Current Grantees

Behaviorally-guided DBS may treat psychiatric conditions involving impaired decision-making

by Emad N. Eskandar, M.D.

This neurosurgical research team will explore, at the neuronal level, how two brain networks normally drive the balance between safe and risky decision-making behaviors, and use the findings to design deep brain stimulation (DBS) strategies for modif...
Read more >

Neuroimaging of cognitive dysfunction due to soccer heading-related brain injury

by Michael L. Lipton, M.D., Ph.D.

Investigators will use diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), cognitive testing and gene studies to determine levels of sub-concussive head injury from soccer “heading” that increase the risk for adverse brain and cognitive functioning, and identify factors...
Read more >

Molecularly-targeted theranostic probes for EGFRmt+ brain tumors

by Michelle Bradbury, M.D., Ph.D.

Researchers will undertake studies in cancer patients and animal models to determine whether a PET imaging agent effectively carries and delivers a drug treatment for fighting metastatic cancers in the brain. The two most common metastatic cancers i...
Read more >

Impact of white matter injury on neural network development in premature infants

by Christopher Smyser, M.D.

Investigators will determine whether a new type of imaging, Functional Connectivity MRI, can effectively identify pre-term infants with injuries to the brain’s white matter (communication cables) that place them at greatest risk of developing cerebra...
Read more >

Cytoskeletal requirements for lymphocyte entry into the central nervous system

by Jordan Jacobelli, Ph.D

 Investigators will use real-time fluorescent multi-photon microscopy imaging in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis to define the routes that autoimmune T cells use to enter the brain and spinal cord and attack the myelin sheaths that insulate nerve...
Read more >

Functional imaging of the interaction between interferon-alpha and serotonin in the brain

by Francis E. Lotrich, M.D., Ph.D.

Investigators will use BOLD fMRI and “arterial spin labeling” to explore how neural transmission of serotonin is altered in people who develop major depressive disorder in the presence of inflammation, and to identify factors that may determine pre-e...
Read more >

Neural correlates of ECT response and relapse in major depressive disorder

by Chris Abbott, M.D., M.S.

This study will employ resting state fMRI to determine how electroconvulsive therapy exerts a therapeutic effect in patients with major depressive disorder, and to identify biomarkers that predict which patients are likely to relapse following ECT tr...
Read more >

Aphasia patients’ responses to brain stimulation may predict their extent of language recovery - Phase II

by Roy Hamilton, M.D.

This Phase II study will investigate whether responses by aphasia patients to a form of non-invasive brain stimulation, called transcranial magnetic stimulation, predict their capacity for brain plasticity and recovery of language and motor function....
Read more >

Aphasia patients' responses to brain stimulation may predict their extent of language recovery - Phase I

by Roy Hamilton, M.D.

Researchers will undertake Phase I of a planned two-phase study to determine whether responses by aphasic stroke patients to a form of non-invasive brain stimulation, called transcranial magnetic stimulation, predict their capacity for brain plastici...
Read more >

Chronic Imaging of Striatal Subcircuits During the Progression of Parkinsonism

by Xin Jin, Ph.D.

This cellular imaging study in the Parkinson’s disease animal model will explore which of two hypothesized neural signaling problems is responsible for loss of voluntary motor control. People with Parkinson’s disease (PD) develop a characteristic gai...
Read more >

Radiographic Biomarkers and Functional Outcomes of Vision in Optic Pathway Gliomas

by Peter de Blank, M.D., MSCE

         This first phase of a planned two-phase study will determine whether it is feasible to use two imaging techniques in very young children with optic glioma. If feasible, the investigators propose a second phase to determine if the combined i...
Read more >

Neural Reorganization as a Consequence of Age-Related Sensory Decline

by Jonathan Peelle, Ph.D.

This study will investigate how common age-related hearing loss changes brain structure and function, and what consequences these neurobiological effects have on understanding and remembering speech. Behind only arthritis and hypertension, hearing l...
Read more >

Improving the Early Detection of Schizophrenia and Outcomes with a Novel Method of Precisely Measuring Substansia Nigra Activity

by Jong Yoon, M.D.

This study will examine whether high dopamine levels, as measured by high resolution fMRI, correlates with the onset of psychosis in schizophrenia and can serve as a diagnostic and therapeutic biomarker. The prognosis for schizophrenia is poor. No...
Read more >

Novel Strategies to Enhance MRI Detection of Ultra-Small Brain Lesions in Vascular Dementia

by Andy Shih, Ph.D.

