CNRM hosts a monthly seminar series that features presentations from experts in the traumatic brain injury (TBI) research community. These seminars are critical because they give current and future experts within the TBI community an opportunity to gather together and exchange ideas. By working together, we can all make a difference in TBI research. See below for more information about previous and upcoming CNRM seminars. 

2020 Seminars 

April 2020 

Date: 04/23/20


Yumin Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., 

Professor, Department of Anatomy, Physiology & Genetics

Uniformed Services University 

Title: To be determined 

Presentation Summary: To be determined. Dr. Zhang's seminar will discuss findings from his CNRM-funded study entitled, Inhibition of AEA Hydrolysis and Oxidation in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). 

This project explored the combined effect fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitors and substrate-selective COX-2 inhibitors have on TBI treatment. 

March 2020 

Date: Tentatively  03/24/20 


Michael Bell, M.D. 

Division Chief, Critical Care Medicine

Children's National Hospital 

Title: To be determined 

Presentation SummaryTo be determined 


Date: 03/04/20


Cameron "Dale" Bass, Ph.D. 

Associate Research Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Duke University 

Title: To be determined 

Presentation Summary: To be determined

February 2020

Date: 02/19/20


Martin Doughty, Ph.D. 

Professor, Department of Anatomy, Physiology & Genetics

Uniformed Services University 

Title: To be determined 

Presentation Summary: To be determined. Dr. Doughty's seminar will discuss findings from his CNRM-funded study entitled, Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Tropism and Paracrine Effects in Two Mouse Models of Grey and White Matter Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). This project aimed to gain an in-depth knowledge of human stem cell-derived neurons and astrocytes grafted into two distinct models of TBI in mice:

1. A grey matter contusion model

2. A closed-head model of white matter axonal injury


Date: 02/12/20


Deborah Shear, Ph.D., 

Director, Brain Trauma Neuroprotection Branch, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research

Title: To be determined.

Presentation Summary: To be determined. 

2019 Seminars 

December 2019 

Date: 12/03/19 


Leonardo Cohen, M.D.

Chief, Human Cortical Physiology and Neurorehabilitation Section

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) 

Title: "Neural Substrates of Memory Consolidation: Candidate Biomarkers of Interest after TBI?"

Presentation Summary: Neural replay, spatiotemporal brain activity associated with task performance during rest, has been reported during sleep and linked to overnight memory consolidation. Wakeful replay contributes to memory formation in rodents (Genzel and Robertson, 2015) but its role in relation to skill formation or even presence in the context of human motor practice is not known. Here, we analyzed data collected in 31 subjects (Bonstrup et al., 2019) who learned a sequence of keypresses with the non-dominant left hand. Training consisted of 36 alternating practice and rest periods (10 seconds each) lasting a total of 12 minutes. MEG recordings were obtained to assess resting-state and task-induced brain activity dynamics. Support vector machine (SVM) classifiers were constructed for individual key-press events during practice and then used to identify replay of sequence-related MEG dynamics during wakeful rest periods (Kurth-Nelson et al., 2016). Replay was assessed over sixteen different timescales (25-2500ms) pertaining to biologically relevant replay durations (Olafsdottir et al., 2018). Replay events were observed as early as the first rest period, remained present over the 36 rest periods and for at least 5-minutes after the end of practice. Optimal replay duration was 50-100ms, with a majority of subjects showing peak replay rates at 75ms durations. Replay of the trained sequence during rest periods prior to performance asymptote predicted rapid offline consolidation of the new skill. Source analysis identified a distributed medial temporal and sensorimotor network underlying wakeful neural replay. We conclude that motor practice elicits sustained neural replay during wakeful rest intervals that predict early skill learning. These novel functional biomarkers of memory consolidation could be interesting to evaluate memory processing after TBI. 


Date: 12/11/19


Hee-Yong Kim, Ph.D.

Chief, Laboratory of Molecular Signaling

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), NIH

Title: Neuroprotection by a Novel G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) Signaling Derived from Essential Fatty Acids

Presentation Summary: N-docosahexaenoylethanoamine (synaptamide) is an endogenous metabolite derived from docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3), an omega-3 fatty acid highly enriched in the brain. At low nanomolar concentrations this DHA-metabolite promotes neurogenesis, neurite outgrowth and synaptogenesis in developing neurons, and attenuates the neuroinflammatory responses. Recently, GPR110 (ADGRF1), a G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) that is highly expressed in neural stem cells and the brain during development, has been deorphanized to be a target receptor of synaptamide. The neurodevelopmental mechanism of synaptamide/GPR110 signaling also plays a significant role in the protection of adult nervous system, particularly after injury. The synaptamide bioactivity transmitted by newly deorphanized GPR110 may provide a novel target for neuroprotective control in CNS injuries including traumatic brain injury (TBI).

