I am thrilled to join the Physician Scientist Training Program (PSTP) as a PGY3!
My past research experiences have focused on human systems neuroscience, primarily using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data to study the development of regional brain function and brain networks in psychiatric illness.
I grew up in the Boston area and attended Pomona College in California, where I studied neuroscience. In college, I conducted research on the effects of chronic stress and antidepressant treatment on hippocampal plasticity, using electrophysiological techniques in a rodent model of depression. Following college, my interests moved from cellular to systems-level neuroscience. I was fortunate to work as a postbaccalaureate (IRTA) trainee at the NIMH, where I was exposed to a variety of methods, including genetics, family, longitudinal, and neuroimaging studies, aimed at improving the nosology of mood dysregulation in pediatric patients. The ability to visualize the living brain via neuroimaging particularly struck me, alongside the hope that developmental endophenotypes of brain function might serve to refine psychiatric nosology. Following an interest in developmental neuroscience and neuroimaging, I completed a MSc in cognitive neuroscience at University College London in the UK. There, I worked with fMRI data to model developmental changes in brain connectivity during an executive function task in adolescents.
In medical school, my interests evolved into studying dynamic changes in functional brain network structure over the course of development and across disease trajectories. I took a "5th year” to conduct research in Germany at the Central Institute of Mental Health, where I used a mathematical framework (multilayer community detection) to examine how the structure of whole brain networks change during development in people with autism spectrum disorder; I also examined how a social brain network interacted with other canonical brain networks during development.
In residency, I am excited to continue an interest in functional brain connectomics, working with Justin Baker to investigate how individual specific changes in brain connectivity correlate with symptoms across the longitudinal course of people with psychotic illnesses. I am very grateful for the opportunity to develop my research interests alongside the clinical work of residency and to see how both inform each other. I am looking forward to the year!