infants and toddlers, integrating mechanical properties, animal studies, instrumented dolls, patient data, and computational models to identify injury mechanisms that are unique to children. Her recent studies have expanded to include innovative metrics of cognition and memory to assess injury progression and recovery in a large animal model, and preclinical trials testing novel therapies to improve outcomes after brain injury in children.

Dr. Margulies received her BSE in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University and her PhD in Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania. She has served or is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Physiology, the Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, the Journal of Biomechanics, American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cell and Molecular, and the Journal of Neurotrauma; she has served on grant review panels for NSF, NIH, and CDC, and has chaired the NIH RIBT study section. Dr. Margulies is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Biomedical Engineering Society, and American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. With funding from NIH, NSF, CDC, and the Department of Transportation, she has published over 125 peer-reviewed papers, and has trained 25 post-doctoral clinicians, engineers, and scientists, 19 graduate students, and dozens of undergraduates in her laboratory. Trainees from the Margulies lab span a range of career paths, including, engineering consulting, non-research positions in the FDA, research in industry and academia, and start-up companies.