Dr. Diany Paola Calderon, an assistant professor of neuroscience in anesthesiology, is the recipient of the Nancy M. and Samuel C. Fleming Research Scholar Award (RSA) in Intercampus Collaborations.
The three-year award supports Dr. Calderon's research to understand how different arousal pathways participate in establishing and maintaining consciousness in the brain. With this award, Dr. Calderon aims to identify cortical signatures or biomarkers associated with recovering motor behaviors from a coma state to full awakening.
"If we can elucidate cortical signatures associated with recovery of motor behavior, we can establish the level of arousal of a patient,” said Dr. Calderon. “In addition, since we can monitor brain activity 24 hours a day, we can expand the assessment time per patient rather than be limited to periodic examinations.”
With the ability to frequently monitor a patient and establish the level of arousal based on the observed cortico-motor patterns, Dr. Calderon hopes to be able to provide a more accurate diagnosis and determine a rehabilitation approach.
"If you pick up signatures that indicate someone is willing to move or has the capacity to think about moving — if you recognize those patterns, it's another way to communicate with the patient."
The Fleming RSA provides endowed funding to outstanding scientists who are building independent research programs. It supports a Weill Cornell faculty member engaged in collaborative research in biomedical engineering on Cornell University's Ithaca campus.
The Calderon Lab