Carlos Aguilar

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The schematic is a series of muscle images during the regenerative process, whereby resident stem cells repair the tissue.

Skeletal muscle contains multiple cell types, regenerates when damaged via a pool of resident stem cells (called satellite cells), consumes significant amounts of metabolic energy, grows and adapts its structure and function based on its environment. Nearly all actions in life are defined by the coordinated actions of skeletal muscle but when afflicted by injury or aging, muscle function decreases and quality of life is reduced. Currently, there are little to no therapies for recovery after severe trauma or age-associated muscle wasting (sarcopenia). Prof. Aguilar’s laboratory focuses on studying molecular mechanisms satellite cells use after trauma and aging with a particular focus on transcriptional and epigenetic regulation. We develop and utilize different types of high-throughput sequencing based assays and sophisticated bioinformatics algorithms to generate these insights.

Omar Ahmed

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The Ahmed lab studies behavioral neural circuits and attempts to repair them when they go awry in neuropsychiatric disorders. Working with patients and with transgenic rodent models, we focus on how space, time and speed are encoded by the spatial navigation and memory circuits of the brain. We also focus on how these same circuits go wrong in addiction, epilepsy and traumatic brain injury.

In addition to electrophysiology in rodents and humans, we use imaging and photoactivation techniques to record and alter neuronal activity as rodents navigate custom-designed virtual reality environments. We also work on novel computational techniques to model and analyze our immensely large electrophysiology and imaging datasets to better understand how specific behaviors are encoded by neural circuits.

Dr. Ahmed received both his undergraduate and Ph.D. degrees in Neuroscience from Brown University. He then worked with epilepsy patients at Massachusetts General Hospital during his postdoctoral work, before joining the faculty at the University of Michigan as an Assistant Professor.

Polar plots showing the rhythmic phases of spikes fired by human neurons, revealing systematic variations across space and time.

David Nordsletten

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Dr. Nordsletten is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Cardiac Surgery. He is also a Reader in cardiovascular biomechanics at King’s College London, and is the recipient of the EPSRC HTCA leadership fellowship. His research focuses on the novel application of biomechanics integrated with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the advancement of human cardiovascular health. This broad focus encompasses a range of projects spanning from numerical methods development through to direct analysis of medical imaging data for diagnostics in cardiovascular disease.

Computational biomechanical model of the biventricular heart, showing the orientation of muscle fibres within the tissue.

Grenmarie Agresar

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Graduation Year

1997

Thesis Title

A computational environment for the study of circulating cell mechanics and adhesion

Supervisor

Jennifer Linderman

Current Job

Instructional Consultant at the University of Michigan

Scott Lempka

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Scott Lempka is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and director of the Neuromodulation Laboratory. The Neuromodulation Lab focuses on clinical neurostimulation (a.k.a. neuromodulation) therapies, such as spinal cord stimulation and deep brain stimulation. These therapies are used to treat a variety of neurological disorders, such as chronic pain and Parkinson’s disease. In these therapies, metal electrodes are used to apply electrical pulses that override pathological activity in the nervous system. The Neuromodulation Lab develops computer models of the electric fields generated by the stimulation and the direct neural response. These computer models are combined with clinical data, such as quantitative sensory testing and functional neuroimaging, to understand the effects of various therapies – why they work in some patients and not in others.

Lempka-MICDE-Figure-01

Denise Kirschner

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Denise Kirschner is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.  She serves as founding co-director of the Center for Systems Biology, is affiliated with both the Center for the Study of Complex Systems and  the Center for Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics. Her research involves the modeling of immunological responses in infectious diseases, focusing on questions related to host-pathogen interactions. The pathogens she studies include both bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) and HIV-1. Such pathogens have evolved strategies to evade or circumvent the host-immune response and the lab’s goal is to understand the complex dynamics involved and develop optimal treatment and vaccine strategies.