Virginia Tech™home

ABB Research and Professional Development

The fundamental goal of the destination areas is to address “sticky” problems that require a transdisciplinary approach.

The Adaptive Brain and Behavior area is looking for researchers from wide array of disciplines with interests in brain plasticity particularly as it pertains to decision-making, physical and psychological trauma, and healthy development across the lifespan. Collectively our efforts will help build a better understanding of the brain behavior relationship and improve overall well-being in the world’s diverse communities.

2021 Request for Proposals

Grant Award Winners

2020-2021 Research Award Winners:

Konark Mukherjee, Stephanie DeLuca (Role of Arachidonic acid in brain development) - $15k

Abstract: Neurodevelopment can be affected by many different factors. Because neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) impacts quality of life across the lifespan, it is critical to identify mechanisms that could reverse defect in neurodevelopment across different clinical diagnosis. We have demonstrated that intense neurorehabilitative therapy is one such mechanism and yields positive results in children with different NDDs like cerebral palsy, kernicterus and CASK gene mutations.

Recently, several clinical trials have suggested that optimization of the dietary ratio of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) with an increase in ω-6 PUFA called arachidonic acid (ARA) have a positive neurodevelopmental outcome in toddlers as well as in children with autism spectrum disorder and preterm babies. We hypothesize optimization of PUFA in the diet is also likely to have a positive impact on NDDs across different clinical diagnosis. Our long-term goal is to develop synergistic combinations of nutriceuticals and neurorehabilitative therapies that will be beneficial to children with NDDs due to varied etiologies. In this proposal, using a facevalidated mouse model of CASK gene mutation, we plan to test if ARA supplementation improves motor learning and performance. If successful, this project is likely to lead to federally funded clinical trials and scientific projects.

Dr. Earl Gilbert (Early life exercise as a means to an addiction resistant adult brain: neurophysiological and neurochemical mechanisms) - $3500

Abstract: Substance use disorder is characterized by chronic relapse and extreme difficulty in treatment. Intervention during adolescence offers a strategy potentially leading to lifelong changes, creating resilience to addiction. Early-life exercise via wheel running create a stress- and drug-resistant brain in rodents, although mechanisms are not understood. An important aspect of the addiction cycle is learning and remembering the context of drug experience, which is mediated by hippocampal circuitry. After drug exposure, reward centers strengthen connections to the hippocampus, and we seek to understand the effect adolescent exercise has on the development of these connections and the resulting learning of drug-paired contexts. Here, we will compare the activity and dopamine dynamics in the hippocampus in adult mice with lifelong access to a running wheel and locked-wheel controls. We hypothesize that exercising mice will display a resistance to drug reward through decreased dopamine responses and weaker drug context encoding compared to control.

Dr. Angela Scarpa-Friedman (Mental Health Interventions for Autistic Youth in Large Scale Community Systems) - $3500

Abstract: The overall project goal is to reduce outcome disparities in youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and co-occurring mental health disorders via an implementation strategy that will underlie decision-making to use evidence-based mental health interventions (EBMHIs) in community service systems. ASD is a lifelong neurological disorder characterized by persistent deficits in social communication and interactions, and restricted, repetitive behaviors, interests, or activities. Youth with ASD are at risk for mental health disorders, but underserved in community systems because of provider and organizational barriers. Dissemination and

Implementation (D&I) science provides implementation strategies to assist in identifying and overcoming such barriers for specific settings. This project will collect pilot data on the infrastructure, governance, barriers, and current use of MH-EBIs for autistic youth in all 40 Virginia community service boards (CSBs). Results will be used for a NIMH proposal that will test the effectiveness of the implementation toolkit on CSB decision-making.

2019-2020  Professional Development Award Winners:

  • Julia Basso
  • Kasey Stanton
  • Alicia Pickrell
  • Brittany Howell
  • Caroline Hornburg
  • Amy Epperley
  • Ana Agud
  • Carolyn Kroehler
  • Rachana Somaiya
  • Ubadah Sabbagh

2019-2020 Research Award Winners:

Julia Basso, Dan English, Deborah Good (Identifying neural mechanisms underlying exercise motivation in normal and sedentary rodents) - $20k

