Scientist profiles S-Z
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Ave., S656
Administrative Assistant: Janet Binding
- B.A.Sc., 1998, electrical engineering, University of British Columbia, Canada
- PhD, 2004, biomedical engineering, McGill University, Canada
Appointments and Affiliations:
- Senior scientist, Physical Sciences, Hurvitz Brain Sciences Research Program, Sunnybrook Research Institute
- Assistant professor, department of medical biophysics, University of Toronto
- Brain function
- Neurovascular coupling
- Functional magnetic resonance imaging
- Multiphoton fluorescence microscopy
Dr. Stefanovic's research aims to develop new methods for imaging brain function. Over the past few decades, new techniques have been developed that, for the first time, have allowed scientists to examine noninvasively the working brain in real-time and with exquisite spatial detail.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has become the dominant method of studying human brain function. Despite its widespread use by neuroscientists and clinicians in healthy study participants and patients, the full potential of fMRI is yet to be realized and arguably relies on understanding its physical and physiological processes. Like some other modalities, fMRI provides an indirect measure of neuronal activity, as well as the fMRI signal being dictated by the changes in brain vasculature and metabolism during a subject's brain activation.
Dr. Stefanovic's team is particularly interested in the coupling between local neuronal activity and the state of the surrounding vessels. On one hand, they are working on the development of novel, quantitative MRI-based techniques for human brain function imaging. On the other, they are using in vivo multiphoton fluorescence microscopy in combination with various fluorescent markers and pharmacological agents for detailed characterization of the neuronal and vascular response to brain stimulation in animals. In human and animal studies, they are using electrophysiological recordings for a more direct assessment of local neuronal activity.
Dr. Stefanovic is applying these techniques to preclinical models of ischemic stroke and Alzheimer's disease to understand better the changes in brain structure and function in these conditions, and facilitate clinical translation of this work.
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