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Mr Robert Westphal

Former student

Start date at Kings: 1/10/2012

End date: 1/04/2016


Research interests

At the moment, I am interested to develop imaging-based translational biomarker(s) of progressive brain changes and to use these to monitor the effects of disease modifying treatment(s) in two rat models of Parkinson’s disease (6-OHDA and AAV-induced alpha synuclein rat). As such, my research involves a longitudinal, multi-modal MR imaging approach to map the structural and functional changes in the rat's brain, including pharmacological MRI (phMRI), structural MRI (sMRI) and quantitative relaxometry. Behavioral assessments (cylinder test and apomorphine-induced rotation test), electroencephalography, 14C-2-deoxyglucose autoradiography and post-mortem immunohistochemistry are beeing performed in parallel to corroborate the brain changes detected by MRI and determine how these relate to behavior and the underlying mechanisms.

I am particularly interested in using the novel alpha-synuclein model in combination with MR Imaging to investigate the efficacy of a novel and promising disease modifying treatments.

Further research interests include/included monitoring of 19F-labeled T-cell migration into the brain in the disease course of multiple sclerosis by means of ultrahighfield MRI and the development of amyloid beta and tau protein specific radioligands for PET imaging in Alzheimer's disease.

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