Abstract: The leading causes of morbidity and mortality stem not from predetermined factors, but from maladaptive health behaviors people have the ability to change. One primary example is physical inactivity, which is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality and is a direct contributor to the global epidemic of obesity. The neural mechanisms underlying sedentary behavior in healthy and obese populations are unknown, and constitute a major gap in our understanding of health behaviors. Understanding neural mechanisms that regulate the motivation for exercise would allow us to devise treatments to target sedentary behaviors in both healthy and obese populations. We have previously shown that wheel running in rodents is highly motivating and that running motivation is significantly decreased in a preclinical model of obesity (N2KO mice). Further, we have demonstrated that regions of the motivational circuitry including the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) regulate the motivation for wheel running. Here, we plan to investigate the neural mechanisms of exercise motivation at the level of neuronal spiking activity and neurochemical concentrations, focusing on prefrontal cortex and dopamine, in both wild type and N2KO mice. Our central hypothesis is that neural activity in the PFC, modulated by dopamine, regulates the motivation for exercise.   

Kendra Sewall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sarah Clinton (Role of early life malnutrition in programming the development of the glucocorticoid stress pathway, brain architecture, and learning) - $20k

Abstract: 154 million children under the age of 5 survive malnutrition yet experience life-long cognitive impairments that can pass on to future generations. Despite these consequences of childhood malnutrition for individuals and society, the physiological mechanisms by which early life malnutrition impacts life-longbrain function are not fully resolved. There are multiple pathways by which malnutrition can impair the brain, but the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis that regulates glucocorticoid ‘stress’ hormones is particularly well-positioned to contribute to these effects. Early life stress is known to program the HPA axis to cause ‘stress’ hyperreactivity and thus increase exposure to glucocorticoids throughout life, which in turn can reduce neuronal survival to compromise learning. Despite obvious potential for malnutrition to program HPA axis hyperreactivity, which could in turn compromise life-long learning and brain function, the causal role of glucocorticoids in mediating the brain and learning deficits of malnutrition has not yet been experimentally tested. Our proposed studies use a distinctive model system, song learning in birds, to experimentally isolate how malnutrition programs the HPA axis to impact vocal learning and its underlying brain processes by quantifying DNA methylation changes to targets within and beyond the HPA axis.

Matthew Buczynski (Principial Investigator)

Susan Campbell and Liwu Li (Co-Investigators) 
Behavioral, Cellular, and Systems Health Effects of E-Cigarette Exposure in Mice

Abstract: Smoking nicotine-containing products is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Approximately 15% of Americans smoke cigarettes, and exposure to cigarette smoke causes over 450,000 annual deaths. Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are advertised as a less harmful nicotine delivery system and as a more attractive alternative smoking cessation tool. Ecigarettes have become increasingly popular worldwide, and have essentially replaced traditional cigarettes amongst younger demographics, with greater than 50% of users under 35 years of age. However, the effectiveness of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool has not been studied rigorously. Furthermore, while some acute negative health effects have been demonstrated, the long-term consequences of chronic nicotine vapor exposure (CVE) have not been addressed adequately from a multiple organ systems perspective. Thus, this proposal will connect investigators from different departments and backgrounds with distinct areas of expertise (brain, cardiovascular/immune systems, and brain-gut linkage) to determine collectively the adverse effects of CVE in an established rodent model of chronic e-cigarette use on: 1) behaviors associated with nicotine dependence, 2) cardiovascular, pulmonary, and immune cell function, and 3) gastrointestinal microbiome populations. We hypothesize that nicotine e-cigarettes will produce many of the overall adverse health issues that occur during traditional smoking.

Anderson Norton (Principial Investigator) 

Martha Ann Bell and Catherine Ulrich (Co-Investigators)
Coherence in Mathematical Development (CMD)

Abstract: We propose the CMD project to address ABB’s theme of “development across the lifespan.” The project brings together an interdisciplinary team of researchers (education, mathematics, and psychology) to study the cognitive and neurological underpinnings of mathematical development. We propose cognitive models that account for the role of working memory, along with the content-specific construct of units coordination, to explain neurological changes that occur during mathematical learning, in general. Specifically, we hypothesize that mathematical development corresponds to a frontal-to-parietal shift in neurological activity, and that this shift is induced by sustained engagement in appropriately cognitively demanding mathematical tasks—as indicated by frontal-parietal coherence. The project team will test related hypotheses and predictions based on cognitive models of students’ mathematics. Results will immediately inform instruction in the participants’ (pre-service elementary school teachers at Virginia Tech) classroom and will generate findings of interest to three research communities whose work on mathematical development needs greater integration. More broadly, they will inform the nature of mathematical development including the design of appropriately cognitively demanding tasks to promote that development. The proposed project would seed a larger proposal to NSF or NIH.


