NIACAL Bios

Director:

Lei Wang, PhD
No Picture

Phone: 312-503-3983
Email:

Address:
Abbott Hall, Suite 1322
710 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611

Education:
B.S. Electrical Engineering with Honors: University of Maryland at College Park, 1990
M.S. Engineering Sciences: Harvard University, 1992
Ph.D. Engineering Sciences: Harvard University, 1995
Curriculum Vitae

Interests:
My research focuses on developing neuroimaging markers for neuropsychiatric diseases including schizophrenia and Alzheimer disease and related dementias. I apply tools of mathematics, engineering and computer science to the analysis of in vivo and ex vivo structural and functional MRI neuroimaging datasets. Recently, I've explored the use of nanotechnology for imaging neuronal activity using in vivo animal imaging. I also enjoy running, cycling, and hiking with my wife and daughters.

News:

  • Veronika Hanko, a second-year medical student, was quoted in a Feinberg article.:

    At a poster session on November 21, second-year medical students shared the results of their research projects for the Area of Scholarly Concentration, a four-year longitudinal project that culminates with a thesis at the end of their fourth year. Projects spanned departments: from the basic sciences to clinical investigation, including translational medicine, medical humanities and more.

    Veronika presented a poster on examining the hippocampus of post-mortem patients to identify subtle changes in brain shapes.

  • Sep 2014, Dr. Wang presented SchizConnect at NIMH:

    SchizConnect: Large-Scale Schizophrenia Neuroimaging Data Integration and Sharing
    Lei Wang, Jose Luis Ambite, Jessica Turner, Steven Potkin NIMH (NIMH, Bethesda, MA -- Sep 2014)

  • Suhong Jin was selected as a finalist for the Northwestern Fletcher Prize for Summer Undergraduate Research: Suhong Jin, a NU undergraduate majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Chemistry at the McCormick School of Engineering, was selected as a finalist for the Fletcher URG Prize, an award for the most outstanding Summer URG projects. Suhong received the URG, which funded the top students across the University, to carry out his project, "Early Diagnostics of Alzheimer’s Disease Using MRI Analysis Techniques," in the summer of 2014 with Dr. Wang.
  • New publications to appear in November 2014:

    The following papers will appear in the Neurobiology of Aging November 2014 Special Issue on Novel Imaging Biomarkers for Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders, guest editors: Lei Wang, Paul Yushkevich, Sebastien Ourselin:
    Khan AR, Beg MF, Wang L. Unified Voxel and Tensor-based Morphometry (UVTBM) using Registration Confidence. Neurobiology of Aging. 2014.
    Ming J, Harms MP, Morris JC, Beg MF, Wang L. Integrated Cortical Structural Marker for Alzheimer's Disease. Neurobiology of Aging. 2014.
    Raamana PR, Weiner MW, Wang L, Beg MF. Thickness Network (ThickNet) Features for Prognostic Applications in Dementia. Neurobiology of Aging. 2014.
    Wang, L., Yushkevich, P., & Ourselin, S. (2014). Guest Editorial. Neurobiology of Aging. doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2014.09.021

  • NUIT eCommunicator Summer 2014 "Northwestern Supports Researchers in Search of Big Data Solutions": NIACAL software developer, Kate Alpert, describes the challenges of working with big data and her experience at the Virtual School of Computational Science and Engineering (VSCSE) Data Intensive Summer School hosted by the University of Chicago Research Computing Center, in partnership with Northwestern University.
  • Northwestern University Undergraduate Research Grant Awarded: Suhong Jin, a sophomore majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Chemistry at the McCormick School of Engineering, is awarded a Northwestern University Summer Undergraduate Research Grant, for his project "Early Diagnostics of Alzheimer’s Disease Using MRI Analysis Techniques." Suhong will carry out this project in the summer of 2014 with Dr. Wang.
  • New publication: Williams, K.A., Mehta, N.S., Redei, E.E., Wang, L., Procissi, D., Aberrant resting-state functional connectivity in a genetic rat model of depression. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging 2014
  • Invited presentation at Mathematical Biosciences Institute, The Ohio State University: "Multimodal Neuroimaging Biomarkers for Neuropsychiatric Disorders," Workshop 3: Integrating Modalities and Scales in Life Science Imaging.
  • NUIT eCommunicator Fall 2013: Getting a Mental Image: Harnessing the Power of Quest to Diagnose Brain Diseases.
  • New publication: Alton C. Williams, Marie E. McNeely, Deanna J. Greene, Jessica A. Church , Stacie L. Warren , Johanna M. Hartlein, Bradley L. Schlaggar , Kevin J. Black, Lei Wang, A pilot study of basal ganglia and thalamus structure by high dimensional mapping in children with Tourette syndrome [v1; ref status: awaiting peer review, http://f1000r.es/1yu] , F1000Research 2013; 2:207 (doi: 10.12688/f1000research.2-207.v1)
  • New publication: Wang, Lei, Alexander Kogan, Derin Cobia, Kathryn Alpert, Anthony Kolasny, Michael I. Miller, Daniel Marcus, Northwestern University Schizophrenia Data and Software Tool (NUSDAST), Frontiers in Neuroinformatics 2013; 7:25
  • NU Media Coverage - Lei Wang Leading Creation of National Neuroimaging Database: SchizConnect is an ambitious, four-year, multisite venture meant to overcome limitations in data sharing amongst the schizophrenia neuroimaging research community.
  • New publication:

    Johnson, S. L., Wang, L., Alpert, K. I., Greenstein, D., Clasen, L., Lalonde, F., Miller, R., Rapoport, J., and Gogtay, N., 2013, Hippocampal shape abnormalities of patients with childhood-onset schizophrenia and their unaffected siblings: J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry, v. 52, p. 527-536 e2.

