Graduate Research
Areas of Opportunity

Areas for graduate study include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Translational neuroscience. Developing new models of depression and anxiety based on brain imaging of large-scale neural circuits for emotional and cognitive functions. These models could also be applied to understanding other characteristics that overlap with depression and anxiety, such as substance use problems.
  • Computational models.  Developing new computational models for quantifying the human connectome using brain imaging measures: structural MRI, functional MRI, diffusion imaging and EEG.
  • Imaging genetics. Identifying how genetic variants relate to alterations in the large scale circuits implicated in depression and anxiety.  
  • Advanced imaging and next generation ‘omics. Adding precision to our understanding of large scale neural circuits using ultra high-field imaging and simultaneous MRI-PET scanning.  Advancing the integration of brain data with personal information on the microbiome.
  • Interventional and biomarker trials. There is the opportunity to incorporate interventional probes, or studies that are designed to predict treatment outcome. These designs will depend on the available mix of clinical experience/qualifications and clinician advisors.

Overall Approach

In each of these areas there would be encouragement to develop a “personalized neuroscience” approach in which the goal is to quantify homogenous subgroups of people and to understand personal variation relevant to both underlying mechanism and to clinical applicability.

Getting a "Jump Start" with Existing Data

There is the opportunity to access a large databank of existing data to answer immediate questions, and to then use these results to develop more tailored hypotheses.

The existing data include healthy, twin, first degree relative, depression, anxiety and psychosis samples. The measures include multiple types of brain imaging (structural/functional/diffusion imaging, EEG and accompanying autonomic measures), detailed clinical information, psychological measures, behavioral measures of performance on cognitive and emotional tasks and genotype data.

Publication Opportunities

As part of the graduate training experience, publication is absolutely encouraged. The lab has a strong record of graduate student publications.