Iowa Neuroimaging Consortium

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    People

    Nancy Andreasen, MD, PhD Schizophrenia, Neuroimaging, Genetics/Genomics, Phenomics, Longitudinal Studies, Creativity, Cognitive/Affective Neuroscience
    Jess Fiedorowicz, MD Bipolar & Anxiety Disorder, Suicide
    Beng Choon Ho, MD Schizophrenia, Neuroimaging, Family Studies, Cannabis
    Hans Johnson, PhD Imaging Analysis, Supercomputing
    Vince Magnotta, PhD MRI, Diffusion Tensor/Chemical Shift Imaging
    David Moser, PhD Disorders of Aging, Stroke
    Peggy Nopoulos, MD Huntington's Disease, Child Psychiatry
    Daniel O'Leary, PhD Developmental Psychology, Schizophrenia, Image Analysis, Drug Abuse
    Jane Paulsen, PhD Huntington's Disease, Genetic Disorders
    Robert Robinson, MD Geriatric, Eating, and Mood Disorders
    Susan Schultz, MD Disorders of Aging, Stroke, Neuropsychological Testing, Intellectual Disabilities
    Jatin Vaidya, PhD Neurobiology, Reward and Behavioral Regulation, Adolescent Drug Use
    Thomas Wassink, MD Behavioral genetics, panic disorder, schizophrenia
    John Wemmie, MD, PhD Brain pH, neural plasticity, bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression
    Postdoctoral Fellows  

    Director

    Nancy Andreasen, MD, PhD

    Nancy C. Andreasen, MD, PhD

    Nancy C. Andreasen is the Andrew H. Woods Chair of Psychiatry and the Director of the Iowa Neuroimaging Consortium. Her neuroimaging research currently emphasizes the use of structural Magnetic Resonance (sMR) and functional Magnetic Resonance (fMR) Imaging, including Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI). She is currently conducting a longitudinal study of schizophrenia that uses data fusion techniques to integrate these three MR imaging modalities and that examines both first episode patients and patients who have been ill for more than five years, with the goal of examining the role of neurodevelopmental processes. Blood samples are also collected on these subjects so that genetics data can also be integrated into these analyses as well. In addition to examining the Default Mode Network using REST, she is also conducting fMR studies of brain reward circuitry in order to (indirectly) examine the role of the dopamine system in psychosis. She has conducted the largest and longest-running longitudinal study of first episode schizophrenia and uses this sample to investigate the role of environmental factors and genetic factors in the development of brain abnormalities in schizophrenia; this sample is also used for translational studies of medication effects, relapse, and remission across the lifespan. She is also using neuroimaging techniques in a study of highly creative individuals drawn from both the arts and the sciences. Her work developing standard definitions of positive and negative symptoms has been designated as citation classics by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). She is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science and was elected to serve on its governing council for two four year terms. She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Society for Neuroscience. She served on both the DSM III and the DSM IV Task Forces and was the Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Psychiatry for 13 years. She has published over 600 articles and authored or edited 18 books. She has received many awards for her work, including the President’s National Medal of Science.

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    Research Team

    Jess Fiedorowicz

     Jess Fiedorowicz, MD, PhD

    Dr. Jess G. Fiedorowicz is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Epidemiology, and Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa. He graduated summa cum laude from Marquette University and with Honors in Research from the Medical College of Wisconsin. He completed a medicine (transitional year) internship at St. Luke's Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin followed by a psychiatry residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he additionally served as a chief resident. He then enrolled in the T32 fellowship in the Clinical Neurobiology of the Major Psychoses at the University of Iowa and concurrently completed an M.S. in Clinical Investigation. He also has a Ph.D. in Translational Biomedicine and a Graduate Certificate in Biostatistics from the University of Iowa. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology.

    His research focuses on the primary causes of excess mortality in bipolar disorder: cardiovascular disease and suicide. He collaborates with imaging projects of other investigators involving mood and anxiety. His clinical work focuses on combined medication management and psychotherapy for those with mood/anxiety disorders. At the University of Iowa, Dr. Fiedorowicz additionally serves as associate psychiatry clerkship director and director of psychiatry electives.

