Kay Park

Program: Neurosciences

Current advisor: Eric Claude Leuthardt, MD

Undergraduate university: Washington University

Research summary
Glioblastoma is the most lethal and common primary brain tumor, with an incidence of 3.2 per 100,000 and a prevalence of 9.2 per 100,000 population in the U.S. Several factors account for its lethality, including intratumoral genetic heterogeneity, elevated aerobic glycolysis, and diffusive infiltrative growth. In current clinical practice, tissue biopsies are the gold-standard technique for diagnosing GBM, and structural MRI is the primary imaging tool to assess brain tumors. Each technique has limitations: the current practice of biopsy is insufficient, both spatially and temporally, in characterizing the progressive and heterogeneous nature of GBM; anatomical scans do not provide information regarding functional anatomy or malignant neurobiology of tumors. Recently, there has been a growing interest in using resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) in the context of presurgical planning. rs-fMRI measures intrinsic fluctuations in the blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal, which is shaped by the integration of local oxygen use in the blood. The utility of rs-fMRI has shown its significant clinical value in presurgical functional mapping and in providing prognostic information for patients with GBM. These findings indicate that rs-fMRI reflects multifaceted information, including functional organizations of the brain and the neurobiology of GBM. The long-term goal of my research is to advance the utility of rs-fMRI as functional biomarkers for GBM to improve the therapeutic landscape of GBM treatment and management. The overall objective of several ongoing projects is to validate rs-fMRI indices that 1) signify neuroimaging genomic biomarkers of tumor heterogeneity, 2) measure altered metabolism of the brain, and 3) better delineate brain regions infiltrated with tumor cells.

Graduate publications
Luckett PH, Maccotta L, Lee JJ, Park KY, U F Dosenbach N, Ances BM, Hogan RE, Shimony JS, Leuthardt EC. 2022 Deep learning resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging lateralization of temporal lobe epilepsy. Epilepsia, 63(6):1542-1552.

Daniel AGS, Park KY, Roland JL, Dierker D, Gross J, Humphries JB, Hacker CD, Snyder AZ, Shimony JS, Leuthardt EC. 2021 Functional connectivity within glioblastoma impacts overall survival. Neuro Oncol, 23(3):412-421.

Park KY, Lee JJ, Dierker D, Marple LM, Hacker CD, Roland JL, Marcus DS, Milchenko M, Miller-Thomas MM, Benzinger TL, Shimony JS, Snyder AZ, Leuthardt EC. 2020 Mapping language function with task-based vs. resting-state functional MRI. PLoS ONE, 15(7):e0236423.

Shimony JS, Leuthardt EC, Dierker D, Park KY, Hacker CD, Snyder AZ. (2020). Resting State Functional MRI for Presurgical Planning. In Ulmer, S., Jansen, O. (eds.), fMRI (pp. 287-301). : Springer, Cham.

Luckett P, Lee JJ, Park KY, Dierker D, Daniel AGS, Seitzman BA, Hacker CD, Ances BM, Leuthardt EC, Snyder AZ, Shimony JS. 2020 Mapping of the Language Network With Deep Learning. Front Neurol, 11():819.