  • New publication:

    Mehta, N. S., Wang, L., and Redei, E. E., 2013, Sex differences in depressive, anxious behaviors and hippocampal transcript levels in a genetic rat model: Genes Brain Behav.

  • Jun 2013 Dr. Wang Co-Organizes Hippocampal Subfield Segmentation Summit (HS3): The Hippocampal Subfield Segmentation Summit (HS3) is an informal workshop for those who either develop or use subfield segmentation protocols and high resolution imaging of the hippocampus. The first HS3 meeting (HS3.1) was held on June 21-22, 2013 at the University of California, Davis.
  • Mar 2013, Dr. Wang Awarded NIMH-Funded Project (U01) on SchizConnect: Large-Scale Schizophrenia Neuroimaging Data Mediation & Federation: This 4 year project will create a data mediation and integration resource to overcome limitations in large-scale data sharing and integration in state-of-the-art schizophrenia research in a low-cost manner and deliver a web portal to interact with the federated databases. The principal investigators are: Lei Wang, PhD (contact PI), Jose Luis Ambite, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southern California, Steven G. Potkin, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, Irvine, Jessica Turner, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Translational Neuroscience at The Mind Research Network (MRN).
  • New publication with journal cover:

    Khan, A. R., Wang, L., and Beg, M. F., 2013, Multistructure large deformation diffeomorphic brain registration: IEEE Trans Biomed Eng, v. 60, p. 544-53.

    Tbme_cover_feb2013

  • New publication:

    Turner, J. A., Calhoun, V. D., Michael, A., van Erp, T. G. M., Ehrlich, S., Segall, J. M., Gollub, R. L., Csernansky, J., Potkin, S. G., Ho, B.-C., Bustillo, J., Schulz, S. C., Fbirn, n., and Wang, L., 2012, Heritability of Multivariate Gray Matter Measures in Schizophrenia: Twin Research and Human Genetics, v. 15, p. 324-335.

  • New publication:

    Mamah, D., Harms, M. P., Barch, D., Styner, M., Lieberman, J. A., and Wang, L., 2012, Hippocampal shape and volume changes with antipsychotics in early stage psychotic illness: Frontiers in Schizophrenia, v. 3.

  • Oct 2012, Dr. Wang as PI Subaward on Alzheimer Association Grant on ADNI2 Add-on Project:

    Dr. Wang is working with Drs. Michael Weiner/Susanne Mueller (co-PIs, UCSF lead site), Dr. Paul Yushkevich (U Penn), and Dr. Koen van Leemput (Harvard) on a project entitled "ADNI 2 add-on project: Superior power of hippocampal subfield measurements compared to conventional hippocampal volumetry for the early diagnosis AD and prediction of AD related cognitive decline." This project is funded by the Alzheimer Association, aiming to use multiple approach to measure hippocampal subfields using a new high-resolution T2-weighted sequence to detect the earliest hippocampal manifestations of AD.

  • Oct 5, 2012, MICCAI 2012 Workshop on Novel Imaging Biomarkers for Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders (NIBAD’12): Dr. Wang co-organized the MICCAI 2012 Workshop on Novel Imaging Biomarkers for Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders (NIBAD'12) along with Paul Yushkevich, PhD, Assistant Professor of Radiology at University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and Sebastien Ourselin, PhD, Reader in Medical Image Computing at University College London Centre for Medical Image Computing Dementia Research Centre. The workshop, held on October 5, 2012 in Nice, France, included a traditional original research paper track with 21 papers spanning the range of topics including image segmentation, longutidinal imaging analysis, functional and diffusion imaging biomarkers, and validation. It also included a challenge component focused on measurement of longitudinal brain atrophy in AD, with 9 papers.
    Nibad

    Miccai-2012

  • Sep 2012, Dr. Wang Awarded NIH R01 on Hippocampal Predictors of Cognitive Impairment in Breast Cancer : Dr. Wang was awarded an NINR R01 grant for his project HippoPCI: Hippocampal Predictors of Cognitive Impairment in Breast Cancer. The project will use longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to identify predictors and mechanisms of cognitive impairment in breast cancer patients receiving hormonal treatment.
  • Sep 2012, Dr. Lei Wang Awarded Ken and Ruth Davee Award: Dr. Wang, PhD was awarded the Ken and Ruth Davee Award for Innovative Investigations in Affective Disorders for his Neuroimaging Pilot Study Using an Animal Model of Major Depression.