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    Beng Choon Ho

    Beng Choon Ho, MD

    Beng Choon Ho’s research activities focus on studying schizophrenia pathophysiology and on elucidating neurobiological mechanisms that underlie the etiologic factors, disease susceptibility, phenotypic features and long-term course of schizophrenia. The research strategy in his work combines multidisciplinary investigative methods so as to maximize scientific discovery regarding the complex syndrome of schizophrenia. The overarching hypothesis unifying his research posits that genetic variations and environmental factors disrupt the regulation of neural cell signaling and neuroplasticity during sensitive time periods of embryonic and adolescent brain maturation leading to the diverse manifestations of schizophrenia. Ongoing projects include: 1) understanding brain maturation, neural network connectivity and cannabis exposure in adolescent biological relatives of schizophrenia patients using MR neuroimaging (rs-fMRI, DTI); 2) predictors of long-term clinical course and outcome in schizophrenia probands. The long-term goal of his research is to develop and implement evidence-based preventive programs so as to reduce morbidity associated with schizophrenia through early identification and personalized treatment.

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    Hans Johnson

    Hans Johnson, PhD

    Hans Johnson has received formal training in biomedical, electrical and computer engineering, which provides a solid foundation for his academic research objective of accelerating brain research through development of automated software processes. Johnson is the lead developer on 14 projects hosted by the Neuroinformatics Tools and Resources Clearing House. He is also the 13th most prolific contributor to the Insight Toolkit package and the president of the Insight Software Consortium. Johnson has been significantly involved in several imaging and informatics projects that focused on developing the tools necessary to monitor and manage large-scale, multi-site projects. In particular, he is the core leader for informatics of a 32-site, longitudinal study called PREDICT-HD that is funded by the National Institutes of Health. See the SINAPSE web site.

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    David Moser

    David Moser, PhD

    David Moser's primary research interest involves finding better ways to identify those individuals at greatest risk for vascular cognitive decline and, ultimately, finding ways to prevent or at least attenuate this process. A secondary line of research involves the assessment of decisional capacity for informed consent in various vulnerable populations, determining what factors (e.g. cognitive dysfunction, mental illness) are most likely to impair this capacity, and finding new ways to improve this capacity in those who are unable to make informed decisions on their own behalf.

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    Peggy Nopoulos

    Peggy Nopoulos, MD

    The Nopoulos lab studies the structure and function of the brain using imaging tools such as MRI and cognitive / behavioral assessment. In the healthy brain we study topics such as brain development over the lifespan, gender differences and social cognition. Disease populations that we work with include patients with schizophrenia, Huntington's Disease, and children with clefts of the lip/palate.

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    Daniel O'Leary

    Daniel O'Leary, PhD

    Daniel O’Leary is a cognitive neuroscientist who has a long history of researching relationships between brain development and cognitive functions, both in normal children and adolescents and in children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia. He is currently using brain imaging techniques along with behavioral assessments to better understand why 13 to 18-year-old children of alcoholics have a much greater than normal risk of developing alcohol problems. He is also using brain imaging techniques to investigate the reasons why schizophrenic individuals use marijuana more frequently than non-schizophrenics. See the Cognitive Brain Development Laboratory web site.

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    Jane Paulsen

    Jane Paulsen, PhD

    Jane Paulsen studies the neural basis of cognition; preclinical deficits in dementia gene carriers; frontal subcortical deficits, particularly Huntington's disease Research in this laboratory uses tools of neuropsychology and cognitive psychology to examine behavioral correlates of brain dysfunction. Topics of current interest include subtypes of Alzheimer's disease, preclinical cognitive deficits associated with gene-carriers of Huntington's disease and clinical/imaging correlates of cognitive measures. Functional MR and PET are used to examine frontal-striatal circuitry dysfunction in these disorders. See the Huntington's Disease Society of America Center of Excellence web site.

