The Psychiatry Science Forum sponsors speakers from inside and outside the University of Utah. These talks are held on a monthly interval, and are hosted by the postdoctoral fellows in the Department of Psychiatry. The Forum involves formal, yet shorter, scientific talks presented in an informal context to catalyze in-depth discussion between all participants.

Upcoming Events


Past Events

@ 1:00pm

Principal Directions of Mediation

Martin Lindquist, PhD, Professor, Department of Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins University

Description: Mediation analysis is an important tool in the behavioral sciences for investigating the role of intermediate variables that lie in the path between a randomized treatment/exposure and an outcome variable. While there has been significant research on the topic in recent years, little work has been done on mediation analysis when the intermediate variable (mediator) is a high-dimensional vector. Here we introduce a novel approach towards mediation analysis in this setting called the principal directions of mediation (PDMs). We demonstrate the method using an fMRI study of thermal pain where we are interested in determining which brain locations mediate the relationship between the application of a thermal stimulus and self-reported pain.

Dr. Martin is a leader in the field of biostatistics and neuroimaging. You can follow him on Twitter @fMRIstats.

As a reminder, our Forum talks are rather informal to encourage much discussion between the speaker and the attendees, and questions are highly encouraged during the talk. Light refreshments will be served.

LOCATION: Seminar, 2nd Floor, 383 Colorow, Salt Lake City, UT 84108

@ 12:00pm

Pathogenesis and Psychopathology

Monica Waszczuk, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Stony Brook University

Description: Dr. Waszczuk focuses on understanding the pathogenesis and course of psychopathology, combining genetically informative, longitudinal and experimental designs.

You can find out more about her work by attending her talk and visiting:

As a reminder, our Forum talks are rather informal to encourage much discussion between the speaker and the attendees, and questions are highly encouraged during the talk. Light refreshments will be served.

LOCATION: Seminar Room, 2nd Floor, 383 Colorow Drive

@ 1:00pm

The Dirt on Air Pollution and Mental Health

Dr. Amanda Bakian, Assistant Professor, Psychiatry, University of Utah

Description: Growing research suggests a link between poor air quality and risk of adverse mental health outcomes including suicide. In this presentation, we will discuss the research associating air pollution with negative mental health outcomes with a focus on Utah-based investigations. We will also discuss common study designs used in air pollution/mental health research, data requirements and limitations, and the major questions still to be addressed.

LOCATION: Colorow Builidng, 2nd Floor Conference Room (383 Colorow Drive)

@ 1:00pm

AQ&U: Empowering Citizens Through Science

Dr. Miriah Meyer, Associate Professor, School of Computing, University of Utah

Description: TMS for depression is approved by the Food & Drug Administration in the United States, and is being evaluated for the treatment of other disorders. The technology used to administer TMS has changed little since its inception about 30 years ago. In this talk we will discuss the potential impact of new technology such as controllable TMS (cTMS) on cortical targeting for new indications.

Lineage: Visualizing Clinical Data in Utah Population Database Genealogies

Dr. Alexander Lex, Associate Professor, School of Computing, University of Utah

Description: The majority of diseases that are a significant challenge for public and individual heath are caused by a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. The Utah Population Database is a unique resource to study these multifactorial diseases. Incorporating familial relationships between cases with other data can provide insights into shared genomic variants and shared environmental exposures that may be implicated in such diseases. The analysis of this data, however, is challenging. In this talk, we will introduce Lineage, a novel visual analysis tool designed to support domain experts who study psychiatric multifactorial diseases with UPDB data.

@ 2:00pm

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for treatment of depression and other disorders: what can we expect from new technology?

Dr. Christopher Butson, Director of Neuromodulation Research, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Neurology & Neurosurgery, University of Utah

Description: Low-cost commodity sensors are changing how cities and citizens measure and manage air quality. Through a suite of projects at the U we are building infrastructure that will enable real-time, fine-grained estimates of air quality both inside and outside of homes across Salt Lake City. In this presentation we’ll talk about the science of air quality, the computational challenges of developing rigorous air quality estimates, and our efforts to engage with citizens across the city.



Psychiatry Postdoctoral Fellows
Colorow Building
2nd Floor Conference Room
383 Colorow Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84108

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