Pediatric brain tumors are the second most frequent malignancy of childhood, exceeded only by leukemia and are the leading cause of death from cancer in pediatric oncology. Dr. Blüml studies the metabolism of these tumors in vivo with the goals of better initial diagnoses and characterization, to predict outcomes, and to identify early predictors of the effectiveness of therapies. Newborn brain development: After birth there are monumental developmental changes of the brain whereby helpless infants transform into children and adults capable of the complex cognitive and behavioral processes necessary to function independently in modern society. Particularly critical is early brain development the time during which multiple neurocognitive disorders emerge. At the core, the marked behavioral changes between infancy and adolescence reflect structural maturational changes (e.g., axonal outgrowth, dendritic arborization, myelination, gliogenesis, angiogenesis) and functional maturational changes (e.g., Hebbian learning processes). Dr. Blüml and his collaborators use non-invasive imaging methods to study complex metabolic processes that accompany brain maturation with the goals to establish normal biochemical maturation of the human brain as well as to better characterize abnormal development at a microscopic level.