Millie Swietek

Research Area
Blast Traumatic Brain Injury Mechanisms

M.S. Biomedical Engineering, 2012
B.S. Biomedical Engineering, 2010

Research Summary
The focus of my research has been on understanding the injury sequel following a single blast injury and its contribution in the development of temporal lobe epilepsy.

About me
I completed my undergraduate and graduate degree in the field of biomedical engineering from New Jersey Institute Technology. My interest in blast-related traumatic brain injury dates back to my graduate studies. I was surprised to learn that literature on bTBI is scarce despite a century old problem first reported as “shell shock” and later known as “battle fatigue” in the early 20th century.  Under the guidance and support of Dr. Bryan J. Pfister, NJIT, I developed a novel pneumatic blast simulator with the intent to replicate blast brain injury in small rodents as the topic of my Master’s thesis.  After graduation, I joined the epilepsy lab of Dr. Viji Santhakumar, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in the Department of Neuroscience, as a Research Assistant where I acquired the skillset in performing in vivo slice electrophysiology and immunohistochemistry. Upon acceptance into the Doctorate program at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, I wanted to pursue blast research, focusing on addressing the mechanistic underpinnings and neurophysiological consequences following a single mild blast brain insult and thus, I am rotating in the CIBM3 laboratory to gained additional experience. Ultimately, my goal is to create an animal model of blast-related traumatic brain injury which can be used for development of an animal model of blast traumatic brain injury (bTBI) and consequently, divestment of appropriate therapeutics for those inflicted.

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