Projects:

  • SchizConnect: Large-Scale Schizophrenia Neuroimaging Data Mediation & Federation (PI: Lei Wang (Contact, NU), Jose Luis Ambite (USC), Steven Potkin (UCI), Jessica Turner (MRN), David Keator (UCI)): Large-scale data sharing and integration is needed to further the state-of-the-art schizophrenia research, but is presently not possible due to practical limitations in the way in which data are being shared. SchizConnect is a data mediation and integration resource to overcome these limitations in a low-cost manner and deliver a web portal to interact with the federated databases. Access SchizConnect at http://schizconnect.org.
  • Northwestern University Schizophrenia Data and Software Tool (NUSDAST) (PI: Wang): To make structural magnetic resonance (MR) imaging data, genotyping data, and neurocognitive data as well as analysis tools available to the schizophrenic research community. Please note that this dataset is also accessible through the SchizConnect project at: http://schizconnect.org. Here, you will be able to get additional schizophrenia neuroimaging data from FBIRN and COINS.

Grants:

  • 1U01 MH097435: SchizConnect: Large-Scale Schizophrenia Neuroimaging Data Mediation & Federation (PI: Lei Wang (Contact, NU), Jose Luis Ambite (USC), Steven Potkin (UCI), Jessica Turner (MRN)) - We propose a data mediation and integration resource to overcome limitations in large-scale data sharing and integration in state-of-the-art schizophrenia research in a low-cost manner and deliver a web portal to interact with the federated databases. (03/19/2013 - 01/31/2017). Associated project: SchizConnect: Large-Scale Schizophrenia Neuroimaging Data Mediation & Federation
  • 1R01 NR014182: HippoPCI Hippocampal Predictors of Cognitive Impairment in Breast Cancer Patients (PI: Wang) - Post-surgery adjuvant therapy produces changes in cognitive function in up 10-70% of women with breast cancer. To date, no investigation has assessed the neural correlates of adjuvant hormonal therapy, nor have any studies determined how to identify individuals at risk for treatment-related cognitive impairment. We propose to use longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to identify predictors and mechanisms of cognitive impairment in breast cancer patients receiving hormonal treatment. (09/26/2012 - 06/30/2017). Associated project: HippoPCI: Hippocampal Predictors of Cognitive Impairment in Breast Cancer Patients
  • Ken and Ruth Davee Award for Innovative Investigations in Affective Disorders: Neuroimaging Pilot Study Using an Animal Model of Major Depression (PI: Lei Wang, Eva Redei) - We analyze structural and resting-state functional magnetic resonance (MR) scans and behaviors of a rat model of depression that Dr. Redei has developed (i.e.,Wistar Kyoto More Immobile, or WMI) and controls. The overall goal is to provide additional, critical preliminary data to demonstrate our ability to provide neuroimaging measures that can be used to associate with transcripts of the same abundance differences in brain regions and the blood of WMI rats (to be obtained from other, ongoing studies). (09/01/2012 - 08/31/2013). Associated project: MDD Marker using Rat Imaging
  • Alzheimer Association: ADNI 2 add on project: Hippocampal Subfield Volumetry (PI: NU Subaward - Lei Wang (co-PIs Michael Weiner/Susanne Mueller, UCSF)) - ADNI 2 add-on project: Superior power of hippocampal subfield measurements compared to conventional hippocampal volumetry for the early diagnosis AD and prediction of AD related cognitive decline - Northwestern Subaward. The project is a three year cross-sectional multi-site collaborative study between Penn Image Computing and Science Lab (PICSL, University of Pennsylvania), Athinoula A Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging (AAMCBI, Harvard), Neuroimaging and Applied Computational Anatomy Lab (NIACAL, Northwestern University) and the Center for Imaging of Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIND, University of California, San Francisco)). Dr Weiner at CIND will be responsible for the administrative oversight of the project. Dr S. Mueller at CIND will be responsible for the scientific oversight of the entire project. PICSL, AAMBI and NIACAL will be affiliated research sites with one co-investigator each. The overall goal of the project is to test a. if subfield volumetry is superior to conventional hippocampal volumetry to detect the earliest manifestation of beginning AD and b. to identify which of the currently available subfield volumetry approaches has the highest sensibility and sensitivity to differentiate between healthy controls and MCI and between amyloid positive and negative subjects. (07/01/2012 - 06/30/2015). Associated project: Hippocampal subfield measurements for the early diagnosis AD and prediction of cognitive decline
  • CNADC Pilot Grant: Predicting FTLD & AD neuropathology in PPA using hippocampal shape: A pilot study (PI: Wang) - By using information about specific features of neuromorphological deformity from prior studies and data from preliminary studies of cortical gray matter thinning in PPA subjects, this study proposes to assess the agreement between group classification attained by neuromorphometry and by clinical categorization and to correlate these MRI measures with a nonverbal memory assessment in the same subjects. (07/01/2011 - 06/12/2012). Associated project: Predicting FTLD & AD neuropathology in PPA using hippocampal shape
  • Brain Research Foundation: Development of a Calcium-Sensitive MRI Probe for Neural Activity (PI: Wang) - We demonstrate the feasibility of using MRI and contrast agents to quantify neural activity as reflected by changes in tissue Ca2+ concentration. The experimental methods and data collected from this project will be applied to future studies of intracellular Ca2+ contrast agents. (05/03/2010 - 05/02/2011). Associated project: Development of a Calcium-Sensitive MRI Probe for Neural Activity
  • 1 R01 MH084803 NIMH: Schizophrenia Data and Software Tool Federation using BIRN Infrastructure (PI: Wang) - To make structural magnetic resonance (MR) imaging data, genotyping data, and neurocognitive data as well as analysis tools available to the schizophrenic research community. (07/01/2009 - 12/31/2012). Associated project: Northwestern University Schizophrenia Data and Software Tool (NUSDAST)
  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital: Northwestern University Neuroimaging Data Archive (NUNDA) (PI: Csernansky/Wang) - To establish a data archive for the neuroimaging community at Northwestern University. (10/01/2008 - 10/01/2011). Associated project: Northwestern University Neuroimaging Data Archive (NUNDA)
  • Australian National Health and Medical Research Council: Early detection of mild cognitive impairment and dementia using multidimensional analysis (PI: Wen (Wang, Subcontract)) - To develop novel multidimensional imaging biomarkers for early detection of brain anatomical changes due to MCI. We aim at identifying early signatures of MCI, thus making early treatment possible. (11/01/2007 - 10/31/2011).

