Meet Nick Glover: Research Product Manager & Sales Specialist
Hello there – my name is Nick Glover, and I am excited to introduce myself as a new voice on the Transonic Research blog/content team. I have had the pleasure of working with this fantastic group for nearly 5 years and my current role as Transonic Product Manager and Research Sales Specialist is telling of my passion and motivation within the life science space.
In this first post, I felt that it would be nice, and hopefully interesting, to provide our readers with a snapshot into the two distinct application areas within which I have split my career - radiation oncology and hemodynamics. While the target/outcomes in these fields are unique to one another, the core technologies for diagnosis and treatment have more in common than you may expect. For example, leading researchers have already begun to look at the efficacy of radiation therapy for certain cardiovascular conditions…but more on that shortly.
Having graduated in 2011 with a BSc. Honors Specialization in Biology, there was a long list of unknowns regarding my next steps and career path. Fortunately, what I did know, is that I have always been passionate about applied science and technology – especially within healthcare. I credit friends, mentors, and colleagues for introducing me to this life science space, where I have felt fortunate to experience the best of both worlds: working with Engineers and Developers to bring impactful products to market and being a partner in research, providing support for leading centers around the world to implement these tools into their critical work.
Early in my career, it was the application-specific deployment of various imaging modalities within Radiation Oncology that I found to be most captivating. Of particular interest to me is the current/future potential of medical linear accelerator (LINAC) onboard imaging. For those unfamiliar, a LINAC is a device that delivers high-energy x-rays or electrons to a target tumor for radiation therapy treatments. Imaging is a crucial step in this workflow as we aim to limit damage to healthy tissues and maximize the radiation dose to the tumor. While computed topography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET) and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be utilized in advance to create a treatment plan, there is also imaging capability on the LINAC itself.
Onboard imaging systems, such as cone-beam CT, allow for the Oncology team to take images before and during treatment – providing a real-time confirmation of the treatment plan and a crucial opportunity to make any necessary adjustments/stop the treatment if the tumor is no-longer being targeted effectively. With continued improvements to imaging systems and computing, radiation therapy is inching closer to real-time adaptation where the machine will be imaging and modifying treatment on the fly with extraordinary precision. This type of innovation also makes its way into other areas, such as the cardiovascular space where Dr. Joost J.C. Verhoeff et al., from the University Medical Center Utecht, recently published the first case of a sarcoma of the heart being treated on the MR-LINAC system.
Innovation in hemodynamics and cardiovascular technologies is actually what brought me to Transonic. As the industry-leader in vascular and bench-top volume flow measurements Transonic supports users across many facets of cardiovascular function research, such as: drug discovery, safety pharmacology, transplant efficacy, and heart valve testing.
Heart valve development, testing, and replacement is an application area that has been particularly rewarding as Transonic equipment plays a role in each stage of the process. Aortic stenosis is one of the most common heart valve diseases, impacting over 20% of Americans over age 65, and has understandably put valve development, repair, and replacement methods at the forefront for researchers, medical device companies, and surgeons alike.
Within basic hemodynamic principles, there is a harmonious balance of blood pressure and flow throughout the body that needs to be maintained for long-term efficacy of valve replacement. This is where Transonic’s transit-time flow sensors play a key role. The extensive R&D process will typically start on the bench-top using a mock circulatory system with our tubing flow sensors providing accurate measures of flow across the valve. The aortic valve is fascinating in that it can gate significant volumes (approximately 6L/min at rest and up to 35L/min in exercise), however during treatment or repair, it is critical to also monitor and limit any leakage from it. Taking this a step further to in-vivo testing of valve replacement, researchers will rely upon Transonic’s vascular PAU probes in both acute and chronic protocols to accurately measure cardiac output directly from the ascending aorta (upstream from the replaced valve). Finally, in the clinic, our AU-series vascular probes are relied-upon by surgeons for immediate and accurate measurement of the patient’s cardiac output during cardiothoracic surgery.
I look forward with excitement and am hopeful for the positive changes that continued innovation will bring within the life sciences. Thank you to all the dedicated members of the scientific community for continuing to ask questions and solve meaningful problems.