Grazyna Rajkowska, PhDCore DirectorView profile
As is the case for all areas of neuroscience research, the application of modern methods of cellular imaging are greatly accelerating advancements in the field. The center's Imaging Core gives investigators access to state-of-the-art, sophisticated microscopic equipment with advanced capabilities in the visualization, quantification and interpretation of neuronal systems at the cellular level. Dr. Grazyna Rajkowska, (Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior; Head of the Quantitative Neuroanatomy Laboratory), serves as core director of the CPN's Imaging Core. Dr. Rajkowska is a neuroanatomist with 20 years experience in quantitative image analysis of specific types of neurons and glial cells in human postmortem and animal brain tissues. She has served as head of the Laboratory of Quantitative Neuroanatomy at UMMC for 13 years and has published over 100 scientific papers and abstracts in the field of quantitative morphology. Dr. Rajkowska provides oversight of investigator training in the use of core equipment, the maintenance of core equipment and the supervision of core personnel. In addition to the administrative oversight of the Imaging Core, Dr. Rajkowska instructs CPN investigators and other UMMC researchers in the general use of the microscopic imaging equipment and further offers highly specialized expertise in the technical parameters relevant to the design, application and interpretation of quantitative morphological and neurochemical studies. These technical parameters include tissue slicing and general histological staining of human postmortem and animal brain tissues, the application of 3-dimensional cell counting techniques to different types of staining procedures, the determination of optimal conditions for immunohistochemistry and guidance in the anatomical localization of the specific brain regions being studied. Dr. Jose Javier Miguel-Hidalgo (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior) is a neuroanatomist with 18 years experience in microscopy, histology and histochemical processing of brain samples in a variety of vertebrate species. Dr. Miguel-Hidalgo received formal training in confocal microscopy in 1992 at the University of California at Davis. CPN and UMMC investigators often use confocal microscopy for double immunostaining with fluorescent antibodies.
Dr. Miguel-Hidalgo also received instruction directly from Arcturus technical field trainers in 2005 and has subsequently trained several researchers at UMC using laser capture microdissection in their research. He further assists Dr. Rajkowska in determining the technical parameters (tissue sectioning, measurement, sampling, etc.) that would produce the best images for each investigator's particular application.
The CPN's Imaging Core and UMMC currently support a Imaging Facility providing shared use of the following imaging equipment:
These sophisticated imaging systems give investigators the ability to estimate, in three-dimensional space, numbers of cells, terminals, or synapses and to analyze the density of receptor binding and the level of specific proteins, giving researchers unprecedented insight into the cellular and molecular neuropathology of mental disorders.
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