2018 IARS Mentored Research Award
Broc Burke, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Anesthesiology
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center
Aurora, CO

Dr. Burke’s Research

Development of a Real-Time, Bedside, Brain Functional Connectivity Monitor

Dr. Broc Burke is a cardiothoracic anesthesiologist with the long-term goal of being an independent investigator in perioperative and critical care bedside neurological monitoring. He has practical experience as a Senior Staff Engineer/Scientist in real-time controls and signal processing. His research background is biomedical engineering and multimodal neuroimaging. Drs. Joe Culver, Jin-Moo Lee, and Ben Palanca have formed a mentoring committee and together will provide guidance in functional neuroimaging, neuropathology, perioperative research, and critical care research.

In this proposal, these interests are applied to the development of functional connectivity (FC) diffuse optical tomography (fcDOT) for real-time, bedside neurological monitoring. Initially investigating critical care patients with acute stroke, these techniques will improve upon the current standard of bihourly subjective assessment of neurologic status and can be translated to intraoperative monitoring. Leveraging real-time control theory, signal processing, and stroke related cortical network disruptions identified by FC magnetic resonance imaging (fcMRI), fcDOT has the potential to become a real-time, bedside neurologic monitor. This is reinforced by the preliminary data results.

To realize fcDOT’s potential as a real-time neurologic monitor, a few key obstacles remain. First, the lack of bedside cap localization hampers the analysis of specific resting state networks (e.g. somatomotor), which in turn can be linked to patient specific deficits (e.g. motor). Second, fcDOT images are reconstructed after imaging sessions are complete, which prevents the timely delivery of data for clinical decision making. Research Specific Aim 1 develops fcDOT into a real-time network connectivity monitor. Specific Aim 2 validates the monitor developed in Specific Aim 1 against concurrent neurological assessment and fcDOT imaging in the first 48 hours after stroke onset.