Robin de Graaf PhD

Associate Professor of Diagnostic Radiology and of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests

Cerebral energy metabolism

Current Projects

1. Multi-coil shimming of the human brain at 7 T.

2. 3D metabolic flux mapping on rat brain in situ.

3. Development of 1H[13C] NMR methods at 7 T.

4. Compensation of gradient-related magnetic field perturbations.

5. 1H NMR-based metabolomics.


Research Summary

The main focus of Dr. Robin de Graaf's research is the study of cerebral energy metabolism and its relationship to functional activation in human and animal brains. NMR spectroscopy (proton, (inverse) carbon-13, oxygen-17 and phosphorus-31) is the most important tool in the study of metabolic processes and fluxes, non-invasively in vivo. Besides studying brain energy metabolism, a significant part of the research is reserved for technological and methodological improvements to the technique of NMR spectroscopy. These include methods for better water suppression, spatial localization, spectral editing, quantification, and shimming. Dr. de Graaf's current research focus covers areas that are all related to tackling the challenges and grasping the opportunities of MR at very high magnetic fields. Developing methods to achieve magnetic field uniformity throughout the human and animal brain are central to the technological innovation of his research. The problem of magnetic field inhomogeneity is tackled through dynamic shimming and through the use of novel electrical coil element arrays. 13C NMR methods have been pioneered at the Yale MRRC and part of his research is to extend those methods to achieve 3D coverage, higher sensitivity (through 1H detection), and higher specificity (e.g., GABA turnover detection).

Extensive Research Description

The main focus of Dr. Robin de Graaf's research is the study of cerebral energy metabolism and its relationship to functional activation in human and animal brains. NMR spectroscopy (proton, (inverse) carbon-13, oxygen-17 and phosphorus-31) is the most important tool in the study of metabolic processes and fluxes, non-invasively in vivo. Besides studying brain energy metabolism, a significant part of the research is reserved for technological and methodological improvements to the technique of NMR spectroscopy. These include methods for better water suppression, spatial localization, spectral editing, quantification, and shimming. Dr. de Graaf's current research focus covers areas that are all related to tackling the challenges and grasping the opportunities of MR at very high magnetic fields. Developing methods to achieve magnetic field uniformity throughout the human and animal brain are central to the technological innovation of his research. The problem of magnetic field inhomogeneity is tackled through dynamic shimming and through the use of novel electrical coil element arrays. 13C NMR methods have been pioneered at the Yale MRRC and part of his research is to extend those methods to achieve 3D coverage, higher sensitivity (through 1H detection), and higher specificity (e.g., GABA turnover detection).

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Selected Publications

  • R. A. de Graaf, In vivo NMR spectroscopy. Principles and techniques, Second edition, John Wiley, Chichester (2008)
  • V. O. Boer, D. Klomp, C. Juchem, P. Luijten, R. A. de Graaf, Multi slice MRSI of the human brain at 7 Tesla using dynamic B0 and B1 shimming, Magn. Reson. Med. 68, 662-670 (2012) [PMCID: PMC3306521]
  • C. Juchem, T. W. Nixon, S. McIntyre, V. O. Boer, D. L. Rothman, R. A. de Graaf, Dynamic multi-coil shimming of the human brain at 7 T, J. Magn. Reson. 212, 280-288 (2011) [PMCID: PMC3183127]
  • P. van Eijsden, K. L. Behar, G. F. Mason, K. P. Braun, R. A. de Graaf, In vivo neurochemical profiling of rat brain by 1H-[13C]-NMR spectroscopy: cerebral energetics and glutamatergic/GABAergic neurotransmission, J. Neurochem. 112, 24-33 (2010) [PMCID: PMC2843425]
  • R. A. de Graaf, G. M. I. Chowdhury, P. B. Brown, D. L. Rothman, K. L. Behar, In situ 3D magnetic resonance metabolic imaging of microwave-irradiated rat brain: a new tool for metabolomics research, J. Neurochem. 109, 494-501 (2009) [PMCID: PMC2843429]

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