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Robin de Graaf, PhD

Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging

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).

Specialized Terms: Cerebral energy metabolismenergy

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).

Software Download:

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.

Coauthors

Research Interests

Biomedical Engineering; Energy Metabolism; Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy; Radiology

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Selected Publications

Clinical Trials

ConditionsStudy Title
Addictive Behaviors; Alcohol Addiction; Mental Health & Behavioral ResearchGlutamate-Glutamine Cycling (VCYC) during Cocaine Abstinence using 1H-MRS
Diabetes Mellitus - Type 1; Diabetes Mellitus - Type 2; Diseases of the Endocrine SystemRestoring brain metabolism and function in older adult T1DM patients using an AP system
Diabetes Mellitus - Type 1; Diseases of the Endocrine System; Diseases of the Nervous SystemImpact of Hypoglycemia on Brain Ketone and Neurotransmitter Metabolism in Type 1 DM