Karin Lundengård

Karin did her PhD revolving around mathematical modeling of the brain. She defenced her thesis 2017 and a summaty of her work can be found below.

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is a common technique for imaging brain activity in humans. However, the fMRI signal stems from local changes in oxygen level rather than from neuronal excitation. The change in oxygen level is referred to as the Blood Oxygen Level Dependent (BOLD) response, and is connected to neuronal excitation and the BOLD response are connected by the neurovascular coupling. The neurons affect the oxygen metabolism, blood volume and blood flow, and this in turn controls the shape of the BOLD response. This interplay is complex, and therefore fMRI analysis often relies on models. However, none of the previously existing models are based on the intracellular mechanisms of the neurovascular coupling. Systems biology is a relatively new field where mechanistic models are used to integrate data from many different parts of a system in order to holistically analyze and predict system properties. This thesis presents a new framework for analysis of fMRI data, based on mechanistic modelling of the neurovascular coupling, using systems biology methods.

The framework presented herein may serve as the basis for a new method for identification of both brain activity and useful potential biomarkers for brain diseases and disorders, which will bring us a deeper understanding of the functioning of the human brain.

Read Karin's thesis here.