November 2019 

Date: 11/20/19 


Aviva Symes, Ph.D. 

Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Therapeutics

Uniformed Services University

Title: "Targeting the Brain Renin Angiotensin System to Treat Traumatic Brain Injury"

Presentation Summary: The brain specific renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is implicated in many pathophysiological processes in the central nervous system, including those that occur after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Several FDA approved drugs target the RAS to treat hypertension and cardiovascular disease and could be repurposed to treat TBI. Additionally, other drugs that activate a newer counter-regulatory arm of the RAS also have therapeutic potential. This seminar will provide an overview of the brain RAS, the drugs that modulate this system, and the beneficial effects of targeting the brain RAS to treat TBI in mice.

October 2019 

Date: 10/29/19


Christopher Ramsden, M.D.

Clinical Investigator at the National Institute on Aging (NIA)

Chief of NIA’s Laboratory of Clinical Investigation/Lipid Peroxidation Unit

Commander in the Commission Corps of the U.S.

Adjunct faculty at the UNC-Chapel Hill

Title: "Oxidized lipids as mechanism-based biomarkers in Post-traumatic headache and targeted substrate manipulation as a non-opioid strategy for treating chronic pain" 

Presentation Summary: Chronic Post-traumatic Headache (PTH) is among the most common and disabling sequelae of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Polyunsaturated fatty acids serve as substrates for production of oxidized lipids that regulate pain. Dr. Ramsden's group previously reported preliminary therapeutic efficacy for targeted manipulation of these dietary substrates in a small (n=67) randomized trial of patients with non-traumatic chronic headaches. During his seminar, Dr. Ramsden will present: 

  • New findings indicating that oxidized lipids hold potential as mechanism-based biomarkers for risk of transition from acute to chronic PTH
  • Results of a recently completed randomized controlled trial testing biochemical effects and therapeutic efficacy of targeted substrate manipulation in 182 participants with frequent episodic migraine
  • An ongoing multi-site randomized controlled trial testing these interventions in 120 participants with chronic PTH

September 2019 

Date: 09/10/19


Jeffrey Iliff, Ph.D.

Associate Director for Research
VISN 20 Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center

Arthur J. and Marcella McCaffray Professor in Alzheimer’s Disease

Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science

University of Washington School of Medicine

Title: "Glymphatic Pathway Dysfunction in Neurodegenerative Disease: Translational and Clinical Studies"

Presentation Summary: The glymphatic system contributes to the clearance of proteins, including tau, alpha synuclein, and amyloid beta, from the brain interstitium during sleep. Dr. Iliff's group has reported that glymphatic function is slowed in the aging and post-traumatic brain, and he will present new findings suggesting that impairment of glymphatic function promotes the formation of aggregates and aggregate propagation in mouse models of neurodegeneration. Lastly, Dr. Iliff will present on findings from studies in human subjects suggesting that impairment of glymphatic function may contribute to the development of neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease.

August 2019 

Date: 08/23/19


Victor M. Vergara, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor

Center for Translational Research in Neuroimaging and Data Science (TReNDS)

Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University

Title: "Functional Connectivity: Current and Future Directions" 

Presentation Summary: Since the discovery of the blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) contrast there has been a considerable amount of work focusing on correlations of BOLD signals from two brain regions. The magnitude of the correlation indicates the level of functionally connectivity between the regions. Functional connectivity studies have shown that a single BOLD correlation assessment cannot accurately describe the brain because of its temporal dynamic characteristic. Capturing the time variations occurring in the brain is better assessed by a dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) approach. In this framework, dFC is represented by a sequence of correlations varying as time progresses. The dFC signal has revealed a new level of functional effects linked to known diseases. For instance, traumatic brain injury produces abnormal temporal variations of dFC which recover with time until the dFC temporal patterns become similar to healthy individuals. The dFC framework has also allowed the use of time-dependent techniques for the analysis of the brain. Dr. Vergara will present a summary of the neuroscience application of these newer methods that includes information theory, random matrices, and sequences of dFC mind states.

July 2019 



Cheryl Wellington, Ph.D. 

Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
University of British Columbia

Title: "Advances in the CHIMERA Animal Model of Traumatic Brain Injury" 

Presentation Summary: Dr. Wellington's presentation will describe new studies using the Closed Head Impact Model of Engineered Rotational Acceleration (CHIMERA), an animal model of TBI that places equal emphasis on the biomechanical and neurological relevance to human TBI. She will also describe new design features for the CHIMERA platform and give an overview of her TBI translational activities spanning CHIMERA and human neurotrauma.  