Northwestern University Interdepartmental Neuroscience (NUIN) Graduate Students:

C. Paula De Los Angeles
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Phone: 312-503-4923
Email:

Address:
Abbott Hall, Suite 1312
710 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611

Education:
Stanford University, Class of 2010: BS in Biology; BA in Psychology
Harvard University, Class of 2011: EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, Class of 2019: MSTP MD/PhD Student

Interests:
MSTP MD/PhD student;
research interests: cognition, glioblastoma multiforme, pediatric neurology;

Jointly mentored by Kristin Swanson, PhD (Mathematical Neuro-Oncology Lab)

News:

  • C. Paula de los Angeles, MD/PhD student, was awarded funding through the NIH T32 Training Program in the Neuroscience of Human Cognition: This predoctoral fellowship will support Paula's research for her interdisciplinary joint thesis in the laboratories of Professor Lei Wang (Neuroimaging and Applied Computational Anatomy Lab) and Professor Kristin Swanson (Mathematical Neuro-Oncology Lab). In her thesis, Paula plans to use magnetic resonance imaging to assess neural capacity and functional recovery in the setting of injury; specifically, the ability of the brain to recover/remodel in long-term glioblastoma multiforme (brain tumor) patients.

Projects:

  • Neural Capacity as Predictors of Cognition in Extreme Survivors of Glioblastoma Multiforme (PI: Lei Wang, PhD and Kristin Swanson, PhD): This project is a collaboration between the laboratories of Professor Lei Wang (Neuroimaging and Applied Computational Anatomy Lab) and Professor Kristin Swanson (Mathematical Neuro-Oncology Lab). We plan to assess neural capacity and functional recovery in the setting of injury; specifically, the ability of the brain to recover/remodel in long-term glioblastoma multiforme patients.

Grants:


Matthew Schroeder
No Picture

Phone: 312-503-3981
Email:

Address:
Abbott Hall, Suite 1312
710 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611

Education:
Ph.D. Neuroscience Candidate: Northwestern University
Postbaccalaureate: National Institute on Drug Abuse (IRTA Fellow)
M.Sc. Forensic Mental Health Science: King’s College London, Institute of Psychiatry
B.A. Psychology: University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Curriculum Vitae

Interests:
My research interests involve characterizing the formation of long-term memories in the neocortex by using magnetic resonance imaging. By employing contrast agents that alter the MR signal intensity, we can identify regions involved in the acquisition of eyeblink conditioning and the storage of memories. In addition, I am investigating the role of prestimulus theta activity in the hippocampus and its association with faster memory acquisition and retention. Whether these consolidated memories comprise the same synaptic network or a more disperse one will be the focus of my graduate work.

Jointly mentored by John Disterhoft and Lei Wang.

News:

  • Matthew Schroeder awarded Society for Neuroscience Next Generation Award: Matthew, along with Shoai Hattori and Jessica Wilson from the Northwestern University Interdepartmental Neuroscience (NUIN) program, will be awarded the Next Generation Award at the 2013 Society for Neuroscience (SfN) Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA. The award recognizes SfN chapter members who have made outstanding contributions to public communication, outreach, and education about neuroscience. The three have been instrumental in establishing the Brain Awareness Outreach organization at Northwestern by holding an annual Brain Fair in Chicago as well as a teacher's workshop and a 6 week outreach program at a local middle school highlighting the neuroscience of superheroes.
  • Sep 2012, Matthew Schroeder Awarded NIH NRSA T32: Matthew Schroeder was awarded an NIH NRSA Predoctoral Fellowship for the Training of Neuroscience in Human Cognition. His project focuses on identifying the neural regions responsible to acquisition and consolidation of a conditioned task in rabbits using manganese-enhanced MRI.

