Victoria N. Poole
Mentor / Lab:
Thomas Talavage (BME/ECE) and Ulrike Dydak (HSCI)
Specific Research Area / Project:
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy to Track Neuro-Metabolic Changes in Impaired Contact Sport Athletes
Oakwood University (Huntsville, AL)
Lab / Personal work-related websites:Lab Website
Experts say that more than half of all mild traumatic brain injuries in amateur and professional athletes go unreported, and therefore undiagnosed and untreated. With athletes never leaving play, they are subject to further trauma and are at-risk for conditions like post-concussion syndrome, second impact syndrome, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Several research studies have appropriately focused on the compromised neural safety of athletes participating in these sports. Although most are geared to understanding the mechanisms of concussion, leading researchers have discovered that some individuals experiencing large numbers of repetitive hits may also be at risk, regardless of concussion history. Thus, it is imperative that the scientific community not just focus on concussion alone, but also assess the overall neural health of contact sports populations.
The Purdue Neurotrauma Group (PNG) recently discovered significant alterations in neural recruitment within asymptomatic high school football players that received large numbers of helmet hits. As a PNG graduate researcher, my work employs proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS) to track the brain's biochemistry in high school football and soccer. Our data suggest acute and potentially chronic damage to these contact sports populations. We hope not only to understand these mechanisms further, but to track recovery, and to investigate potential metabolic relationships with cognitive function and the hits received.
Belonging to the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences Program has allowed me to work with great people, build upon and expand my academic/professional strengths, and to pursue my interests in research. When I first came to Purdue with a background in chemistry, I joined my advisors' laboratories prepared to start from the ground up in engineering research – taking courses ranging from biology and statistics to neural imaging techniques. Now, stronger from the challenge, I use MRI methods to explore mild traumatic brain injury in sports, nutrition in developing piglets, and even Zen! This has been my preparation on a team with both diverse backgrounds and interests working together to investigate the brain. I could not have asked for a better graduate school experience.
- ISMRM Magna Cum Laude Merit Award (2013)
- Joe Bourland Graduate Student Travel Award, Purdue University (2012)
- SfN Indianapolis Chapter Annual Meeting Best Poster Award (2012)
- PGSG Discovery, Engagement, And Learning Grant for "Normative Data for Neurocognitive Impairment in High School Athletes" (2012)
- George Washington Carver PhD Fellowship, Purdue University (2009)
- Anthony J. R., Poole V. N., Sexton K. W., Wang L., Mueller M. A., Guillamondegui O., Thayer W. P. Tennessee emergency hand care distributions and disparities. (2013). HAND, 1-7.
- Natraj N., Poole V., Mizelle J.C., Flumini A., Borghi A.M., Wheaton L.A. Context and hand posture modulate the neural dynamics of tool-object perception. (2012). Neuropsychologia.
- Osei A.J., Poole V. Radiated Pressure Field Calculations of Axisymmetric Ultrasonic Disc Transducers. (2007). Journal of Alabama Academy of Sciences. Vol. 78, No. 2.
- "Spectroscopic Analysis of Neuro-metabolic Changes in Female Soccer Players." 2013 OHBM Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA. June 2013.
- "1H MRS Suggests Chronic and Acute Injury in High School Football Players." ISMRM 21st Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, UT. April 2013.
- "Asymptomatic high school contact sports athletes exhibit metabolic changes that correlate with head collision history." 42nd Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA. October 2012.
- "Quantifying Neuro-metabolites using Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in Contact Sport Athletes." Purdue University BME Summer Seminar Series Invited Guest Speaker in West Lafayette, IN. July 2011.
- "Context and Hand Posture Modulate the Neural Dynamics of Tool-Object Perception." Cognitive Neuroscience Society Annual Meeting (CNS) in San Francisco, CA. April 2011.
- Purdue Graduate Student Government: Senator (2011-Present) and Public Information Committee Chair (2012 - Present)
- Adventist Collegiate Fellowship at Purdue: Member (2009-Present)