Maria Lehtinen, PhD

2018 Discovery Science Award Recipient

TITLE: Associate Professor, Boston Children’s Hospital

GOAL:  Determine how a brain bleed changes choroid plexus function and brain development

Overview:

Dr. Maria Lehtinen received her PhD in Neurobiology from Harvard University where she studied the signals that regulate whether a cell lives or dies. During her first postdoc at the University of Helsinki, she studied epilepsy. During a second postdoc at Boston Children’s Hospital, she discovered that factors present in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) play an active role in brain development and continues this research today.

This study, “Molecular and physiologic responses of the choroid plexus to preterm hemorrhage,” will determine how blood changes the factors present in CSF after a brain bleed and how these changes affect brain development. Her work will also test how drugs currently given to preterm infants change the choroid plexus’ response to blood and if these changes lead to better brain development. She will then use this data to identify additional drugs that may improve brain development after a brain bleed.