July 2019 Research Award Project Update: Although the research funding period has ended the team continues to analyze and disseminate results from the project. We collected behavioral and EEG data from 12 participants (pre-service teachers enrolled in a math course for future elementary school teachers, at Virginia Tech) and have completed initial analysis. This first round of analysis involved (1) coding behavioral indicators of cognitive demand, as the participants solved fractions tasks and (2) building models of participants' solutions. The models describe the mental actions participants sequence in order to solve the tasks, while accounting for students' abilities to construct and transform units (whole units, like 1, and fractional units, like 1/7), as well as limitations of their working memory. We are finding that the models explain phenomena described in previous research on students' mathematical development and that they elucidate new phenomena. We are also finding that the cognitive demand of tasks increases by ranking of the tasks, as expected. We have submitted findings to the Psychology of Mathematics Education conference and are currently preparing two related manuscripts. Analysis of EEG data has just begun and will be based on the cognitive demand codes. We expect to find that increased demand is correlated with increased frontal lobe activity and increased frontal-parietal coherence.

Eli Vlaisavljevich (Principial Investigator)

Susan Campbell, Wynn Legon (external), and John Rossmeisl (Co-Investigators)
Investigation of Low Intensity Focused Ultrasound (LIFU) for Non-invasive Neuromodulation for the Treatment of Neurological Disorders

Abstract: Current neuromodulation techniques for neurological disorders (epilepsy, central tremor, mood disorders) involve invasive procedures (electrical stimulation, optogenetics, chemogenetics) that are associated with substantial complications or utilize non-invasive methods (transcranial magnetic stimulation, transcranial direct current stimulation) that offer low spatial resolution1-4Low Intensity Focused Ultrasound (LIFU) has recently emerged as a non-invasive method capable of achieving neuromodulation with high spatial precision. For instance, transcranial LIFU has been used to alter activity in human sensory thalamus5, primary somatosensory cortex6, and motor cortex5, and is reportedly strong enough to alter perception, behavior, and neurophysiological response. However, in spite of this initial promise, the mechanisms of LIFU neuromodulation remain poorly understood. While multiple theories have been proposed, such as non-thermal effects on voltage-gated channels and calcium transients7, recent work has shown conflicting results in vivopotentially due to differences in skull size8. Furthermore, there is a clear lack of understanding surrounding the optimal acoustic parameters for preferentially activating or inhibiting neural activity with LIFU exposures.

Based on the above limitations, there is a significant need to develop new experimental platforms for studying the mechanisms of LIFU neuromodulation and the effects of pulsing parameters on inducing reversible and irreversible changes in neural activity. In this proposal, we investigate the safety and efficacy of LIFU neuromodulation over a wide range of acoustic pulsing parameters in vitro and in vivo. To accomplish these objectives, we will develop a novel experimental platform for studying ultrasound neuromodulation on the cellular level in vitro and perform initial in vivo feasibility studies of ultrasound neuromodulation in a small animal mouse model. Together, this work will result in the development of improved methods for studying the underlying mechanisms involved in LIFU neuromodulation, which is essential to the development and clinical translation of this emerging new technology into a controlled method for targeted, non-invasive neuromodulation. In addition, this study will establish an exciting new collaboration between researchers with expertise in broad areas including focused ultrasound, neurobiology, neurosurgery, veterinary medicine, and cognitive and behavioral neuroscience. Finally, the proposed research is expected to generate key pilot data that will be necessary for pursuing external grant funding on the use LIFU neuromodulation for the treatment of specific neurological disorders, which is the long-term objective of this interdisciplinary project.

