The researcher has been visiting professor at Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome

Christos Papadelis is assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Research Associate of Boston Children’s Hospital. Experienced in magnetoencephalography (MEG) technology with both adults and children, he works in the Fetal-Neonatal Neuroimaging and Developmental Science Center (FNNDSC) at Boston Children's Hospital. Dr. Papadelis managed the BabyMEG facility at Boston Children's Hospital, one of the very few MEG laboratories in the world fully dedicated to pediatric research. His research now covers a broad range of studies on neuroscience, clinical neurophysiology, and biomedical engineering and he has done extensive work in the study of emotional processing by using MEG in adults.

He spent 3 weeks at Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome as a visiting professor, working with Fabrizio Taffoni, researcher of the Measurements and Biomedical Instrumentation Unit. We asked him an interview about his research themes.

How do you think neuroimaging impacted the clinical practice?

Neuroimaging had a dramatic impact on the understanding of normal and pathological human brain in a relatively short period of time. Structural neuroimaging methods, such as the magnetic resonance imaging or MRI, helped in the early diagnosis of brain tumors and lesions, in the monitoring of the progress of degenerative diseases, such as the Alzheimer and Multiple Sclerosis, and in the monitoring of responses to therapeutic interventions. Functional neuroimaging techniques, such as the functional MRI or magnetoencephalography, have a growing impact on the presurgical planning of patients undergoing surgery, the monitoring of recovery after stroke, and even in the development of individualized therapies. The last few years, we see also an increasing impact of neuroimaging in pediatric patients, in young children, infants, or even newborns.

How can electroencephalography data analysis help with the treatment of epileptic patients?

Electroencephalography or EEG is a quite old neuroimaging technique that allows the noninvasive recording of brain electrical activity noninvasively outside the scalp. The EEG actually defined or proved the electrical theory of epilepsy. It is currently used in clinical practice for the detection and rough localization of the interictal activity, the electrical activity of the human brain between seizures, and the onset of ictal activity, the electrical activity of the human brain during seizures. Modern advanced data analysis methods of multichannel EEG recordings from more than 100 channels give us the ability to localize the epileptic activity non-invasively with an accuracy of few millimeters. We can then provide this critical information to the neurosurgeons who will resect the epileptogenic brain tissue during surgery and the patient maybe seizure free.

Do you have any tips for our students of Biomedical Engineering regarding their future career?

Biomedical engineering is a hot topic worldwide. There are many opportunities for work and study in both basic as well as translational research projects. I would strongly suggest students of your university to exploit opportunities to spend some time in research labs abroad as the opportunity I provide to some of your students to come in my lab at Boston Children's Hospital and do their master thesis with me.