Changho Choi, PhD, Research Professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, has received a secondary appointment as Research Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
"While the major application of MRS in my lab was largely focused on brain tumors, we developed an MRS method recently that can provide contamination-free evaluation of major neurotransmitters (GABA and glutamate) at 3T and 7T, which were the metabolites of high interest in many psychiatric studies," Dr. Choi says. "I contacted Dr. Stephan Heckers to find a way to make the new brain MRS technique available for VUMC psychiatric studies."
Next, Dr. Choi gave a presentation on brain MRS at a psychosis group meeting. Dr. Heckers later proposed Dr. Choi's secondary appointment in psychiatry.
"Brain MRS has been popularly used for measuring neurotransmitter levels in many prior studies," Dr. Choi explains. "However, precise measurement of GABA in the human brain remains challenging. I hope the new GABA-glutamate MRS method will be attractive and actively used for VUMC psychiatric studies."