Through studies in mice, researchers will seek to improve MRI detection of tiny blockages in the brain’s small blood vessels that can lead to vascular dementia. Their findings may help clinicians identify at-risk patients and implement early preventi...
Read more >

The neurobiological mechanisms of complicated grief

by Mary-Frances O'Connor, Ph.D.

 Researchers will use fMRI imaging and other measures in 40 adults whose spouses have recently passed away to determine whether an oxytocin nose spray reverses signs of complicated (intense) grief and therefore might lead to an effective treatmen...
Read more >

Inhibitory and network dysfunction in primary focal dystonia

by Brian Berman, M.D., M.S.

 Researchers will combine PET and fMRI imaging in patients with cervical dystonia to see if deficits in the neurotransmitter GABA alter the brain’s sensorimotor circuit to produce the disorder’s characteristic involuntary muscle contractions that ...
Read more >

Frontal-occipital interactions during visual memory

by Scott Slotnick, Ph.D.

 Imaging techniques in patients and healthy volunteers may identify a biomarker for diagnosing and assessing treatments for frontal lobe diseases and injuries that produce visual memory problems, such as Alzheimer’s and other dementing diseases, ...
Read more >

Using MRS imaging of a biomarker to assess brain tumor treatments and prognoses

by Robert J. Young, M.D. and Ingo K Mellinghoff, M.D.

Investigators will advance a new MR spectroscopy (MRS) imaging technique in patients to provide fast and reliable indicators of deadly brain tumor progression and response to experimental treatments.Brain tumors may be malignant or benign. Malign...
Read more >

Epigenetic Restructuring of Human DNA following early-life stress

by Nim Tottenham, Ph.D.

 Investigators will correlate MRI brain imaging with studies of stress-related gene alterations and anxiety behaviors to explore how early life stress may influence brain development and then mental health years later.Prior animal and human studie...
Read more >

Modulating the glutamate/glumathione system in schizophrenia: an MRS-based study

by Ragy Girgis, M.D.

 This research is designed to determine whether MRS imaging (Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy) can assess the effects of experimental therapies in increasing glutamate levels to treat schizophrenia.  Currently schizophrenia is treated with antipsy...
Read more >

Sphingosine-1-phosphate signaling in the inflamed brain

by Susan Schwab, Ph.D.

 Investigators anticipate that cellular imaging techniques in a multiple sclerosis mouse model will enable them to identify the signaling that drives immune cell infiltration and inflammation in autoimmune multiple sclerosis (MS) and assess whethe...
Read more >

Mapping ATP in microglial activation in vivo using genetically encoded reporters for MRI

by Mikhail Shapiro, Ph.D.

 The ultimate goal of this planned two-phase study is to use a novel MRI imaging agent to show, in living laboratory mice, how brain inflammation occurs and damages cells following brain injury. Phase I will establish the imaging approach’s feasib...
Read more >

Development and validation of a prognostic neuroimaging biomarker for depression

by Conor Liston, M.D., Ph.D.

 Researchers will use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) techniques in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) to try to identify atypical connectivity patterns in the brain that are biomarkers for diagnosing MDD and for predicting...
Read more >

Remote activation of the ventral midbrain by transcranial direct current stimulation of prefrontal cortex: amelioration of impaired learning in schizophrenia

by Vikram Chib, Ph.D.

 Researchers will undertake Phase I of a planned two-phase study to ultimately determine whether a non-invasive brain stimulation technique helps schizophrenia patients learn from positive rewards and reduce the “negative” symptoms that character...
Read more >

Analysis of preclinical anxiety due to dysbiosis of gut bacteria

by Sarkis K. Mazmanian, Ph.D.

 The long vagal nerve transmits signals between the brain and the gut. The evolutionally ancient gut microbial systemis made up of 100 trillion bacterial cellscomprised of more than 1,000 species that live in symbiosis with thehuman and non-huma...
Read more >

MRI Imaging may identify a biomarker for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease

by Anthony Wagner, Ph.D.

 Investigators will use high-powered MRI imaging in older adults to see whether thinning of a tiny ribbon of tissue in the brain’s hippocampus is a biomarker for pre-symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and can be used for screening and early dete...
Read more >