UMRAM/NSC-ASBAM Fall 2023 Seminars: ”Small Animal Imaging with Clinical Scanners: Experience With 3T MRI”

Dr. Meltem Karataş

Date: December 12, 2023

Time: 16.30

Place: UMRAM, SC106


Abstract: Translational studies, primarily involving rodent models, have been the mainstay of biomedical sciences. Rodent experiments allow understanding of physiological processes, deciphering pathological mechanisms, and aiding the development of novel therapeutic strategies. Among others, magnetic resonance imaging constitutes an invaluable tool for translation, as it is a non-invasive, in vivo technique using similar methodologies from bench to bedside. However, imaging rodents with MRI presents unique challenges, including smaller body sizes, differential anatomy, and the need for anesthetics. Specialized equipment for small animal MRI includes higher field strength, smaller bore scanners with strong gradients, and advanced shimming. However, the high cost and limited availability of these systems restrict their use in research. The brain imaging experiments involving rodents on a 3T clinical MRI scanner, including the associated challenges and opportunities, will be discussed. An overview of various studies will be presented, ranging from imaging morphological abnormalities, surveying tumor growth, and testing pharmacological agents.



Speaker Bio: Meltem Karataş graduated from Hacettepe University, Faculty of Medicine in 2012 and worked in the Physiology Department of Ege University, Faculty of Medicine as a research assistant for a short period before commencing her doctoral studies in 2014. She obtained her Ph.D. degree in neuroscience from both Strasbourg University, France and Freiburg University, Germany as part of the Erasmus+ NeuroTime Joint Doctoral Program in 2019. Her research focused on the investigation of brain structural and functional connectivity signatures of chronic pain-induced depression, using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in a mouse model. She joined UMRAM in 2020, she is particularly interested in rodent neuroimaging as a translational tool to shed light on the pathophysiology of neurological and psychiatric disorders, to develop diagnostic markers and novel therapeutic strategies.