I am a 2nd year postdoctoral research scientist who arrived at OHSU after postgraduate training first at Yale University School of Medicine, and subsequently Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis where I primarily focused on examining typical development of brain organization using fMRI and functional connectivity MRI. My goal is to establish my own independent laboratory in a University setting examining typical and atypical brain development in relation to mental disorders. In particular, I have well thought out ideas for a series of investigations regarding the potential for brain connectivity as a potential endophenotype in ADHD. To conduct such work, I need to gain expertise in issues related to research application of behavioral and clinical assessment, cognitive measures, neuropsychological measures, human subjects issues with clinical populations, and to gain expertise in writing and grantsmanship related to clinical problems. This agenda is the focus of my career development/training plan. The research environment provided by Oregon Health and Science University and the mentor of this award (Dr. Joel Nigg) is outstanding and a perfect fit for my career goals. Dr. Nigg, while not a neuroimager, is a well-known ADHD researcher with more than 10 years of continuous NIH R01 level funding. He has extensive mentoring experience and collaborates with other ADHD researchers around the world, providing ample opportunity for me to meet and interact with experts in many aspects of clinical research. The Pathway to Independence award, with its dual emphasis on training and independence, is an excellent fit for my future career goals.
It is well established that ADHD is a major public health concern. The proposed study uses a relatively new imaging technique, resting-state functional connectivity MRI, to examine specific circuits and the familiality of these circuits thought to be atypical in ADHD. The result from this study will advance our knowledge regarding the neurobiological underpinnings of ADHD, and assist in the improved characterization of homogeneous subtypes of future investigation.
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