Doris Doudet, PhD
University of British Columbia; Vancouver, BC, Canada
I use neuroimaging methods such as PET and MR to 1) understand the effects of stimulation therapies such as TMS on brain function and 2) understand the role and function of dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and mood disorders.
For a number of years, I have taken advantage of the possibility to use positron emission tomography (PET) to study in vivo, longitudinally, compensatory changes in the monoaminergic system induced by aging or lesion of the DA nigro-striatal system as in Parkinson’s Disease (PD) or depression in rodents, primates and porcines. The current main aspects are to investigate the effects of experimental therapies for PD and depression on the function of the monoamine systems in acute and chronic conditions and to develop methods of scanning applicable to human to study specific aspects of receptors and transporters function.
The methodologies employed cover both behavioral assessment, binding assays using autoradiographic techniques with a phosphor imaging device, microdialysis and immunostains in addition of PET imaging with current state of the art tomograph for human (HRRT) and rodents (microPET R4).
Structural disruptions and loss of synapses are a major hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases and result in network disruptions and loss of neuronal signaling. How early in the process of neurodegeneration synaptic dysfunctions appear is not yet understood. Dr. Herfert’s Lab’s aim is to develop and apply protocols and methods to assess molecular changes of receptor and protein expression by PET and functional changes by BOLD-fMRI to develop early read-outs of disease progression. For this purpose, they use different rat models and genome engineering technologies to target specific genes and proteins in the brain.
– Pre-clinical Nuclear Imaging
– Novel Radioligand Development
– Radioligand Binding studies