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The Children's National Research Institute

Research Profile

Research Interests

  • Brain Injury
  • Neurorehabilitation
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Premature Birth
  • Brain Energy Metabolism

    Education & Training

    • B.S., Neuroscience, New York University, New York, NY (1991-1996)
    • M.S., Biology, Biochemistry, New York University, New York, NY (1996-1999)
    • D.O., Philadelphia Col Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia, PA (1999-2003)
    • Rutgers University Children's Hospital, Newark, NJ (2003-2005)
    • Children's National Medical Center, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC (2005-2008)
    • Neonatal Neurology Fellowship Training, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC (2008-2009)
    • Postdoctoral Research, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC (2008-2011)

     

    Academic Appointments

    • Associate Professor of Anatomy & Cell Biology, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
    • Associate Professor of Neurology, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
    • Associate Professor of Pediatrics, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
    • Adjunct Professor of Anesthesiology & Critical Care Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

    Biography

    All living systems require energy to survive and thrive. Their success or failure is solely determined by whether there is sufficient energy to fuel these processes. What can complicate this intricate balance is injury. While the focus has been primarily on mechanisms of injury and recovery, the discussion overlooks the underlying, key role of energy. The Scafidi Laboratory is interested in understanding metabolic adaptations after perinatal brain injury in the acute and long-term recovery phase. Specifically, we aim to understand how different cell populations in different brain regions utilize energy after injury, and how these adaptations or maladaptations affect the recovery process. Understanding these processes will allow us to delineate the brain’s innate ability for recovery and develop novel targeted therapies that will promote this neurorehabilitative process. Currently, our team is investigating EGFR signaling and the mechanism by which it promotes recovery after perinatal brain injury.

    Our laboratory uses an integrated, multidisciplinary state-of the art approaches that includes molecular biology and genetics, cellular neurobiology, biochemical assays, functional mitochondrial measurements, metabolic phenotyping, MR imaging, 13C,1H-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, and a wide range of neurobehavioral testing. This multi-faceted approach to understanding brain injury and recovery allows us to test other potential interventions. 

    The PI, Dr. Scafidi, is a practicing pediatric neurologist that specializes in neonatal neurology and a developmental neurobiologist. His laboratory is ideally positioned to facilitate bench to bedside therapies and improve knowledge of disease by seeking processes with bedside to bench research driven hypotheses.

    Research & Publications