Jeremy Flint, Ph.D.

Jeremy FlintAssistant Scientist

Department of Neuroscience
University of Florids
1149 Newell Drive
PO Box 100244
Gainesville, FL  32611-0244

Email:  jer1984@ufl.edu
Lab Phone: (352) 294-8365

Key Words:  magnetic resonance microscopy, MRM, magnetic resonance imaging, MRI, ultra-high-field, cellular imaging, cellular MRI, acute, organotypic, live-slice, hippocampus, alpha-motor, neurotrauma, traumatic brain injury, TBI, alpha II-spectrin, calpain, caspase, necrosis, apoptosis

Education:

2009 Ph.D.
(Neuroscience)
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL
2009-2014 Postdoctoral Fellowship
(Neuroscience)
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL

Research Summary:
I began my career in research during an undergraduate appointment at the University of Florida. As part of the laboratory of Dr. Ronald Hayes, I completed my undergraduate thesis on alpha II-spectrin protein breakdown products in the brain and CSF as biomarkers of trauma and stroke. Upon entering graduate school at UF, my research interests widened to include clinical imaging modalities applicable to the neurosciences. With its noninvasive attributes and widespread use in contemporary clinical environments, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) became the focus of my graduate studies. Specifically, I concentrated my efforts on employing ultra-high-filed imaging spectrometers and dedicated micro surface coils to perform a specialized from of high-resolution MR imaging known as magnetic resonance microscopy (MRM). During my tenure as a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Stephen Blackband, I was the first to report visualization of mammalian cells using MR microscopy techniques. These images included the perikarya and neurites of alpha-motor neurons from rats, pigs, and humans. In addition to cellular visualization studies, my graduate work included research on ultra-high-resolution diffusion tensor tractography (DTT) of white matter in the spinal cord as well as functional imaging conducted in acute hippocampal slices. During my postdoctoral fellowship, I  focused on engineering solutions to permit ultra-high-resolution MR microscopy analysis on living tissue. This work has recently culminated in the development of an MR-compatible tissue oxygenation and microperfusion system which permits lengthy MR imaging collections on tissue slice preparations.

Research Focus & Aims:
I am currently pursuing research in cellular resolution MRI of living mammalian tissue explants. As part of the National High Magnetic Field Lab (NHFML), UF’s advanced magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy (AMRIS) satellite facility provides access to world-class, ultra-high-field MR imaging systems. Such hardware is necessary for generating the immense signal strengths required to visualize mammalian cellular structures. I have designed and fabricated a one-of-a-kind, MR compatible oxygenation and perfusion system created specifically to interface with this specialized imaging hardware. Employing these specialized hardware devices together—ultra-high field spectrometers, micro surface RF coils, and the in-bore oxygenator device—I am able to conduct cellular-resolution MR microscopy studies in living mammalian tissue explants. As the only facility in the world equipped with this combination of analysis hardware, the advanced magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy (AMRIS) wing of the National High Magnetic Field Lab (NHFML) is the only facility on earth currently capable of generating such data. As such, it is my goal to use this unique analytical opportunity to study the pathological characteristics of living, mammalian tissue explants. In doing so, I hope to identify biomarkers in MR data which could be used to diagnose and monitor numerous pathologies during developmental stages that are currently considered preclinical. Such tools will be used to identify opportunities for earlier disease treatment and, subsequently, result in improved patient outcomes.

 

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