Dr. Dawlaty is using mass spectrometry to quantify levels of protein biomarkers from patients with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). By examining the levels of these proteins in the blood of mTBI patients as compared to patients with orthopedic injuries, she hopes to identify proteins that will accurately indicate brain injury with the ultimate goal of developing a blood test to assist in the diagnosis of mild traumatic brain injury. This project is a collaboration of many researchers at HMRI. Electroencephalography and magnetoencephalography are used to measure neuronal activity in the brains of the same mTBI study participants.
Jessica earned a BS in Molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a PhD in Chemistry from Cornell University. Her first experience with mass spectrometry was during an internship at Oak Ridge National Lab working with James L. Stephenson, Jr. For her PhD work she isolated antibiotics from bacteria and elucidated their structures using NMR under the supervision of Jon Clardy at Harvard Medical School. She also worked with Frank Schroeder at the Boyce Thompson Institute where she explored co-culturing fungi to induce small molecule production.