June 2019 



Christine Mac Donald, Ph.D.

Associate Professor; James and Gaye Pigott Endowed Chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery

Research Director, The Sports Institute 

University of Washington, School of Medicine 

Title: "Combat-related Concussion: Understanding Trajectories of Long-term Clinical and Imaging Outcomes"

Presentation Summary: This presentation will feature findings from a prospective, observational, and longitudinal research study that followed Service Members from the point of injury in combat out to 1-year, 5-year, and, now, 10-year outcomes. Known as the EVOLVE study (EValuation Of mild TBI Long-term outcome in Active-Duty US Military and VEterans) the effort focused on elucidating the effects of mild brain injury sustained in combat to outcomes and connecting the dots through repeated evaluations over the first decade post-injury. Results from both the advanced neuroimaging and extensive battery of neurological, neuropsychological, and psychiatric outcomes collected in these patients will be presented.




Peter Basser, Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

Section on Quantitative Imaging and Tissue Sciences, NICHD/DIR

Co-PI, CNRM’s Neuropathology-Neuroradiology Integration Core

Title: "Mean Apparent Propagator (MAP) MRI: Potential Applications to Imaging TBI?" 

Presentation Summary: Dr. Basser will review their recent work, performed within CNRM, in developing and implementing a novel diffusion MRI pipeline to try to detect TBI in a clinical setting. 

May 2019 



Robert Hamilton, Ph.D.

Co-Founder & Chief Science Officer

Neural Analytics

Title: "Cerebrovascular Assessments after Traumatic Brain Injury"

Presentation Summary: Dr. Hamilton’s presentation discussed the various capabilities of Neural Analytics’ Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound System. This portable system noninvasively assesses post-concussive cerebrovascular reactivity by measuring blood flow changes in the brain.




Brian Cox, Ph.D.

Professor of Pharmacology & Neuroscience, Uniformed Services University

Chair, CNRM’s Biospecimen Repository Steering Committee


Raha Dastgheyb, Ph.D.
Research Associate, Department of Neurology

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Title: "Mass-Spectrometric Analysis of Lipids in Brain & Blood after TBI: Lipids as Potential Biomarkers for TBI"

Presentation Summary: This presentation will discuss findings from Dr. Cox's recently completed CNRM funded project, “Plasma Lipid Biomarkers for Traumatic Brain Injury.” This project compared blood lipid profiles among various subject groups:

  • Subjects with mild TBI and “injury positive” magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans
  • Subjects with mild TBI and “injury negative” MRI scans
  • Age/gender-matched controls with no history of TBI
  • Impact-related TBI within civilian subjects
  • Blast-related TBI within military subjects

This project’s objective was to determine if changes in specific lipids or lipid profiles correlated with injury type (e.g., cause), severity, location, and clinical outcomes.  

April 2019 

Date: April 11, 2019


Michael McCrea, Ph.D., ABPP

Professor of Neurosurgery and Neurology

Director of the Brain Injury Research Program 

Co-Principal Investigator of the Advanced Research Core within the NCAA–DoD CARE Consortium

Title: “Imaging and Blood Biomarkers of Sport-Related Concussion”


Date: April 25, 2019


Michael Roy, M.D., MPH, FACP, COL (Ret)

Professor of Medicine & Director of the Division of Military Internal Medicine

Uniformed Services University

Director of CNRM’s Recruitment Core

Title: "Allostatic Neurotechnology to Improve Symptoms after Traumatic Brain Injury"

March 2019 

Date: March 4, 2019


Phillip Popovich, Ph.D.

Department of Neuroscience

Belford Center for Spinal Cord Injury

Center for Brain and Spinal Cord Repair

The Ohio State University (OSU) Wexner Medical Center

Title: “Beyond the Injured Spinal Cord: Spinal Cord Injury as a Systemic Disease”


Date: March 20, 2019


Cory Hallam, Ph.D.

Former Director of the Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE)

The University of Texas at San Antonio

Title: “Academic Entrepreneurship: The Boon and Barriers of Translating Research to Market”

February 2019 

Date: February 6, 2019


Brian Edlow, M.D.

Director, Laboratory of NeuroImaging of Coma and Consciousness (NICC)

Associate Director, Center for Neurotechnology and Neurorecovery (CNTR)

Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School

Title: “Network-based Autopsy of the Human Brain”

January 2019 

Date: January 9, 2019


Eric Finzi, M.D., Ph.D.

Medical Director and President

Chevy Chase Cosmetic Center and Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery


Title: "The Role of Botulinum Toxin in Mental Health”