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.
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.
The Multifaceted Explorations of the Neurobiology of Depressive Disorders (MEND2) laboratory uses biopsychosocial tools, including neuroimaging, performance, self- and other-report, and blood and saliva assays in mood disorders. We use these tools to identify biomarkers inform precision medicine, including diagnosis, risk, treatment selection, treatment effectiveness, and course modification.
We aim to understand the neurobiological causes of depression and related diseases, to discern the mechanisms of effective antidepressant interventions, and to develop novel therapies for treatment-resistant depression.
At the Neuroscience of Emotion Regulation and Dysregulation (NERD) laboratory, we investigate the brain-behavior relationship of emotion regulation to identify and develop novel intervention targets and effective neurotherapies. We use behavioral, physiological, and neuroimaging measures as well as non-invasive brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
Occupational Trauma Program
The OTP specializes in assessment and therapeutic care for individuals exposed to traumatic events. The OTP was founded as a service for individuals who experience trauma as an occupational hazard (firefighters, law enforcement, first responders, NICU nurses, ER physicians, oncology).
Psychiatric Genomics Lab
The Psychiatric Genomics Laboratory (PG Lab) is a data science workshop focused on enhancing the prediction and prevention of multiple psychiatric disorders. We examine genetic and environmental contributions to psychiatric illness, and study the interplay of psychiatric and medical conditions.
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.
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.