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USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine



David M. Cohen, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Baylor College of Medicine

Nutrition, Metabolism and Modeling

I am interested in the regulated coordination of metabolic fluxes that is fundamental to health and sustained by adequate nutrition.  Study of the quantitative relationships among metabolic flux rates depends on accurate measurement of those rates, preferably in vivo.  To this end, I have investigated mathematical aspects of modeling rates of metabolic pathways, subsequent to the administration of isotopically labeled precursors.  The goals of this research are to improve accuracy as well as to obtain simpler methods for estimation of metabolic rates.  I am currently applying these formulas in experiments investigating the regulation of metabolic fluxes associated with energy production in heart cells.

I have a longstanding interest in questions related to the use of isotopic labeling patterns of metabolic intermediates (i.e., positional isotopomers) for the purpose of estimation of rates of metabolic flux.  For this purpose, I developed what I believe to be a novel approach to modeling and computer simulation of isotopomers.  I am currently pursuing studies in cerebral amino acid metabolism in which the relationship between positional isotopomers and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy of tissue extracts will be exploited. 

An important focus of my work is the measurement of cerebral metabolism in vivo, using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.  Currently, I am developing new methods for estimation of the rate of cerebral glucose metabolism, with the goal of improving time resolution.  Additionally, I am interested in neuronal-glial metabolic interactions, as they may be inferred from measurements in vivo.  In the long term, I hope to learn more about the role of diet in support of brain metabolism and function. 

Representative publications:

Wei, Jingna, Cohen, David M., Quast, Michael J. Effects of 2-Deoxy-D-glucose on focal cerebral ischemia in hyperglycemic rats. J. Cerebral Blood Flow Metab. (in press).

Cohen, David M., Wei, Jingna, Smith, E. O’Brian, Gao, Xiaolian, Quast, Michael J., and Sokoloff, Louis. A Method for Measuring Cerebral Glucose Metabolism In Vivo by 13C-NMR Spectroscopy. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 48, 1063-1067, 2002.

Goodwin, Gary W., Cohen, David M., and Taegtmeyer, Heinrich. [5-3H]glucose overestimates glycolytic flux in isolated working rat heart: role of the pentose phosphate pathway. Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab., 280, E502-508, 2001.

Gotoh, Jun, Kuang, Tang-Yong, Nakao, Yasuaki, Cohen, David M., Melzer, Peter, Itoh, Yoshiaki, Pak, Hazel, Pettigrew, Karen D., and Sokoloff, Louis. Regional differences in mechanisms of cerebral circulatory response to neuronal activation. Am. J. Physiol. Heart Circ. Physiol., 280, H821-H829,2001.

Nakao, Yasuaki, Gotoh, Jun, Kuang, Tang-Yong, Cohen, David M., Pettigrew, Karen D., and Sokoloff, Louis. Cerebral blood flow responses to somatosensory stimulation are unaffected by scopolamine in unanesthetized rat. J. Pharmacol. Experimental Therapeutics, 290 (2), 929-934, 1999.

Cohen, David M. and Bergman, Richard N. Improved Estimation of Anaplerosis in Heart Using 13C-NMR. Am. J. Physiol., 273:E1228-E1242, 1997.

Finch, Caleb E. and Cohen, David M. Aging, Metabolism, and Alzheimer Disease: Review and Hypotheses. Experimental Neurology, 143:82-102, 1997.

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