Brain Injuries: Hitches: What holds back human potential and how can systems science help?

Photo of Dr. Macedonia  
Lt. Col. Christian Macedonia, MD,
Medical Sciences Advisor to the
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Associate Professor,Chief, Research Operations
Telemedicine and Advanced Technologies Research Center (TATRC)
Medical Research and Materiel Command
National Naval Medical Center
Bethesda, Maryland

Bio: Dr. Christian Macedonia, MD FACOG is a US Army surgeon currently serving as the Chief of Research Operations at the Telemedicine and Advanced Technologies Research Center located on the campus of Fort Detrick, Maryland. Dr Macedonia graduated with a chemistry degree from Bucknell University in 1985 and then served as an ambulance platoon leader in Goeppingen Germany for three years with the First Infantry Division. Upon returning to the US Dr Macedonia attended medical school at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda Maryland graduating in 1992. Dr Macedonia completed ob/gyn residency in 1996 and followed this training with a three year fellowship at Georgetown University and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the advanced subspecialty of maternal-fetal medicine. It was through his training in telemedicine at the NIH Center for Information Technology that Dr Macedonia was introduced to a number of advanced technology projects dealing with medical care in remote and hostile environments. He became the medical primary investigator on Project MUSTPAC; a portable 3D ultrasound system that worked over satellite networks. This DARPA funded program became the functional model for networked 3D ultrasound systems used worldwide today. For this work he and his engineering partner were presented with the Discover Magazine Award for Science and Technology. Dr Macedonia continued with telemedicine research far beyond 3D ultrasound. He served as a climb doctor and scientist on the NASA sponsored Everest Extreme Expeditions 1998 and 1999. As a fellow of the Explorer's Club Lieutenant Colonel Macedonia has traveled the globe on a diverse series of research and educational missions including diving in a Mir submersible 12,800 ft to the ocean floor to the wreck of the RMS Titanic. Dr Macedonia is an internationally recognized expert of fetal behavioral ultrasound pioneering the use of functional ultrasonic imaging for this purpose. Dr Macedonia served as the Medical Director for Women's and Children's Health at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda before deploying to Iraq in late 2004. LTC Macedonia served for a year as the deputy commander (and Chief of the Clinical Staff) of the 115th Combat Support Hospital in Iraq's Anbar province where he was awarded the Bronze Star. Recently Dr Macedonia was made a recipient of the Heroes of TRICARE award given to the Department of Defense's most outstanding health professionals. Dr Macedonia is an Associate Professor at Uniformed Services University where he remains active in ob/gyn, military and emergency medicine, and medical ethics instruction.

Related Information:

[September 14, 2007] Brain mapping, imaging efforts furthered by NIH, DoD grants (AHC Newsletters Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) IBMISPS annual meeting

Brain mapping, imaging efforts furthered by NIH, DoD grants By MARK McCARTYDiagnostics & Imaging Week Washington Editor

Lt. Col. Christian Macedonia, MD, with the National Naval Medical Center (Bethesda, Maryland), discussed the emphasis at TATRC, which is looking into proteomics and genomics, among many other things.

Were very much interested in multidisciplinary projects, Macedonia said. Wed like to become a dating service for collaborative research, he said, given the interest at TATRC in that mode of research, he said.

One of the areas of interest at TATRC is in developmental neurology, and Macedonia said that the fetal brain is not a little adult brain. It changes morphologically over time.

Macedonia said he knew he was not hitting you with anything new. The idea that what happens in utero has significant effects on later life, including susceptibility to stroke, is widely understood. The problem is that the knowledge has not been updated much of late.

Most of our knowledge of the assembly of the human brain is based on stored samples that date back to a collection started with funds offered by the early 20th century tycoon Andrew Carnegie. But theres a reason for that lack, and it has to do with the reluctance to intervene in a developing life.

Any discussion of research involving the fetus tends to raise hackles, Macedonia said, especially at NIH, because such an effort is not seen as incurring minimal risk.

We can zap adults with a lot more radiation than fetuses and get away with it, he added.

Researchers are investigating the potential in this area for superconducting quantum interference devices, a.k.a., SQUIDs. The safety afforded by SQUID technology, which operates on largely the same principles as MRI, is due to the fact that the device relies on super-cooled conductors that are extraordinarily sensitive and can pick up a wealth of information without the need for contrast media, which are the objects of concern in terms of fetal health.

SOURCE-Diagnostics & Imaging Week