Projects:

  • Acquisition and consolidation of trace eyeblink conditioning in rabbits using prestimulus theta activity and manganese-enhanced MRI (PI: Disterhoft, Wang): What does the development of memory formation look like and what is the nature of the interactions that exist between the hippocampus and cortical regions to enable information storage? Does the rapid acquisition of a memory encompass the same neural network as one that is acquired at a normal pace? The acquisition of memory is initially dependent on the hippocampus but the long-term storage of memory, termed consolidation, likely resides in the neocortex in a single area or network of regions. Because of the likely neural distribution of a consolidated memory in the neocortex, it is favorable to employ methods that simultaneously examine the entire brain. The goal of the proposed research is to determine how the gradual process of consolidation is incorporated in the brain and how factors involved in the acquisition phase influence the consolidated neural network.
  • Development of a Calcium-Sensitive MRI Probe for Neural Activity (PI: Wang): Collaborating with Meade, Csernansky, Thulborn (UIC), we demonstrate the feasibility of using MRI and contrast agents to quantify neural activity as reflected by changes in tissue Ca2+ concentration. The experimental methods and data collected from this project will be applied to future studies of intracellular Ca2+ contrast agents.

Grants:


Neha Mehta
No Picture

Phone: 312-503-3981
Email:

Address:
Abbott Hall, Suite 1312
710 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611

Education:
B.S. Psychology and Biology: Carnegie Mellon, 2008
Ph.D. Neuroscience Student: Northwestern University

Interests:
Understanding the biological markers that are characteristic of affective disorders. Identifying the way in which genetic variation in the human brain may impact brain structure and function in a diseased state. Integrating molecular and genetic data with imaging data gathered from both animal models and human subjects.

Jointly mentored by Eva Redei and Lei Wang.

News:

  • New publication: Williams, K.A., Mehta, N.S., Redei, E.E., Wang, L., Procissi, D., Aberrant resting-state functional connectivity in a genetic rat model of depression. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging 2014
  • New publication:

    Mehta, N. S., Wang, L., and Redei, E. E., 2013, Sex differences in depressive, anxious behaviors and hippocampal transcript levels in a genetic rat model: Genes Brain Behav.

  • June 2013: Neha Mehta Awarded Funding to Attend "Statistical Methods in Functional Genomics" course at Cold Spring Harbor: Neha was accepted and awarded partial funding to attend this Cold Spring Harbor Course which took place from June 21 - July 3, 2013. The focus of the course was on the statistical methods used for high-throughput genetic assays. The R environment was utilized for all statistical work. Topics included: Introduction to Bioconductor, Expression profiling using RNA-Seq and microarrays, DNA methylation profiling analysis, Predictive modeling of gene regulatory networks using machine learning, and Integration of results from multiple experimental methods.
  • May 2013: Neha Mehta Awarded Travel Award for the International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society Annual Meeting in Leuven, Belgium: Neha was selected for a travel award to present her work titled "Behavioral and transcriptomic sex differences, despite identical genetics, in a rat model of depression" at the annual meeting of the International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society (IBANGS). The meeting was held in Leuven, Belgium from May 21st-24th.

Projects:

  • MDD Marker using Rat Imaging (PI: Eva Redei, PhD, Wang): Using translational approach, we develop blood and brain imaging markers for major depression in a genetic rat model, and validate their integration in patients with recurrent early onset major depression.

Clinical Psychology at Feinberg School of Medicine Graduate Students:

Adam Christensen
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Phone: 312-503-3981
Email:

Address:
Abbott Hall, Suite 1312
710 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611

Education:
B.A. Psychology and English: State University of New York at Buffalo, 2002
M.S. Neuro-Cognitive Psychology: Ludwig Maximilian University (Munich, Germany), 2008
Ph.D. Clinical Psychology Student: Northwestern University

Interests:
I am a Northwestern University Clinical Psychology PhD student specializing in Neuropsychology. Through my primary supervisor, Dr. Wang, the NU Schizophrenia Research Group, and also Dr. Weintraub and the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center, I am able to contribute to neuroimaging and neuropsychological work in severe psychopathology and dementia.

News:

  • July 2013 Adam Christensen awarded Travel Fellowship for the Alzheimer’s Imaging Consortium: Third-year Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student Adam Christensen was selected as a Travel Fellowship recipient for the Alzheimer’s Imaging Consortium (AIC) in Boston, Massachusetts, on Saturday, July 13, 2013. The AIC pre-conference precedes the Alzheimer's Association International Conference and centers on development of neuroimaging methods and their clinical application to normal aging and dementias, including Alzheimer's disease.

Projects:

  • Predicting FTLD & AD neuropathology in PPA using hippocampal shape (PI: Wang): By using information about specific features of neuromorphological deformity from prior studies and data from preliminary studies of cortical gray matter thinning in PPA subjects, this study proposes to assess the agreement between group classification attained by neuromorphometry and by clinical categorization and to correlate these MRI measures with a nonverbal memory assessment in the same subjects.

Alexandra Apple
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Phone: 312-503-1982
Email:

Address:
Abbott Hall, Suite 1306
710 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611

Education:
B.A. Psychology: University of California, Berkeley
B.A. Social Welfare: University of California, Berkeley

Interests:
I am a Northwestern University Clinical Psychology PhD student specializing in Neuropsychology in Dr. Wang’s lab. I am interested in using neuroimaging to explore memory, aging, and emotional processes, and am currently involved in a project looking at the structure and function of the hippocampus in ‘chemo brain.’

