PVM Professor Plays Key Role in International Brain Research Initiative

February 28, 2014

An international team of faculty members from Purdue Veterinary Medicine, Oxford University, the Technical University of Madrid and the University of California have established a new effort to focus research on brain mechanics and trauma.  Purdue Professor of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering Riyi Shi, who holds a dual appointment in the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, is one of ten faculty members who helped establish the International Brain Mechanics and Trauma Lab (IBMTL).  In an Oxford University press release about the development, Dr. Shi is quoted as saying, “The joint initiative …has brought multiple scientists from Europe and the U.S. together in an effort to tackle the mysteries enshrouding traumatic brain injury, a medical condition with no established treatment and insufficient understanding of its underlying pathogenesis. One of the focal points of this initiative is to understand how mechanical forces lead to devastating clinical symptoms.”

The IBMTL is headed by Dr Antoine Jérusalem of the Department of Engineering Science at Oxford, who said, “This initiative has been fueled by the development of interdisciplinary collaborative efforts between engineering, medical sciences, neuroscience, biology, [math], physics and computer science.”  Dr. Shi adds, “A particular strength of this group is its multi-disciplinary nature, assembling expertise including mathematical modelling, testing through animal models, and direct investigation in human subjects.”  He further explains that the effort is expected to “…generate an unprecedented level of knowledge elucidating the pathogenic mechanisms of traumatic brain injury, which will have a profound impact in establishing novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.”  Furthermore, Dr. Shi anticipates that aside from research, “…these joint efforts will also generate more educational opportunities between Europe and the U.S. and ultimately benefit the lives of traumatic brain injury patients, their families, the neurotrauma community, and the world at large.”

Earlier this year, Dr. Shi attended the international Oxford Brain Mechanics Workshop as an invited speaker.  The meeting focused on various aspects of brain mechanics including pathology, injury and healing, with the goal of fostering new collaborative partnerships and facilitating the dissemination of ideas.  To view the complete Oxford press release about the establishment of the IBMTL, click here.

Writer: Kevin Doerr, pvmnews@purdue.edu

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