Michelle LaPlaca


Michelle

 

LaPlaca

Associate Professor
Primary School/Department: 
Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering

Phone: 
404-385-0629
Office Location: 
UAW 3109
University: 
Georgia Institute of Technology

Research Affiliations:

Research Center Affiliations: 
Center for Bio-Imaging Mass Spectrometry
Marcus Center for Therapeutic Cell Characterization and Manufacturing (MC3M)
Regenerative Engineering and Medicine (REM)

Research Areas:

Research Areas: 
Biomaterials
Molecular, Cellular and Tissue Biomechanics
Neuroscience
Regenerative Medicine

Research Interests:

Dr. LaPlaca’s broad research interests are in neurotrauma, injury biomechanics, and neuroengineering as they relate to traumatic brain injury (TBI). The goals are to better understand acute injury mechanisms in order to develop strategies for neuroprotection, neural repair, and more sensitive diagnostics. More specifically, the lab studies mechanotransduction mechanisms, cellular tolerances to traumatic loading, and plasma membrane damage, including mechanoporation and inflammatory- & free radical-induced damage.  We are coupling these mechanistic-based studies with –omics discovery in order to identify new biomarker candidates.  In addition, Dr. LaPlaca and colleagues have developed and patented an abbreviated, objective clinical neuropsychological tool (Display Enhanced Testing for Cognitive Impairment and Traumatic Brain Injury, DETECT) to assess cognitive impairment associated with concussion and mild cognitive impairment.  An immersive environment, coupled with an objective scoring algorithm, make this tool attractive for sideline assessment of concussion in athletic settings. Through working on both basic and clinical levels she is applying systems engineering approaches to elucidate the complexity of TBI and promoting bidirectional lab-to-clinical translation.