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overview The brain has long remained enigmatic because it has been difficult to study direct cause-effect relationships in such a complex dynamic system. At the microscopic level, the neuroscience community has made major strides with optogenetics, which allows us to study the direct effects of stimulating specific nerves in a living organism. At the large scale, we are just starting to learn how to study causality in brain systems by pairing functional imaging with targeted neuromodulation. This allows us to study the direct effects of stimulating specific brain regions. My research is focused on developing better methods for individualizing these neuromodulatory treatments based on functional MRI (fMRI) and clinical phenomenology. During residency, I was involved in several projects to investigate predictors of response to brain stimulation based on both clinical factors and computational analysis of brain imaging data. This culminated in a randomized-controlled trial of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) targeted with individualized brain network mapping for depression associated with traumatic brain injury, which is now being scaled up into multiple larger trials in the military system. Since arriving in Boston, I have been working with Dr. Michael Fox to develop better computational methods for using brain stimulation to explain human behavior. We are working on developing better understandings of human emotional networks via novel approaches to looking at data acquired from functional MRI, TMS, deep brain stimulation, and brain lesions. We hope that this will help us discover new ways to individualize brain stimulation treatments based on patient-specific symptoms and imaging findings.
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  • neuromodulation
Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.