July 2019 Research Award Project Update: Our project entitled "Investigation of Low Intensity Focused Ultrasound (LIFU) for Non-invasive Neuromodulation for the Treatment of Neurological Disorders" was focused on the development of in vitro and in vivo Focused Ultrasound (FUS) systems for investigating ultrasound neuromodulation. During the grant period, we were able to successfully design and construct novel experimental platforms for studying FUS neuromodulation on the cellular level in vitro as well as in vivo. Using these systems, our team collected pilot data for FUS neuromodulation on single neurons within brain slices. We are currently organizing this data into a publication showing the capabilities of this new experimental platform that can be used to investigate the mechanisms underlying neuromodulation. In addition, our team is continuing to collaborate on additional in vitro and in vivo studies that aim to develop new FUS neuromodulation systems and test this technology for the treatment of epilepsy and mental health disorders. As part of these efforts, we are currently using the pilot data gathered during this grant period in order to write grants to the Focused Ultrasound Foundation and the NIH for both the mental health and epilepsy applications. We also recently submitted a grant to Virginia Catalyst for developing acoustically transparent implants for cranial vaults, in order to allow for repeated FUS brain treatments guided by ultrasound imaging. All of these grants will leverage the pilot data and the collaborative team established as a result of the ABB seed grant.

  • Mike Bowers (Principial Investigator)
    Ed Fox and Hongxiao Zhu (Co-Investigators) 
    The development of an animal model for autism through the merging of neuroscience, statistics, and computer science
  • John Chappell (Principial Investigator)  
    Eric Marvin, Karan Paralkar, and Michelle Theus (Co-Investigators)
    Characterizing Vascular-related Blood and CSF Biomarkers to Stratify TBI Patients across Injury Severity (Vascular Biomarkers after TBI)
  • Pearl Chiu (Principial Investigator)
    Sheryl Ball, Brooks King-Casas, and Stephen LaConte (Co-Investigators)
    Toward mental health through decision neuroscience
  • Deborah Good (Principial Investigator) 
    Fenix Huang, Matthew Kocher-grad student, Katelynn Monti-lab specialist, and Hehaung Xie (Co-Investigators)
    Analysis of SNORD116@ locus: an orphan non-coding RNA deleted in Prader-Willi Syndrome
  • Russell Jones (Principial Investigator)   
    Bruce Friedman, Shara Grant, Michael Hughes, Alisa Huskey, Kye Kim, Michael Lewis, Tina Savla, and Andrew Smith (Co-Investigators)  
    Long-Term Neurobehavioral and Psychosocial Adaptions Following the Virginia Tech Shootings: A Ten-year Follow-up
  • Ben Katz (Principial Investigator)  
    Sheryll Ball, Brooks King-Casas, and Alec Smith (Co-Investigators) 
    tDCS-Decision Making
  • Konark Mukherjee (Principial Investigator)
    Stephanie DeLuca and Stephen LaConte (Co-Investigators)
    Investigation of dose-response relationship of rehabilitative therapy in neurodevelopmental disorder
  • Maria Stack-Hankey (Principial Investigator)  
    Steve Hankey and Craig Ramey (Co-Investigators)  
    Air Quality, Asthma, and School Absenteeism in Roanoke City Public Schools
  • Brad White (Principial Investigator)
    Rachel Dianna, Inyoung Kim, Thomas Ollendick, and Susan White (Co-Investigators)
    A Facial Affect Sensitivity Training Program for Young Children with CU Traits

The Adaptive Brain and Behavior Destination Area encompasses a wide array of disciplines and specialties and our investigators are involved in unique and innovative research.
Search these areas by researcher name or by lab title.

Ball, Sheryl

Ball Lab
Research Focus (keywords): decision making, dysfunction, obesity, diabetes

Bell, Martha Ann

Cognition, Affect, and Psychophysiology Lab (The CAP Lab)
Research Focus (keywords): Early Childhood Development,cognintive neuroscience, Devel. Psych.

Bell, Shannon

Research Focus (keywords): gender and environment, social movements, justice
Bio

Bickel, Warren

Addictive Recovery Research Center

Research Focus (keywords): addiction, recovery, behavioral research

Bowers, Mike

Bowers Lab
Research Focus (keywords): autism, neurodevelopment, language deficits

Chappell, John

Chappell Lab
Research Focus (keywords): impact, trauma, blood vascularization, cancer, neurological disorders

Chen, Susan

Research Focus (keywords): food, health economics, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, consumption behavior
Bio

Chiu, Pearl

Chiu Lab
Research Focus (keywords): addiction, recovery, behavioral research, decision making, computational psychiatry, mental illness

Choi, Koeun

Research Focus (keywords): cognitive develoment, learning, memory, computational modeling
Bio

Daniel, Greg

Daniel Lab
Research Focus (keywords): radiology, imaging, nuclear medicine

Davy, Brenda

Research Focus (keywords): obesity, metabolism, clinical physiology, behavior science, diet
Bio

Deluca, Stephanie

VTCRI Neuromotor Research Clinic
Research Focus (keywords): intensive therapy, children

Diana, Rachel

Measurement of Episodic Memory Lab (MEM Lab)
Research Focus (keywords): human memory, cognitive neuroscience, recognition, hippocampus

DiFeliceantonio, Alexandra G.

