Dr. Susan Margulies
GRA Eminent Scholar
Emory / Georgia Tech
Dr. Susan Margulies is a GRA Eminent Scholar and chair of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. She is one of the world’s top researchers on traumatic brain injury in children. The methods she’s developed to diagnose and assess these injuries are help children receive earlier and more effective treatment. Her research on how head injuries affect brain tissues has led to promising preclinical trials for new treatment strategies.
Margulies has developed more objective metrics to assess the severity of a brain injury and evaluate improvements. She’s explored methods such as measuring balance, looking at the electrical activity of the brain as it processes sounds or tracking involuntary eye movements. She’s also explored physical biomarkers of traumatic brain injury, like the presence of certain proteins in a blood sample.
Such metrics provide a better comparison between animal and human models to facilitate more productive preclinical trials. They also provide an effective way to detect brain injury in babies and children who are too young to describe their own symptoms.
Margulies and her colleagues have partnered with a number of different teams who are working on brain injury therapies. Using the effective and objective metrics they’ve developed, Margulies’ lab is providing drug researchers with valuable data on the effectiveness of their treatment. Three of these drugs are in preclinical or clinical trials.
Margulies’ lab has also conducted extremely significant research in the related biomechanics field of pulmonary injury. Much of that work was focused on preventing and treating lung injuries caused by ventilators, a major concern for patients who are being treated in critical care for acute respiratory distress syndrome.