Elizabeth Hillman, PhD

Understanding the cellular and systems-level interrelations between neuronal activity and the hemodynamic response in-vivo in cerebral cortex. Our lab both develops and applies novel optical imaging methodologies to study the brain in-vivo. We are using conventional optical imaging of hemodynamics and voltage and calcium sensitive dyes, a depth-resolved optical imaging technique called Laminar Optical Tomography which can visualize the same changes in 3D to depths of >2mm, and video-rate multi-spectral in-vivo two-photon microscopy. Using these tools we are exploring the hemodynamic responses to somatosensory stimulus, resolving the behavior of the different vascular compartments and examining the controlling mechanisms of the blood flow response. Using calcium sensitive dyes, we can simultaneously observe neuronal and astroglial activity, and are attempting to resolve the interdependence and interconnectivity of all three responses. We hope to apply our findings to allow better interpretation of functional MRI signals, as well as to allow exploration of the effects of disease states and pharmacology on this neurovascular coupling.

Lab website: http://orion.bme.columbia.edu/~hillman/