We are proud to announce two new hires for the Wolfson Laboratory for Clinical and Biomedical Optics. Wesley Baker, PhD, (biophysical optics) and Lauren Beslow, MD, will be joining the Wolfson Laboratory to expand both clinical and instrument development parts of the lab.

About Dr. Baker

Baker, a physicist with specialization in optics, recently completed a post-doctoral fellowship in anesthesia at the University of Pennsylvania and was awarded his doctorate under Arjun Yodh, PhD, Director of the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter and the Materials Science and Engineering Center at Penn. Baker has been very involved in developing fast diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS) and applying this to make noninvasive measurements of critical closing pressure (a correlate of intracranial pressure) in sick patients. Baker will now transition to focus on critically ill pediatric patients and, in partnership with myself (clinical human studies) and Todd Kilbaugh, MD, (animal models of disease), he will be ideally positioned for rapid translation of his research.

About Dr. Beslow

Beslow is a clinical child neurologist with specialty fellowship training in pediatric stroke. She did all her postgraduate training at CHOP and was the Alavi-Dabiri postdoctoral fellowship award winner in 2011. She has returned to CHOP after 4 years at Yale to launch her clinical research career. Beslow will be in charge of the long-term follow-up study for the survivors of neonatal heart surgery. She has applied to and received funding from the Cardiac Center to bring in 7- to 8-year-old survivors who participated in my perisurgical study. Beslow’s groundbreaking study will establish the relationship of white matter injury (WMI) to long-term cognitive, behavioral, and visual perception deficits.

Wolfson Lab collaborations

The Wolfson Lab continues to make advances in understanding the timing and causes of WMI in newborns with severe forms of congenital heart defects. The lab is currently gearing up for a collaborative study with Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston (Site PI: Ken Brady, MD) to compare the clinical efficacy of each hospital’s care package at preventing brain injury. This study will use all the neuromonitoring protocols the team in the Wolfson Lab and I have developed, and will be funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Furthermore, the lab collaborates with Kilbaugh, whose lab specializes in large animal models of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, thoracic surgery, and ECMO. This partnership allows for unprecedented parallel translation of research findings (human research leading to investigations in animal models and animal models leading to clinical care changes in humans). The collaboration has already led to 2 manuscripts (with 10 manuscripts in preparation), grant proposals and 2 Young Investigator Awards for internationally recognized cardiothoracic surgeon Constantine Mavroudis, MD, who led the thoracic surgery animal model study.

The Wolfson Lab is just starting to hit its stride in the marathon of instrument development and clinical research.