Last week, our graduate student Marc Rudolph successfully defended his dissertation! Marc’s dissertation combined machine learning and network science to identify factors that could distinguish otherwise healthy aging individuals from those with or at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. His work also aimed to identify individuals who may be at a greater risk of converting to Alzheimer’s disease using demographic information and baseline assessments of cognition and functional brain network organization. Congratulations, Marc! We’re excited to see what your future holds.
Our graduate student Mac Woodburn received the Earl and Barbara Baughman Dissertation Research Award! This award is given to two of the top graduate students in the Psychology and Neuroscience department to support their dissertation research. Congratulations Mac!
For more information on departmental awards, see the Psychology and Neuroscience website: https://psychology.unc.edu/departmental-awards/
Our undergraduate research assistant Erika successfully defended her honors thesis over Zoom at the beginning of this month! The title of her thesis was “Connectivity between emotion regulation brain regions in children with ADHD.” We are proud of her and excited to see what she does after graduating!
Our former postdoctoral fellow Nicholas Fogleman has started as an Assistant Professor in the UNC Department of Psychiatry! As part of this new role, he is now director of the UNC ADHD program. We can’t wait to see what Dr. Fogleman does in his new position, and we’re thrilled that he will continue to work with us on the BrainMAP study!
Dr. Cohen and her collaborators, Drs. Shankar Bhamidi, Eran Dayan, and Keely Muscatell, were recently awarded a UNC Computational Medicine Program Pilot Award to study neural and cognitive changes that occur in breast cancer patients after treatment with chemotherapy. This research aims to understand the brain network mechanisms underlying cognitive changes after treatment and to improve how these changes are assessed and identified.
You can see the websites for Dr. Cohen’s collaborators below:
First time back at the neuroimaging center after a long hiatus! As we are preparing to resume testing for our BrainMAP study again, who better to receive a practice MRI scan than our team leader – Dr. Jessica Cohen. We are excited to work with our wonderful participants and their families again soon!
Arianna Cascone wins Best Graduate Student Poster at the annual Triangle Society for Neuroscience meeting for her work assessing functional network organization in individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD). PD is characterized by a range of motor and non-motor symptoms, including cognitive decline.Using resting-state fMRI data collected from individuals with PD with and without cognitive decline, we examined whether topological brain-network resilience contributes to protection against cognitive decline in PD. Relative to individuals with PD experiencing cognitive decline, the frontoparietal network in cognitively stable individuals with PD is significantly more resilient to network perturbation. The topological robustness of the frontoparietal network may contribute to protection against cognitive decline in individuals with PD.
Erika has been an RA in the Cohen Lab for two years. She is a junior majoring in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience. This fall she began an independent research project investigation emotion dysregulation in adolescents. Specifically, she is investigating the relationship between emotion dysregulation and aggression and how executive function deficits may modulate this relationship. After graduating, she hopes to go on and get a PhD in either clinical or cognitive psychology. In her free time, she enjoys playing piano, doing photography, spending time with friends, and exploring new places.