DiFeliceantonio Lab

Duma, Stefan

The Helmet Lab
Research Focus (keywords): Head Impacts, Helmet Ratings, Brain Trauma

English, Daniel

English Lab
Research Focus (keywords): Neural Brain Physiology, Circuits, Synapses

Fox, Mike

Fox Lab
Research Focus (keywords): neural biology, cellular and molecular wiring, developing brain

Friedlander, Mike

Friedlander Lab
Research Focus (keywords): neurology, synaptic plasticity, brain injury

Friedman, Bruce

Mind-Body Lab
Research Focus (keywords): emotions, stress, personality, mind-body interactions

Gilbert, Elizabeth

Gilbert Lab
Research Focus (keywords): molecular/cellular mechanisms for energy metabolism in skeletal muscle/fat, diabetes

Good, Deborah

Good Lab - HFNE - College of Ag
Research Focus (keywords): gene expression, body weight, exercise, behavior, Prader Willi syndrome

Goode, Brian

Social and Decisions Analytics Lab
Research Focus (keywords): Decision Making, Society, Data Analytics

Hankey, Maria Stack

Ramey Lab
Research Focus (keywords): applied statistics, data analysis, health, obesity, child development

Hulver, Matt

Hulver Lab - Center for Transformative Research on Health Behaviors
Research Focus (keywords): metabolism, exercise, obesity, diabetes

Jarome, Tim

Jarome Lab
Research Focus (keywords): neurobiology, learning and memory, gerontology

Jones, Russel

Stress and Coping Lab
Research Focus (keywords): trauma psychology, behavioral science, depression, PTSD

Katz, Ben

Research Focus (keywords): aging, cognition, executive function, lifespan
Bio

Kim-Spoon, Jungmeen

JK Lifespan Lab
Research Focus (keywords): developmental psychology, neuroscience, health behaviors, lifespan

Kimbraugh, Ian

Research Focus (keywords): neuroscience, astrocytes, injury

Laconte, Steve

Laconte Lab
Research Focus (keywords): Neuroimaging, fMRI, biofeedback

Lee, Tae-Ho

Affective Neurodynamics and Development Lab

Research Focus (keywords): developmental neuroscience, emotion, cognition

Montague, Read

Montague Lab
Research Focus (keywords): Neuroimaging, neuroscience, mental health from disease and injury

Morton, Sally

Dean, College of Science
Research Focus (keywords): statistics, data science, mental health, substance abuse, epidemiology

Mukherjee, Konark

Mukherjee Lab
Research Focus (keywords): neurodevelopment, synapses, plasticity, psychiatry, behavioral medicine

Munson, Jenny

Onco-engineering lab
Research Focus (keywords): interstitial fluid flow, tumor microenvironment, oncology

Olsen, Michelle

Olsen Lab
Research Focus (keywords): neuroscience, astrocytes, neurodevelopment

Parker, Sarah

Parker Lab
Research Focus (keywords): Team performance, stress, clinical setting, medical, nursing, surgical, patient care, human factors

Pires, Bianica

Social and Decisions Analytics Lab
Research Focus (keywords): Decision Making, Society, Data Analytics

Ramey, Sharon Landesman

Ramey Lab
Research Focus (keywords): psychiatry, behavioral medicine

Richey, John

Social Clinical Affective Neuroscience Lab (SCANLAB)
Research Focus (keywords): clinical psychology, social decisions, autism, social anxiety disorder

Rowson, Steve

The Helmet Lab
Research Focus (keywords): Head Impacts, Helmet Ratings, Brain Trauma

Russon, Jody

Research Focus (keywords): mental health, marriage, family therapy
Bio

Savla, Tina

Research Focus (keywords): stress, dimentia, rural health
Bio

Scarpa, Angela

Virginia Tech Autism Clinic and Center for Autism Research
Research Focus (keywords): autism, related conditions

