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Shasha Li, M.D., Ph.D.

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Biography
Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, ChinaM.D.06/2001Clinical Medicine
Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, ChinaMSc.06/2004Integrative Medicine
Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, ChinaPh.D.06/2010Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
2010 - 2010
Outstanding Ph.D. Graduate Award
2012 - 2012
Outstanding Young Teacher Award
2012 - 2016
Outstanding Young Scientist Award
2017 - 2018
AHA: FDA Summer 2016 Postdoctoral Fellowship
2019 - 2024
K23: Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award

Overview
Shasha Li, M.D., Ph.D., joined the faculty at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) with the goal of improving the understanding of the physiological implications of altered neural networks in neurological diseases. She has made substantial contributions to the field of neurorehabilitation through the application of her specialized knowledge in neuromodulation (primarily transcranial magnetic stimulation, TMS, and transcranial direct current stimulation, tDCS) and cutting-edge neuroimaging. Specifically, her lab's research focuses on the development of novel insights into brain recovery, particularly in investigating brain recovery prediction among a broad clinical population of neurological diseases in correlation with the mechanism of the non-invasive brain stimulation (TMS and tDCS) combined with multi-modal MR techniques in individualized, precise therapeutic neuromodulation.

Mentoring
Available: 11/30/22, Expires: 06/30/24

The human brain has a remarkable capacity to extract meaning from acoustical signals and relate this sensory input to articulatory motor representations to produce speech. Over half a century ago, the motor theory of speech perception (MTSP) argued that production circuits are necessary for speech perception. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies of the primary motor cortex (M1) suggest that the excitability of muscles controlling the tongue increases during listening to speech and during viewing speech-related movements. However, several critical arguments exist against the experimental evidence that supports MTSP. In this project, we aim to pinpoint areas of articulatory motor pathways at high resolution using 7 T fMRI, which provides better sensitivity and signal-to-noise ratio than traditional MRI field strengths. MD or Ph.D. candidates passionate about brain science integrated with cutting-edge neuroimage and neuromodulation are welcome to participate. The minimal time commitment is three-month and can be 12 months or longer with hands-on training in ultra-high-field fMRI data collection, fMRI-guided navigation TMS operation, or if with solid programming skills, can remotely work on fantastic data analysis.


Research
The research activities and funding listed below are automatically derived from NIH ExPORTER and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing items. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
  1. (Shasha Li) Nov 1, 2023 - Oct 31, 2024
    ECOR Interim Support Funding
    Integration of MRI-Compatible 3D Virtual Reality with a Novel Model-Guided High-Definition tDCS
    Role Description: The project will leverage a novel, subject- personalized HD-tDCS (high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation) system that is supported by high- resolution 3T MRI guidance and computational models. This system will operate in conjunction with 3T MRI- compatible virtual reality (VR) display components to facilitate precise target localization and prolong the effects of HD-tDCS for auditory speech processing in healthy human subjects. The insight gained from this project will serve as the foundation for optimizing neuromodulation therapy to improve the quality of life for patients affected by a broad range of neurological disorders with language impairment.
    Role: Principal Investigator
  2. K23DC018022 (Shasha Li) Jul 1, 2019 - Jun 30, 2024
    NIH/NIDCD
    Role of Articulatory Motor Areas in Central Processing of Speech Sounds in Human Brain
    Role Description: The overall goal of this K23 award will develop a precise brain biomarker specific to auditory speech processing in healthy human subjects using a combination of advanced neuroimaging and noninvasive brain stimulation techniques. The knowledge gained from this project will serve as the basis for optimizing neuromodulation therapy and neurorehabilitation that will improve the quality of life for patients affected by a broad range of auditory communication disorders.
    Role: Principal Investigator
  3. 17POST32530004 (Shasha Li) Jan 1, 2017 - Dec 31, 2018
    American Heart Association
    Localizing Central Swallowing Functions by Combining Noninvasive Brain Stimulation with Neuroimaging
    Role Description: The aim of this study is to investigate how the brain controls the swallowing function in healthy volunteers by using noninvasive functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS). The results of this study could provide us with more information about how the brain processes swallowing, and thus allow for the development of more effective treatments for patients with swallowing dysfunctions.
    Role: Principal Investigator

Bibliographic
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Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.