- Autism Research
Our research is critical to understanding the causes of autism and, ultimately, to developing successful treatments for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). By studying genetics, biomarkers, epidemiology, and brain imaging we are learning more about what is happening biologically in children and adults who have autism.
- Diagnostic Neuroimaging
Our research team proposes to treat mood disorders and depression in Utah with nutritional supplements to increase good energy levels in the brain. We use brain scans to look at brain chemistry to give researchers a better understanding of mood disorders.
- MACA Lab
At the Mood and Cognition in Aging (MACA) Lab, our research attempts to comprehend the experiences of those suffering from memory and mood changes later in life as well as that of the support person using multiple kinds of measurement (self-report, cognitive testing, neuroimaging). Results from our studies will lead to more accurate assessments, the specification of subtypes in these complex illnesses, and better targeting of preventive and treatment strategies. Further, we hope to facilitate preventive efforts and treatment strategies of caregiver burnout among support persons.
- SMILe Lab
At the Social Motivation and Imaging Laboratory (SMILe), we use advanced imaging technologies like functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the reward system and determine how factors like genetics, personality, the social environment, and disease can influence how the brain processes rewards.
- Suicide Genetics
Studying the genetics of suicide is a daunting task. As opposed to genetically simple illnesses, such as Huntington’s disease, suicide is very heterogeneous. Most individuals who commit suicide struggle with mental illness. However, most individuals with mental illness do not commit suicide, which suggests that additional specific risk factors, some of which may be genetic, probably exist.