Robin de Graaf, PhD

  • Professor
Research interests
Biomedical Engineering; Energy Metabolism; Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy; Radiology
Research summary

The main focus of Dr. Robin de Graaf's research is the study of cerebral energy metabolism and its relationship to functional activation in human and animal brains. NMR spectroscopy (proton, (inverse) carbon-13, oxygen-17 and phosphorus-31) is the most important tool in the study of metabolic processes and fluxes, non-invasively in vivo. Besides studying brain energy metabolism, a significant part of the research is reserved for technological and methodological improvements to the technique of NMR spectroscopy. These include methods for better water suppression, spatial localization, spectral editing, quantification, and shimming. Dr. de Graaf's current research focus covers areas that are all related to tackling the challenges and grasping the opportunities of MR at very high magnetic fields. Developing methods to achieve magnetic field uniformity throughout the human and animal brain are central to the technological innovation of his research. The problem of magnetic field inhomogeneity is tackled through dynamic shimming and through the use of novel electrical coil element arrays. 13C NMR methods have been pioneered at the Yale MRRC and part of his research is to extend those methods to achieve 3D coverage, higher sensitivity (through 1H detection), and higher specificity (e.g., GABA turnover detection).

Specialized Terms: Cerebral energy metabolismenergy

Education
  • PhD, Utrecht University, 1998
Publications
  • R. A. de Graaf, In vivo NMR spectroscopy. Principles and techniques, Second edition, John Wiley, Chichester (2008)
  • V. O. Boer, D. Klomp, C. Juchem, P. Luijten, R. A. de Graaf, Multi slice MRSI of the human brain at 7 Tesla using dynamic B0 and B1 shimming, Magn. Reson. Med. 68, 662-670 (2012) [PMCID: PMC3306521]
  • C. Juchem, T. W. Nixon, S. McIntyre, V. O. Boer, D. L. Rothman, R. A. de Graaf, Dynamic multi-coil shimming of the human brain at 7 T, J. Magn. Reson. 212, 280-288 (2011) [PMCID: PMC3183127]
  • P. van Eijsden, K. L. Behar, G. F. Mason, K. P. Braun, R. A. de Graaf, In vivo neurochemical profiling of rat brain by 1H-[13C]-NMR spectroscopy: cerebral energetics and glutamatergic/GABAergic neurotransmission, J. Neurochem. 112, 24-33 (2010) [PMCID: PMC2843425]
  • R. A. de Graaf, G. M. I. Chowdhury, P. B. Brown, D. L. Rothman, K. L. Behar, In situ 3D magnetic resonance metabolic imaging of microwave-irradiated rat brain: a new tool for metabolomics research, J. Neurochem. 109, 494-501 (2009) [PMCID: PMC2843429]
International activities
  • Invited Lecturer, NMR at High Magnetic Fields
    Utrecht, Netherlands (2008-Present)
    Invited Lecturer, NMR at High Magnetic Fields

    Utrecht University, Utrecht University

  • Invited Lecturer, In vivo NMR spectroscopy at high magnetic fields, Symposium ‘High-field Magnetic Resonance in Medicine’
    Utrecht, Netherlands (2005-Present)
    Invited Lecturer, In vivo NMR spectroscopy at high magnetic fields, Symposium ‘High-field Magnetic Resonance in Medicine’

    Utrecht University, Utrecht University

  • Invited Lecturer, Energetic costs associated with glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission, Brain
    Amsterdam, Netherlands (2005-Present)
    Invited Lecturer, Energetic costs associated with glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission, Brain

  • Invited Lecturer, GABA and glutamate: Target isolation, Workshop on MR Spectroscopy for Neurophychiatric Disorders
    Banff, Canada (2005-Present)
    Invited Lecturer, GABA and glutamate: Target isolation, Workshop on MR Spectroscopy for Neurophychiatric Disorders

  • Invited Lecturer, In vivo NMR spectroscopy of cerebral neurotransmission and energy metabolism, Rudolf Magnus Lecture, Rudolf Magnus Institute for Neuroscience
    Utrecht, Netherlands (2003-Present)
    Invited Lecturer, In vivo NMR spectroscopy of cerebral neurotransmission and energy metabolism, Rudolf Magnus Lecture, Rudolf Magnus Institute for Neuroscience

