Beth A. Costine, PhD

Research Description

We are primarily interested in understanding age-dependent differences in the pathophysiology of pediatric brain trauma, which is the leading cause of death and disability in children in the United States. Our translational lab is comprised of pediatric neurosurgeons, neuropathologists, pediatric anesthesiologists, pediatric critical care specialists, radiologists, and neuroscientists endeavoring to identify age-specific therapeutics to ameliorate the potentially life-long, devastating effects of accidental or inflicted traumatic brain injury.

The most rapid period of brain development in humans occurs in the months prior to and after birth with maturation continuing into early adulthood. Recent advances in neuroscience have led to an increased understanding of the complexity and sequential changes in the brain at various ages. One example demonstrating maturation-dependent differences is the neurotransmitter GABA, which elicits depolarizing or hyperpolarizing currents, depending on subject age. Differences in the composition, mechanical properties, and function of the brain during development yield differences in susceptibility to trauma, and therefore, successful therapeutics will likely be age-specific.

We study lesion development after cortical impact and subdural hematoma examining postnatal neurogenesis and mitochondrial function after these types of traumatic brain injury and are developing surrogate indices of brain injury such as serum markers and MRI to improve patient care. In addition, we are studying the potential neurotoxic effect of anesthetics in the immature brain with our anesthesiologist colleagues aiming to identify safe anesthetic regimens and develop interventions.

Diseases studied

Pediatric Brain Trauma

NCBI PubMed link

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Lab mailing address





Room 3.405 Building, 149 13th Street, Charlestown, MA 02129

Room 3.328 Building, 149 13th Street, Charlestown, MA 02129

539 White Building, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114


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