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Neurochemistry Research Group

Division of Neurosurgery

Studying at Cambridge


An Introduction to our Research

 The central theme of research in the Neurochemistry group is the study of metabolic and inflammatory processes caused by traumatic brain injury (TBI), and the investigation of potential therapeutic targets in relation to these processes.  Our main focus is on analysis in clinical studies and in vitro models, as well as the development of novel methods for enhancing or improving analyses. Chiefly our samples are cerebral microdialysates from acute brain injury patients in our neurocritical care unit (NCCU) within the Division of Neurosurgery.

A major achievement of the Neurochemistry-Microdialysis group is the 2015 Consensus Statement on clinical microdialysis. This ensued from the 2014 International Microdialysis Forum that we hosted here in Cambridge. Over the past 10 years, there have been significant advances in the clinical utility of microdialysis in neurocritical care.

Evidence from large numbers of patients on how brain chemistry relates to clinical outcome means that we can better define pathological thresholds for microdialysis values. For full details of this study please refer to Hutchinson et al., 2015.

Recent project collaborations include:

Collaboration with the Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre (University of Cambridge) in the development of advanced brain imaging techniques, and the application of in vivo spectroscopy for studying brain energy metabolism alongside microdialysis (a collaborative project funded by the NIHR).

Collaboration with the Department of Chemistry (University of Cambridge), using NMR analysis to explore the microdialysis samples, complementing the 13C imaging studies.

Collaboration with the Department of Chemistry (University of Cambridge), into pioneering method development for online sensor, funded by an NIHR ‘Invention for Innovation Challenge’ scheme. 

Collaboration with the Kotter Lab in the Anne McLaren Laboratory, (University of Cambridge), investigating the effect of metabolic supplementation (e.g. succinate) on an in vitro cell culture model.


TBI poster