Terrance T. Kummer, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Neurology
Neurocritical Care

Neurosciences Program

  • 314-362-1677

  • 314-362-3279

  • 325 Biotechnology Bldg

  • kummert@wustl.edu

  • https://neuro.wustl.edu/labs/kummer_t/

  • traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer's disease, Alzheimer disease, microsscopy, imaging, microdialysis, MRI, diffusion tensor imaging

  • Understanding the mechanisms underlying neuronal trauma and neurodegeneration during and following acute brain injury

Research Abstract:

<span style="font-family: "Source Sans Pro", sans-serif; background-image: initial; background-position: initial; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial;">Dr. Kummer’s research program is focused on
understanding the mechanisms underlying neuronal trauma and degeneration in the
days to years following acute brain injury. Dr. Kummer carries out this
research both in the laboratory and in the Neurointensive Care Unit, where he
is an attending and Director of the Neurotrauma ICU. Brain injury is a leading
cause of death and disability in the United States. Sudden brain injury usually
takes one of two forms: traumatic or vascular. Traumatic brain injury occurs
when the head receives a sudden external impact, possibly from an improvised
explosive device, a car windshield, or even a barreling linebacker. Victims of
such events may develop brain trauma near the site of impact, such as brain
contusions, as well as ripple effects that damage the brain diffusely. Disturbingly,
the effects of trauma extend even decades into the future, when victims of TBI
are at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The nature of this
connection is unclear. Dr. Kummer’s research is aimed at exploring TBI and its
long-term effects through the use of advanced imaging and neuromonitoring techniques
available in the laboratory and in the clinical setting. One of the innovations
developed in Dr. Kummer’s lab (SEQUIN) entails the use of super-resolution
imaging and advanced analysis to quantify and characterize synapses and their
nanostructural features. As uniquely relevant structures for neurodegeneration
such as Alzheimer’s disease, Dr. Kummer is interested in learning how acute
brain injury impacts synapses. He hopes, through the application of these
technologies, to devise new therapeutics that will improve the short and
long-term outcomes for victims of brain injury.<o:p></o:p>



Mentorship and Commitment to Diversity Statement:

A strong and effective mentoring relationship starts with
good communication. First, I strive to be available to my students. My door is rarely
closed, and I look forward to frequent conversations with the members of my
lab. During these conversations I will strive to understand your background and
experiences, as that context will guide our way forward together.<o:p></o:p>



My goals as your mentor are multiple. Scientifically, I want
to help you give your curiosity the purest expression possible within the guard
rails that lead towards career success as an investigator. I love clever ideas and
out-of-the-box thinking. I’ll help you turn those ideas into practical
experiments that build the next paper, lead to a grant, and provide the surest
possible path to the next phase of your career. I want to provide this context
for you so that you can more efficiently navigate beyond the current
experiment, into the coming weeks and months.<o:p></o:p>



Communicatively, I want to help you convey your curiosity
and where it’s led you to the widest possible audience. I will work with you to
adapt your story to differing time frames, media, and audiences. Writing and
speaking are central to our job as science communicators—I take this very
seriously. I want my students to become expert communicators and beautiful
writers.<o:p></o:p>



Interpersonally, my goal is to help you find a work-life
balance that prioritizes your development as a scientist, but recognizes that
strong relationships outside of the lab are crucial to happiness. Organization
and planning are the essential tools with which we will maintain this balance.
Within the lab I work to hire and train those who give of themselves and expect
to be shown respect. I work with students as they learn to navigate these waters
within and beyond the lab.<o:p></o:p>



When we meet, I pledge to offer honest feedback, to engage
in a mutually respectful discussion, and to look for opportunities to nudge you
in new directions for the sake of your personal and professional growth. I will
make it my mission is to help each student find her or his place in the world. <o:p></o:p>



In all of our activities, I and the rest of the Kummer lab
will maintain our commitment to diversity and inclusivity. We will draw on the
differences in who we are, what we’ve learned, and how we think. To make
discoveries that serve everyone, we must believe in including everyone.

Selected Publications:

Last Updated: 3/29/2021 10:33:56 PM

Diffusion tensor imaging and correlated histology (left upper and lower panels, respectively) and schematic summary of injury to white matter regions (right) after subarachnoid hemorrhage
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