Sewall, Kendra

Sewall Lab
Research Focus (keywords): neurobiology, animal, urbanizaion, social dynamics

Sontheimer, Harald

Sontheimer Lab
Research Focus (keywords): glial biology, neuroscience, disease, cancer

Theus, Michelle

Theus Lab
Research Focus (keywords): Brain Injury and Repair

Valdez, Greg

Valdez Lab
Research Focus (keywords): Alzheimer, Aging, Dimentia, Muscular Dystrophy, brain, imaging

VandeVord, Pam

Traumatic Nerve Technologies Lab (TNT Lab)
Research Focus (keywords): Cell/tissue injury biomechanics, neurotrama, nerve regeneration

Vlaisavljevich, Eli

Therapeutic Ultrasound and Non-Invasive Therapies Laboratory
Research Focus (keywords): Non-invasive Tissue Ablation, Acoustically-active Biomaterials, Ultrasonic Neuromodulation, Ultrasound-guided in situ Tissue Regeneration, and Biomedical Technologies for Conservation Applications

Addictive Recovery Research Center

Bickel, Warren
Research Focus (keywords): addiction, recovery, behavioral research

Affective Neurodynamics and Development Lab

Lee, Tae-Ho
Research Focus (keywords): developmental neuroscience, emotion, cognition

Ball Lab

Ball, Sheryl
Research Focus (keywords): decision making, dysfunction, obesity, diabetes

Bell, Shannon

Research Focus (keywords): gender and environment, social movements, justice
Bio

Bowers Lab


Bowers, Mike
Research Focus (keywords): autism, neurodevelopment, language deficits

Chappell Lab

Chappell, John
Research Focus (keywords): impact, trauma, blood vascularization, cancer, neurological disorders

Chen, Susan

Research Focus (keywords): food, health economics, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, consumption behavior
Bio

Chiu Lab


Chiu, Pearl
Research Focus (keywords): addiction, recovery, behavioral research, decision making, computational psychiatry, mental illness

Choi, Koeun

Research Focus (keywords): cognitive develoment, learning, memory, computational modeling
Bio

Cognition, Affect, and Psychophysiology Lab (The CAP Lab)


Bell, Martha Ann
Research Focus (keywords): Early Childhood Development,cognintive neuroscience, Devel. Psych.

Daniel Lab

Daniel, Greg
Research Focus (keywords): radiology, imaging, nuclear medicine

Davy, Brenda

Research Focus (keywords): obesity, metabolism, clinical physiology, behavior science, diet
Bio

DiFeliceantonio Lab

DiFeliceantonio, Alexandra G.

English Lab

English, Daniel
Research Focus (keywords): Neural Brain Physiology, Circuits, Synapses

Fox Lab

Fox, Mike
Research Focus (keywords): neural biology, cellular and molecular wiring, developing brain

Friedlander Lab

Friedlander, Mike
Research Focus (keywords): neurology, synaptic plasticity, brain injury

Gilbert Lab

Gilbert, Elizabeth
Research Focus (keywords): molecular/cellular mechanisms for energy metabolism in skeletal muscle/fat, diabetes

Good Lab - HFNE - College of Ag

Good, Deborah
Research Focus (keywords): gene expression, body weight, exercise, behavior, Prader Willi syndrome

Hulver Lab - Center for Transformative Research on Health Behaviors

Hulver, Matt
Research Focus (keywords): metabolism, exercise, obesity, diabetes

Jarome Lab

Jarome, Tim
Research Focus (keywords): neurobiology, learning and memory, gerontology

JK Lifespan Lab

Kim-Spoon, Jungmeen
Research Focus (keywords): developmental psychology, neuroscience, health behaviors, lifespan

Katz, Ben

Research Focus (keywords): aging, cognition, executive function, lifespan
Bio

Kimbraugh, Ian

Research Focus (keywords): neuroscience, astrocytes, injury

Laconte Lab

Laconte, Steve
Research Focus (keywords): Neuroimaging, fMRI, biofeedback

Measurement of Episodic Memory Lab (MEM Lab)

Diana, Rachel
Research Focus (keywords): human memory, cognitive neuroscience, recognition, hippocampus

Mind-Body Lab

Friedman, Bruce
Research Focus (keywords): emotions, stress, personality, mind-body interactions

