Dr. Pavuluri has spent the majority of the last 10 years in brain research and intervention in bipolar disorder, mentoring researchers, caring for patients and providing consultation to physicians and health care leaders in Child Psychiatry. She is committed to continuing her work in the area of patient-oriented research, mentoring, leadership and patient care for the remainder of her academic career. Dr. Pavuluri is specifically committed to addressing the critical shortage of physician scientists conducting research in affective neuroscience in child psychiatry. Goal of K24 application: The goal of this application is to provide the PI with 30% time to mentor junior patient-oriented investigators and expand her research program into defining a dimensional approach to brain function through functional network analyses and fusion analyses of functional and white matter networks in PBD. If the K24 is awarded in June 2011, she would be funded 70% time by three NIMH funded grants (RO1, RO1, and K24). She will be completing one of her NIMH grants in the fall of 2011 (NIMH 1RC1MH088462 -01). Proposed mentoring activities: The K24 award will allow her to expand her research mentoring activities in affective neuroscience by including new post-doctoral fellows and graduate students. It would allow her to spend more time on the methods required to advance science through the proposed proof of concept study of affect self-regulation that combines the neuroscientific and technical skills that will definitively advance the methodological sophistication also required for her recently funded RO1 grants. Towards this goal, she plans to develop 1-2 new graduate courses on how to conduct multimodal imaging research in developmental affective neuroscience in the clinical population with a focus on research methodology and analytic strategies. Significance: The proposed K24 addresses the current NIH Roadmap Initiatives that seek focus on clinical application, neurobiology, development, dimensional focus, training new physician scientists, and driving the capacity to conduct translational research.

Public Health Relevance

Pediatric Bipolar Disorder (PBD) is a serious illness associated with significant affect dysregulation and cognitive dysfunction with high rates of suicidal behavior and academic underachievement. Therefore, the proposed study aims to understand the cognitive self-regulation of affect and map the underlying functional grey and structural white matter circuits at the interface of affective and cognitive neural networks in PBD patients (N=80), relative to a healthy comparison group (N=80), in middle school children in the 11 to 14 year age range. Mapping the bio-signature of affect dysregulation in PBD will provide future opportunities for preventive efforts by facilitating early identification, moving a step closer to safer and more effective neurobiologically-informed early interventions for youths affected by PBD.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24)
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Child Psychopathology and Developmental Disabilities Study Section (CPDD)
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Garvey, Marjorie A
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University of Illinois at Chicago
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United States
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