News:

Projects:


Research Assistant:

Marta Turowski
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Phone: 847-544-6131
Email:

Address:
Abbott Hall, Suite 1312
710 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611

Education:
Northwestern University B.S., 2015

Interests:
I am an undergraduate student at Northwestern University studying cognitive science and global health. I am a research assistant to Dr. Wang and am currently working with him on Alzheimer's research. As a pre-medical student, I see neuroimaging as a wonderful opportunity to help understand the inner workings behind the entire body.

Projects:

  • Hippocampal subfield measurements for the early diagnosis AD and prediction of cognitive decline (PI: Lei Wang): Dr. Wang is working with Drs. Michael Weiner/Susanne Mueller (co-PIs, UCSF lead site), Dr. Paul Yushkevich (U Penn), and Dr. Koen van Leemput (Harvard) on a project entitled "ADNI 2 add-on project: Superior power of hippocampal subfield measurements compared to conventional hippocampal volumetry for the early diagnosis AD and prediction of AD related cognitive decline." This project is funded by the Alzheimer Association, aiming to use multiple approach to measure hippocampal subfields using a new high-resolution T2-weighted sequence to detect the earliest hippocampal manifestations of AD. This cross-sectional study will test if subfield volumetry is indeed superior to standard hippocampal volumetry to identify the earliest manifestation of Alzheimer’s disease.

Software Developer:

Kate Alpert
No Picture

Phone: 312-503-3981
Email:

Address:
Abbott Hall, Suite 1312
710 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611

Education:
B.A. Political Science: Dartmouth College, 2008
Postbaccalaureate Computer Science: Northwestern University, 2010

Interests:
Brainmapping software and automated image processing. The advancement of biomedical research through data sharing and open-source collaboration. Living and playing in Colorado. Being outside and in the mountains as often as possible.

News:

  • NUIT eCommunicator Summer 2014 "Northwestern Supports Researchers in Search of Big Data Solutions": NIACAL software developer, Kate Alpert, describes the challenges of working with big data and her experience at the Virtual School of Computational Science and Engineering (VSCSE) Data Intensive Summer School hosted by the University of Chicago Research Computing Center, in partnership with Northwestern University.
  • NUIT eCommunicator Fall 2013: Getting a Mental Image: Harnessing the Power of Quest to Diagnose Brain Diseases.
  • New publication: Wang, Lei, Alexander Kogan, Derin Cobia, Kathryn Alpert, Anthony Kolasny, Michael I. Miller, Daniel Marcus, Northwestern University Schizophrenia Data and Software Tool (NUSDAST), Frontiers in Neuroinformatics 2013; 7:25
  • NU Media Coverage - Lei Wang Leading Creation of National Neuroimaging Database: SchizConnect is an ambitious, four-year, multisite venture meant to overcome limitations in data sharing amongst the schizophrenia neuroimaging research community.
  • New publication:

    Johnson, S. L., Wang, L., Alpert, K. I., Greenstein, D., Clasen, L., Lalonde, F., Miller, R., Rapoport, J., and Gogtay, N., 2013, Hippocampal shape abnormalities of patients with childhood-onset schizophrenia and their unaffected siblings: J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry, v. 52, p. 527-536 e2.

Projects:

  • SchizConnect: Large-Scale Schizophrenia Neuroimaging Data Mediation & Federation (PI: Lei Wang (Contact, NU), Jose Luis Ambite (USC), Steven Potkin (UCI), Jessica Turner (MRN), David Keator (UCI)): Large-scale data sharing and integration is needed to further the state-of-the-art schizophrenia research, but is presently not possible due to practical limitations in the way in which data are being shared. SchizConnect is a data mediation and integration resource to overcome these limitations in a low-cost manner and deliver a web portal to interact with the federated databases. Access SchizConnect at http://schizconnect.org.
  • Northwestern University Schizophrenia Data and Software Tool (NUSDAST) (PI: Wang): To make structural magnetic resonance (MR) imaging data, genotyping data, and neurocognitive data as well as analysis tools available to the schizophrenic research community. Please note that this dataset is also accessible through the SchizConnect project at: http://schizconnect.org. Here, you will be able to get additional schizophrenia neuroimaging data from FBIRN and COINS.
  • Northwestern University Neuroimaging Data Archive (NUNDA) (PI: Wang): To establish a data archive for the neuroimaging community at Northwestern University, which has the capacity to efficiently and securely store collected MR scans, and to later retrieve them in time-sensitive datasets.

Software Engineer:

Alex Kogan
No Picture

Phone: 312-503-3981
Email:

Address:
Abbott Hall, Suite 1312
710 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611

Education:
B.S. Computer Science, DePaul University, 1997
M.S. Medical Informatics, Northwestern University (In Progress)

Interests:
Clinical and medical research information transmission and storage, effective use of healthcare electronic standards. On rare occasions of leisure time, I like to do long-distance motorcycling, scuba diving, and bicycling.

News:

  • New publication: Wang, Lei, Alexander Kogan, Derin Cobia, Kathryn Alpert, Anthony Kolasny, Michael I. Miller, Daniel Marcus, Northwestern University Schizophrenia Data and Software Tool (NUSDAST), Frontiers in Neuroinformatics 2013; 7:25
  • NU Media Coverage - Lei Wang Leading Creation of National Neuroimaging Database: SchizConnect is an ambitious, four-year, multisite venture meant to overcome limitations in data sharing amongst the schizophrenia neuroimaging research community.

