Prof. Susan Margulies, Ph.D.

Lecture: Mechanisms of Pediatric TBI – Integrating Computational and Experimental Approaches to Understanding Brain Injury

Affiliation: School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Pennsylvania, USA
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Lecture: Mechanisms of Pediatric TBI – Integrating Computational and Experimental Approaches to Understanding Brain Injury

The overall goal of my research program is to determine the mechanical thresholds associated with functional and structural injury in the brain and lung, ultimately to open avenues for injury prevention, intervention and treatment. Our lab pioneered functional and structural injury threshold measurement in the brain and lung to identify mechanisms of traumatic brain and lung injury. The research thrusts are united by a common, integrated approach consisting of experiments to measure cell or tissue function/structure under carefully controlled loading conditions (deformations or forces), complemented by computational models that extend these microscopic findings to a broad range of real-world, macroscopic environments. By integrating across scale and species and across computational and experimental approaches in our novel interdisciplinary platform, we translate basic research to clinical injury prevention and treatment strategies.   

In traumatic brain injury (TBI), we integrate animal experiments, tissue and surrogate tests, clinical studies, and computational models to define biomechanical and molecular cascades, assess outcomes, and develop TBI interventions and treatments for children. By increasing our understanding of how head injuries occur in children, this crucial information enables engineers to design safer protective equipment (e.g. car seats, helmets) for children and provides physicians with tools to assist them in the diagnosis and treatment of head injuries in children.

Short biography

Dr. Margulies received her BSE in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton and MSE and PhD in Bioengineering from University of Pennsylvania. She is a Professor in Bioengineering, in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania, with over 30 years of experience in the area of traumatic brain injury research, and over 25 years in pulmonary biomechanics. Dr. Margulies is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Biomedical Engineering Society, and American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.  With funding from NIH, NSF, CDC, and the Department of Transportation, she has trained 25 post-doctoral clinicians, engineers, and scientists, 26 graduate students, and dozens of undergraduates in her laboratory to translate basic research findings to improve clinical outcomes.