Prof. Topun Austin
Professor Topun Austin is a Consultant Neonatologist at Cambridge, and Honorary Professor of Neurophotonics at University College London. He is the Director of the Evelyn Perinatal Imaging Centre (EPIC), based at the Rosie Hospital, Cambridge. The centre has an infant functional brain imaging unit and houses a dedicated MRI scanner for mothers and babies. His main research interests are in brain development and injury in the newborn, using novel monitoring and imaging technologies and their translation into routine clinical care. He works closely with Professor David Rowitch (Head of Paediatrics, Cambrdige University) in the development of the Neuro NICU in Cambridge, based on a model Professor Rowitch pioneered at the University of California, San Francisco.
Professor Austin is the co-director of neoLAB, which is a collaborative group between EPIC and Biomedical Optics Laboratory at UCL. The group has been involved in developing am integrated optical-EEG system to study neurovascular coupling as well as a unique fast optical tomography system for 3D imaging of regional blood flow and oxygenation is sick newborn infants with acquired brain injury.
He is a collaborator on a number of cognitive developmental psychology studies, includingthe BRain Imaging for Global HealTh (BRIGHT) study, investigating brain function and development in children in high and low income settings; the Cambridge Human Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study which is using MRI both prenatally and neonatally with in pregnancies where the baby is at high risk for autism; the SPELL study investigating neurophysiological and genetic biomarkers of dyslexia in newborn infants.
Professor Austin is also an enthusiastic teacher, organising neonatal courses as part of the Cambridge Perinatal Group (www.cambridgeperinatalgroup.com) and the BPNA neonatal neurology course neoNATE (www.bpna.org.uk/neonate).
He has a longstanding interest in newborn behaviour and how that relates to functional brain activity. In 2016, he was invited to speak at the Hay Festival on ‘Becoming Human’ exploring biological and philosophical issues around the development of consciousness.
Further information can be found at www.neolabresearch.com