Spring is here. Do you appreciate it?

The freshness of Spring has finally hit those in the Northern Hemisphere. As we inhale through our nostrils, it is easy to forget the object behind said nostrils.

Our brains do not have lungs. 

We can finally walk about and gaze upon nature's girth. Perhaps, this is a reminder of daily buzz words abounding with nutritional food for thought, but how does said food get to said thought?  

Our brains do not have mouths.

Frightful frigid freeze no more. We can finally walk, freed from winter gear. Tired, we hydrate our bodies with cool, fresh water. More than coffee, this stimulates our minds. How?

Our brains can't directly drink.

These may seem like obvious statements, but they are so apparent that they have become ignored. Our brains can breathe, eat, and drink due to the Cerebrovascular System. 

Where did this system come from? Better yet: if we always needed it, where was it in our infancy? 

Max Tischfield - a Rutgers, Harvard Medical School, and Johns Hopkins alumn - has devoted his life to take a crack at this system: and noticed some gossip most neuroscientists have ignored.

Head chatter: our skull and our blood vessels talked to each other long before we could. 

How? 

Through  signaling mechanisms  such as paracrine (nearby) signaling and morphogens (growth current) signaling. This seemingly chaotic traffic is ordered by our genome, which Dr. Tischfield studies in mouse models.

Why does this matter? There are multiple reasons, but one is pediatric neurosurgery: operating on a child's head requires intimate knowledge of blood vessels to prevent risk of hemorrhagic stroke. Some children have abnormal brain vasculature, difficult to detect.

Imagine the horror of a pediatric neurosurgeon operating on a child with unpatterned blood vessels. It happens. Dr. Tischfield wants this to become history. Currently heading a lab in the Child Health Institute of New Jersey, his research deciphers the chatter between bone, brain, and blood; and the genetic script underlying the whole play. Once we know the script in mice, we can translate this to humans and map out where blood vessels may populate with said child's genetic disposition. 

Thus, countless more children may inhale the beauties of Spring. 

Come meet Dr. Max Tischfield TODAY at 7:10 PM in Hardenbergh A2.

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