    Utrecht Medical Center, Utrecht Medical Center

  • Invited Lecturer, Sophisticated RF pulses for NMR spectroscopy, Weekend educational session, International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
    Toronto, Canada (2003-Present)
    Invited Lecturer, Sophisticated RF pulses for NMR spectroscopy, Weekend educational session, International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine

  • Invited Lecturer, Theory of adiabatic RF pulses
    Ontario, Canada (1998-Present)
    Invited Lecturer, Theory of adiabatic RF pulses

    University of London, University of London

  • Invited Lecturer, Theory and applications of adiabatic RF pulses. Applications with respect to in vivo NMR, Varian Benelux user meeting
    Utrecht, Netherlands (1997-Present)
    Invited Lecturer, Theory and applications of adiabatic RF pulses. Applications with respect to in vivo NMR, Varian Benelux user meeting

    Utrecht University, Utrecht University

  • Invited Lecturer, Theory and applications of adiabatic RF pulses, Biomedizinische NMR Forschungs GmbH am Max Planck Institut für Biophysikalische Chemie
    Göttingen, Germany (1997-Present)
    Invited Lecturer, Theory and applications of adiabatic RF pulses, Biomedizinische NMR Forschungs GmbH am Max Planck Institut für Biophysikalische Chemie

  • Invited Lecturer, RF pulse design, Advanced in vivo NMR course
    Utrecht, Netherlands (1996-Present)
    Invited Lecturer, RF pulse design, Advanced in vivo NMR course

    Utrecth University, Utrecth University

  • Invited Lecturer, Spectral editing, Advanced in vivo NMR course
    Utrecht, Netherlands (1996-Present)
    Invited Lecturer, Spectral editing, Advanced in vivo NMR course

    Utrecht University, Utrecht University

  • Invited Lecturer, Novel approaches to in vivo MRS and MRI, Symposium 'In vivo NMR-Present and future'
    Utrecht, Netherlands (1996-Present)
    Invited Lecturer, Novel approaches to in vivo MRS and MRI, Symposium 'In vivo NMR-Present and future'

    Utrecht University, Utrecht University

  • Invited Lecturer, Advances in in vivo 1H NMR spectroscopy, Symposium 'Beeld -en signaalvormende technieken in de geneeskunde', deelwerkgemeenschap van het gebied medische wetenschappen (NWO)
    Utrecht, Netherlands (1996-Present)
    Invited Lecturer, Advances in in vivo 1H NMR spectroscopy, Symposium 'Beeld -en signaalvormende technieken in de geneeskunde', deelwerkgemeenschap van het gebied medische wetenschappen (NWO)

  • Invited Lecturer, Introduction to in vivo NMR, PAC congres
    Amsterdam, Netherlands (1995-Present)
    Invited Lecturer, Introduction to in vivo NMR, PAC congres

Current projects

The main focus of Dr. Robin de Graaf's research is the study of cerebral energy metabolism and its relationship to functional activation in human and animal brains. NMR spectroscopy (proton, (inverse) carbon-13, oxygen-17 and phosphorus-31) is the most important tool in the study of metabolic processes and fluxes, non-invasively in vivo. Besides studying brain energy metabolism, a significant part of the research is reserved for technological and methodological improvements to the technique of NMR spectroscopy. These include methods for better water suppression, spatial localization, spectral editing, quantification, and shimming. Dr. de Graaf's current research focus covers areas that are all related to tackling the challenges and grasping the opportunities of MR at very high magnetic fields. Developing methods to achieve magnetic field uniformity throughout the human and animal brain are central to the technological innovation of his research. The problem of magnetic field inhomogeneity is tackled through dynamic shimming and through the use of novel electrical coil element arrays. 13C NMR methods have been pioneered at the Yale MRRC and part of his research is to extend those methods to achieve 3D coverage, higher sensitivity (through 1H detection), and higher specificity (e.g., GABA turnover detection).

Software Download:

1. Multi-coil shimming of the human brain at 7 T.

2. 3D metabolic flux mapping on rat brain in situ.

3. Development of 1H[13C] NMR methods at 7 T.

4. Compensation of gradient-related magnetic field perturbations.

5. 1H NMR-based metabolomics.