Projects:

  • SchizConnect: Large-Scale Schizophrenia Neuroimaging Data Mediation & Federation (PI: Lei Wang (Contact, NU), Jose Luis Ambite (USC), Steven Potkin (UCI), Jessica Turner (MRN), David Keator (UCI)): Large-scale data sharing and integration is needed to further the state-of-the-art schizophrenia research, but is presently not possible due to practical limitations in the way in which data are being shared. SchizConnect is a data mediation and integration resource to overcome these limitations in a low-cost manner and deliver a web portal to interact with the federated databases. Access SchizConnect at http://schizconnect.org.
  • Northwestern University Schizophrenia Data and Software Tool (NUSDAST) (PI: Wang): To make structural magnetic resonance (MR) imaging data, genotyping data, and neurocognitive data as well as analysis tools available to the schizophrenic research community. Please note that this dataset is also accessible through the SchizConnect project at: http://schizconnect.org. Here, you will be able to get additional schizophrenia neuroimaging data from FBIRN and COINS.
  • Northwestern University Neuroimaging Data Archive (NUNDA) (PI: Wang): To establish a data archive for the neuroimaging community at Northwestern University, which has the capacity to efficiently and securely store collected MR scans, and to later retrieve them in time-sensitive datasets.

Affiliated Member Bios

Derin Cobia, PhD
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Phone: 312-503-3984
Email:

Address:
Abbott Hall, Suite 1314
710 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611

Education:
B.S. Psychology: Brigham Young Univerity, 2003
Ph.D. Clinical Psychology: St. Louis University, 2008
Internship Clinical Neuropsychology: West Virginia University School of Medicine, 2008
Postdoctoral Fellowship: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 2011

Interests:
I am a neuropsychologist interested in utilizing various neuroimaging techniques to study relationships between cognitive functioning and brain structure in schizophrenia populations. I also investigate cortical changes in primary progressive aphasia, a language-based dementia.

News:

  • New publication: Wang, Lei, Alexander Kogan, Derin Cobia, Kathryn Alpert, Anthony Kolasny, Michael I. Miller, Daniel Marcus, Northwestern University Schizophrenia Data and Software Tool (NUSDAST), Frontiers in Neuroinformatics 2013; 7:25
  • Dr. Derin Cobia awarded funding to attend fMRI Training Course at University of Michigan: Dr. Cobia was accepted into the NIH-funded University of Michigan fMRI training course directed by John Jonides, PhD. The training program will span two weeks from August 5th-16th 2013, and include topics on MR physics, study design, fMR signal processing, and network analysis.
  • Dr. Derin Cobia Awarded NIH NRSA T32: Dr. Cobia was awarded an NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship for the Training of Neuroscience in Human Cognition. His project focuses on using multimodal structural MRI, such as cortical thickness, subcortical shape deformation, and white matter tractography, to identify working memory circuits in schizophrenia, and evaluate their integrity in neuropsychologically near-normal and neuropsychologically impaired schizophrenia subjects.

Projects:

Grants:

  • T32 NS047987-05 NINDS: Training Program in the Neuroscience of Human Cognition (PI: Paller. Postdoctoral Fellow: Derin Cobia) - The project for this program focuses on identification and analysis of working memory circuits in neuropsychologically defined schizophrenia subtypes. (01/01/2011 - 12/31/2011).

Eva C. Alden
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Phone: 312-503-3981
Email:

Address:
Abbott Hall, Suite 1320
710 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611

Education:
B.A. Biological Psychology and Biomedical Engineering, Tufts University, 2007
Doctoral Student, Clinical Psychology, Northwestern University
Curriculum Vitae

Interests:
As a third year Clinical Psychology student in Dr. Wang’s research group, I've had the opportunity to work on a variety of research projects. I'm currently involved in projects aimed at identifying endophenotypes in patients with schizophrenia, through the use of multimodal imaging and clinical outcome measures. Clinically, I specialize in Neuropsychology and am completing a rotation at the University of Chicago. In my “spare” time I enjoy cooking, running, watching movies, and playing with my two dogs.

Projects:


John G. Csernansky, MD
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Phone: 312-926-2323
Email:

Address:
Onterie Building
446 East Ontario Street, Suite 7-100
Chicago, IL 60611

Education:
Medical School: New York University School of Medicine
Internship: Stanford University School of Medicine and the Palo Alto Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center
Residency: Stanford University School of Medicine and the Palo Alto Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center
Fellowship: Psychopharmacology - Palo Alto Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center under the mentorship of Leo Hollister, MD

Interests:
My research interests include in vivo neuroimaging of neuropsychiatric disorders, especially schizophrenia and Alzheimer disease, clinical trials of cognition-enhancing drugs, and the development of valid animal models for neuropsychiatric disorders.