Montague Lab

Montague, Read
Research Focus (keywords): Neuroimaging, neuroscience, mental health from disease and injury

Morton, Sally

Dean, College of Science
Research Focus (keywords): statistics, data science, mental health, substance abuse, epidemiology

Mukherjee Lab

Mukherjee, Konark
Research Focus (keywords): neurodevelopment, synapses, plasticity, psychiatry, behavioral medicine

Onco-engineering lab

Munson, Jenny
Research Focus (keywords): interstitial fluid flow, tumor microenvironment, oncology

Olsen Lab

Olsen, Michelle
Research Focus (keywords): neuroscience, astrocytes, neurodevelopment

Parker Lab

Parker, Sarah
Research Focus (keywords): Team performance, stress, clinical setting, medical, nursing, surgical, patient care, human factors

Ramey Lab

Hankey, Maria Stack
Research Focus (keywords): applied statistics, data analysis, health, obesity, child development

Ramey Lab

Ramey, Sharon Landesman
Research Focus (keywords): psychiatry, behavioral medicine

Russon, Jody

Research Focus (keywords): mental health, marriage, family therapy
Bio

Savla, Tina

Research Focus (keywords): stress, dimentia, rural health
Bio

Sewall Lab

Sewall, Kendra
Research Focus (keywords): neurobiology, animal, urbanizaion, social dynamics

Social and Decisions Analytics Lab

Goode, Brian and Pires, Bianica
Research Focus (keywords): Decision Making, Society, Data Analytics

Social Clinical Affective Neuroscience Lab (SCANLAB)

Richey, John
Research Focus (keywords): clinical psychology, social decisions, autism, social anxiety disorder

Sontheimer Lab

Sontheimer, Harald
Research Focus (keywords): glial biology, neuroscience, disease, cancer

Stress and Coping Lab

Jones, Russel
Research Focus (keywords): trauma psychology, behavioral science, depression, PTSD

The Helmet Lab

Duma, Stefan
Research Focus (keywords): Head Impacts, Helmet Ratings, Brain Trauma

The Helmet Lab

Rowson, Steve
Research Focus (keywords): Head Impacts, Helmet Ratings, Brain Trauma

Therapeutic Ultrasound and Non-Invasive Therapies Laboratory

Vlaisavljevich, Eli
Research Focus (keywords): Non-invasive Tissue Ablation, Acoustically-active Biomaterials, Ultrasonic Neuromodulation, Ultrasound-guided in situ Tissue Regeneration, and Biomedical Technologies for Conservation Applications

Theus Lab

Theus, Michelle
Research Focus (keywords): Brain Injury and Repair

Traumatic Nerve Technologies Lab (TNT Lab)

VandeVord, Pam
Research Focus (keywords): Cell/tissue injury biomechanics, neurotrama, nerve regeneration

Valdez Lab

Valdez, Greg
Research Focus (keywords): Alzheimer, Aging, Dimentia, Muscular Dystrophy, brain, imaging

Virginia Tech Autism Clinic and Center for Autism Research

Scarpa, Angela
Research Focus (keywords): autism, related conditions

VTCRI Neuromotor Research Clinic

Deluca, Stephanie
Research Focus (keywords): intensive therapy, children

Previous Professional Development Award Winners

Rajaram Bhagavathula

"The professional development funds that were provided to me by the Adaptive Brian and Behavior (ABB) Destination Area has helped me attend the Lightfair International (LFI) conference in Philadelphia, PA. At LFI, I attended seminars and workshops from leading researchers in the areas of neuroendocrine physiology and circadian regulation, like Dr. George Brainard (Thomas Jefferson University), and Dr. Shadab Rahman (Harvard Medical School). Attending these sessions at LFI kept me informed about the current state of research. Attending the conference also helped me network with others researchers in related areas from whom I can learn and share my experiences. I am actively working on collaborations with researchers I was able to connect with at LFI. Overall, attending the LFI conference was a great career enhancer and getting the ABB professional development funds was the reason I was able to attend the conference. I would like to thank you for selecting me as a recipient for the ABB professional development funds; it has taken me a step closer to my future successes."

