NextGen Precision Health Discovery Series: Building biochemistry into the human connect me project

April 19, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Online on Zoom

Speaker: Melissa Terpstra, PhD
Noon to 1 p.m.
Tuesday, April 19, 2022

This is a virtual seminar via Zoom. Please register and access information will be sent to your email before the event.


In this talk, Dr. Terpstra will describe how noninvasive measures of human brain chemistry are related to cognitive performance, aging and Alzheimer’s disease. To make these measurements, she uses Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners like the state-of-the-art 7T Siemens Terra that is sited in the new NextGen Precision Health facility. She will demonstrate how this powerful instrument and approach are being trained to reach toward person-specific precision so they can be used to prevent and manage cognitive decline. Dr. Terpstra’s work exemplifies the importance of team science and industry partnership in bringing new technology to patient care and provides a glimpse of how this is developing at NextGen.

Register to attend

About the Speaker 

Prof. Terpstra has a PhD in medical physics and is an expert on uncovering tiny signals in magnetic resonance spectra (MRS) using ultra-high field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Notably, she discovered and optimized techniques to measure signals from vitamin C and other antioxidants and neurotransmitters noninvasively from the human brain using MRI. She launched her independent career by applying this technology to study aging and Alzheimer’s disease via sustained funding from the National Institutes of Health. Furthermore, she continues to study the reliability of in vivo human brain MRS technique. Prof. Terpstra is a principal investigator on the nationwide Human Connectome Project on Aging (HCPA), which collected structural, functional, and diffusion images from over 1000 individuals. With an accompanying R01, she acquired MRS data from her local HCPA cohort, and MRS will be part of the upcoming nationwide project, the Adult Aging Brain Connectome. These consortia also collect extensive health, behavioral, cognitive, and COVID data. Prof. Terpstra reviews for several journals and study sections at the National Institutes of Health. As director of the NextGen imaging facility, Prof. Terpstra will expand her leadership role and collaborate in new areas.

For more information:

please visit the event page on the NextGen Precision Health website.

The NextGen Precision Health Discovery Series provides learning opportunities for UM System faculty and staff across disciplines, the statewide community and our other partners to learn about the scope of precision health research and identify potential collaborative opportunities.

For questions about this event or any others in the Discovery Series, please reach out to Mary Christie at