Projects:

  • SchizConnect: Large-Scale Schizophrenia Neuroimaging Data Mediation & Federation (PI: Lei Wang (Contact, NU), Jose Luis Ambite (USC), Steven Potkin (UCI), Jessica Turner (MRN), David Keator (UCI)): Large-scale data sharing and integration is needed to further the state-of-the-art schizophrenia research, but is presently not possible due to practical limitations in the way in which data are being shared. SchizConnect is a data mediation and integration resource to overcome these limitations in a low-cost manner and deliver a web portal to interact with the federated databases. Access SchizConnect at http://schizconnect.org.
  • Northwestern University Schizophrenia Data and Software Tool (NUSDAST) (PI: Wang): To make structural magnetic resonance (MR) imaging data, genotyping data, and neurocognitive data as well as analysis tools available to the schizophrenic research community. Please note that this dataset is also accessible through the SchizConnect project at: http://schizconnect.org. Here, you will be able to get additional schizophrenia neuroimaging data from FBIRN and COINS.

Grants:

  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital: Northwestern University Neuroimaging Data Archive (NUNDA) (PI: Csernansky/Wang) - To establish a data archive for the neuroimaging community at Northwestern University. (10/01/2008 - 10/01/2011). Associated project: Northwestern University Neuroimaging Data Archive (NUNDA)
  • P50 MH71616 NIMH : Mapping Abnormal Neurodevelopment in Schizophrenia (PI: Csernansky) - The Conte Center for Neuroscience of Mental Disorders is a multi-institutional collaboration between scientists with special expertise in psychiatry, neurobiology, neuroimaging and biomedical engineering. (09/20/2007 - 07/20/2009). Associated project: Mapping Abnormal Neurodevelopment in Schizophrenia
  • 2 R01 MH56584-09 NIMH: Neuromorphometry in Schizophrenia by Computer Algorithm (PI: Csernansky) - To utilize high resolution MR scans and computerized methods for neuromorphometry to detect and characterize progression of brain structure abnormalities in schizophrenia subjects. (03/01/2007 - 02/28/2012). Associated project: Neuromorphometry in Schizophrenia by Computer Algorithm

Matthew Smith, PhD
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Phone: 312-695-8173
Email:

Address:
Onterie Building
446 East Ontario Street, Suite 7-100
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Education:
M.S.W. Master of Social Work: University of Illinois-Urbana, 2000
Ph.D. Social Welfare: University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2006
M.P.E. Master of Psychiatric Epidemiology: Washington University School of Medicine, 2008

Interests:
To study the neural substrates underlying functional disturbances in empathy within schizophrenia and other neurodegenerative disorders. To identify biomarkers that serve as indicators for pharmacologic and psychosocial treatment of impaired empathy within schizophrenia and other neurodegenerative disorders. To identify whether psychosocial stress contributes to the clinical progression of dementia.


Mehmet Dokucu, MD, PhD
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Phone: 312-695-8249
Email:

Address:
Onterie Building
446 East Ontario Street, Suite 7-100
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Education:
Medical School: The University of Ege School of Medicine
Residency: Washington University in St Louis
Fellowship: Washington University in St Louis

Interests:
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, Electroconvulsive Therapy, Cancer Psychiatry, Well-Being and Positive Psychology, Somatoform Disorders, Sleep and Circadian Disorders.


Will Cronenwett, MD
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Phone: 312-926-1486
Email:

Address:
Onterie Building
446 East Ontario Street, Suite 7-100
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Education:
B.A., Lake Forest College, 1991
M.D., Tulane University School of Medicine, 2004
General Psychiatry Residency: Northwestern University/Feinberg School of Medicine, 2008

Interests:
I use functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging to study the biological changes that underlie schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses. At their core, these devastating disorders hit hardest at the very things that make us human: our unique experience of intelligence, reflective self-awareness, and cognition. I hope someday to bring the results of my research back into the clinical setting for the reliable diagnosis, early detection, and prevention of disease.


Alumni Bios

Derin Cobia
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Position at NIACAL: Postdoctoral Fellow
Current Position: Instructor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences NUFSM

Education:
B.S. Psychology: Brigham Young Univerity, 2003
Ph.D. Clinical Psychology: St. Louis University, 2008
Internship Clinical Neuropsychology: West Virginia University School of Medicine, 2008
Postdoctoral Fellowship: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 2011


Jing Ming
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Position at NIACAL: Research Assistant
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow at Mind Research Network

Education:
B.S. Electrical Engineering: Zhejiang University (China)
M.S. Bioengineering: University of Illinois at Chicago
Ph.D. Bioengineering: University of Illinois at Chicago


Katherine Blizinsky
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Position at NIACAL: Northwestern University Interdepartmental Neuroscience (NUIN) Graduate Student
Current Position: Genetics and Public Policy Fellow, National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)

Education:
B.S. Neurobiology, University of Washington
Ph.D. Neuroscience, Northwestern University


Katherine Reiter
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Position at NIACAL: Research Assistant
Current Position: Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Student at Marquette University

Education:
B.A. Psychology: Indiana University, 2008
Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Student: Marquette University


Sheeraz Daudi
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Position at NIACAL: Research Assistant
Current Position: Medical Student at UIC

Education:
B.S. Electrical Engineering: Michigan State University, 1996
M.S. Computer Engineering: Northwestern University, 2001
Premedicine Postbaccalaureate: Northwestern University, 2010
Medical Student: University of Illinois at Chicago