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    Vincent Magnotta, PhD

    Vincent Magnotta, PhD

    Vincent Magnotta, PhD, is Associate Professor of Radiology and Co-director of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Research Facility. He is interested in the development of novel imaging approaches and analysis strategies to better understand psychiatric and neurological brain disorders. His work in image acquisition frocuses on diffusion tensor imaging and chemical shift imaging. Magnotta is also working on methods to automate the analysis of brain morphology and incorporating these tools into diffusion tensor and chemical shift imaging. See the MR Research Facility web site.

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    Robert Robinson, MD

    Robert Robinson, MD

    Robert Robinson, PhD, is Professor of Psychiatry specializing in Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology. He is one of University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Best Doctors in America for 2013 as reported by US News & World Report.

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    Susan Schultz

    Susan Schultz, MD

    Susan K. Schultz is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. She has conducted research on the treatment of dementia and psychiatric disturbances in late life, as well as brain imaging in persons with memory changes. She has board qualifications in Geriatric Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Her present research involves studying the brain changes seen in cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease through MRI and PET brain imaging and other biological markers. She has conducted experimental treatment studies for Alzheimer’s disease through collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study, a national study exploring new ways to diagnose and treat dementia. She is presently leading the Iowa site for the worldwide Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative.

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    Jatin Vaidya

    Jatin Vaidya, PhD

    Jatin Vaidya's research focuses on neurobiological processes that relate to developmental changes in emotional and motivational functioning. Vaidya is currently involved in a number of projects specifically focused on adolescent development that aim to: a) better characterize which emotional and motivational traits show the greatest degree of change during this time period, and b) how changes in the brain’s reward and behavioral regulation system impact high risk behavior and drug use in adolescence. See the Cognitive Brain Development Laboratory web site.

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    Thomas Wassink

    Thomas Wassink, MD

    The goal of research in the Wassink Laboratory is to identify genes that underlie susceptibility to a variety of psychiatric disorders, with our primary focus being autism. We use a variety of approaches in this endeavor, including positional cloning, sophisticated cytogenetic analyses, various microarray platforms, and candidate disease gene screening. We perform these studies in DNA obtained from numerous independent samples of families with multiple autistic individuals. We are also equipped to assess the function and expression of identified disease genes using an array of molecular and animal model techniques. We are also actively investigating the genetics of panic disorder and schizophrenia. The panic disorder work uses traditional positional cloning methods and a sample of moderate to large panic disorder pedigrees. The schizophrenia genetics research is performed in association with the Department of Psychiatry's Mental Health Clinical Research Center. We collect DNA from individuals with schizophrenia, their families, and psychiatrically normal control subjects. All of these individuals participate in protocols that gather data from a wide variety of research domains, including functional and structural brain imaging, cognitive testing, disease phenomenology, longitudinal progression of disease, etc. The goal with the schizophrenia sample, therefore, is to investigate relationships between genetic information and these other types of data. Extensive additional resources and expertise are available to us here at Iowa through our collaborations with the Center for Statistical Genetics, the UIHC Cytogenetics laboratory, and the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. See the Thomas Wassink Laboratory web site.

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    John Wemmie, MD, PhD

    John Wemmie, MD, PhD

    John Wemmie, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa, is interested in the role of brain pH and acid-sensing ion channels in brain function and behavior. This work has led to the discovery of critical roles for brain pH in synaptic plasticity, anxiety, and depression-related behaviors in mice. Current projects include investigating the synaptic mechanisms for acid-sensing ion channel action and also translating these discoveries to human behavior and brain function. For example, his laboratory is using non-invasive pH-sensitive magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the roles of brain pH in psychiatric illnesses such as panic disorder and bipolar affective disorder. See the John Wemmie Laboratory web site.

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    Postdoctoral Fellows

    Kelly Rowe, Neurosurgery

    Kanchna Rmachandran, Neuroeconomics

    Eric Asp, Neurophilosophy

    Amanda Stumpf

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