Rajaram Bhagavathula

Steffi Hofer

"ABB Professional Development Funding partially covered expenses of my participation in a one day workshop and one weekend seminar organized by the Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis, May 2-5, 2019. The weekend seminar consisted of independent studies and presentations by psychoanalytic faculty and other scholars. The one-day workshop centered on the development of writing skills. Furthermore, I had four consultation sessions with scholarly writer and psychologist, Karen Earl, who gave input on my writing samples which included the third and fourth chapters of my book project tentatively entitled “Spaces of Healing.” Overall, the training received over the course of this seminar and workshop have enabled me to better integrate psychological concepts into my research on cultural ramifications of trauma, healing, and recovery."

Steffi Hofer

Timothy Jarome

"With the ABB Professional Development Award I was able to attend the annual International Society for Behavioural Neuroscience (ISBN) meeting, which was held in Taormina, Sicily. This is a prestigious society that I was nominated to become a member of, which required that I attend the meeting and give an oral presentation. The ABB award allowed me to attend the ISBN meeting where my presentation was well received, resulting in my successful induction into the society, which will provide an excellent avenue for networking and presentation of my lab’s work to elite scientists in my field."

Timothy Jarome

John Richey

"The professional development funds were put to good use! Much of my work focuses on the effects of mindfulness meditation on the neurobiology of stress and immune function. NIH is very interested in this question, and I regularly submit proposals that probe various aspects of this process to NIH/NCCIH (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health). Increasingly, NIH requires that work in this area focus on well-understood intervention concepts, and perhaps the best example of this is an 8-week protocol known as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). However delivering MBSR as-intended and in a way that can be replicated by others requires substantial prior training. NIH usually likes to see one investigator as a "Qualified" to deliver MBSR which requires a fairly extensive series of training workshops. The ABB funds allowed me to attend the final workshop in the series (April 2019 in Worcester MA), and I am now "qualified"! In general this goes directly to the "Investigator" score in NIH proposals, and the ABB funds were instrumental in that sense."

John Richey

Kendra Sewall

"For the professional development award I joined a grant writing workshop and virtual group and have started monthly call sessions and self-guided grant writing 'lessons.' This was very helpful as I revised my NIH R21, which I submitted this July. It's also helped me think about how to best present my work in different funding contexts."

Kendra Sewall

Alec Smith

"I used the professional development funds to attend the Social Affective Neuroscience Society's 2019 meetings in Miami. Provided great in-person discussions, presentations, and reconnected with a former coauthor. We now have started work on a new project together – thanks ABB!"

Alec Smith

Past Professional Development Award Winners

Ana Agud

"Thank you again for the opportunity to attend the National Wellness Institute conference. Having been provided this opportunity benefits me in two ways: I will be able to renew my Certified Worksite Wellness Specialist certification; and, most importantly, I will be exposed to information that will help me advance the well-being of Virginia Tech employees with regards to the ABB thematic areas of decision-making, development across the lifespan, physical and psychological trauma."

Ana Agud

Susan Campbell

"The AAB professional development award allows me to participate in the Gordon Myelin Conference where I will present my research on epilepsy in a pediatric glioma model. As a new faculty, this presents the opportunity to network with other researchers and foster future collaborations in a research area that is highly understudied."

Susan Campbell

Timothy Jarome

"The ABB professional development funds will allow me to attend a conference focused on current trends in research covering a broad range of topics that examine the relationship between the brain and behavior across the lifespan and following psychological trauma. This meeting is attended by leaders in the field of behavioral neuroscience, as well as early stage scientists, and provides an excellent opportunity to both learn about current research trends and network with other early and late stage scientists in my field."

Timothy Jarome

Benjamin Katz

"The ABB grant enabled us to purchase current modeling software that allows us to more accurately target specific cortical regions for stimulation. Preliminary tDCS work from our laboratories suggests that stimulation during task performance may improve working memory performance and may also lead to meaningful changes in decision-making. We are still in the process of data collection for the current study, which is investigating whether HD-tDCS administered during a decision task will reduce the effects of varying levels of cognitive load."

Benjamin Katz

Eric Kaufman

Eric received Professional Development Funding and used it to pursue the NueroLeadership Institute’s Certificate in the Foundation of NeuroLeadership.

Eric Kaufman

John Richey

"I am extremely grateful for this professional development opportunity. This funding will go toward training that would not have been available through traditional channels, but will directly impact the day-to-day work in our lab, and will increase our competitiveness for extramural funding opportunities in the future."

John Richey