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A post-doctoral position is available for a qualified and creative scientist with training in the use and analysis of functional neuroimaging. Experience in functional and structural neuroimaging with human clinical participants is especially desirable.
This study is funded under the NIH’s Research Domain Criteria initiative. We are acquiring a high-dimensional multimodal neuroimaging data over multiple repeated sessions. Participants also complete a cognitive-emotional behavior battery and lab draws for markers of insulin sensitivity and genetics during the in-person visits. Outside the lab sessions, the study includes acquisition of growth charts, and naturalistic treatment information.
In this study, we are investigating the dynamics of brain circuits related to emotional and cognitive self-regulation over the course of development. Plasticity will be related, in some cases, experimentally to medication and psychosocial interventions that are provided by our clinical team. The focus of analysis will be on the activation and connectivity of large-scale human brain circuits implicated in aspects of self-regulation, including emotional arousal, reward processing, and cognitive control. We will acquire both task-elicited and resting state imaging data. Imaging data will be related to behavioral information from the cognitive-emotional batteries and from reports on daily experiences. The position will be based at Stanford, within the Pediatric Emotion And Resilience Lab.
DESIRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
The candidate must have a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience/neuroimaging or related fields.
The position requires:
- Profound experience in statistical analysis using functional magnetic resonance imaging in particular. Computational approaches will include multiple forms of connectivity analysis and the integration of neuroimaging data with behavioral and self-report data.
- A demonstrated capacity to drive first author publications.
- A clear interest and motivation to pursue research in neuroimaging, personalized neuroscience, and innovative ways to think about the neuroscience of mood disorders.
- The capacity to interpret the clinical relevance of neuroimaging results.
Written and verbal communication skills, the ability to work collaboratively, and self-motivation are highly valued.
For more information, contact Dr. Singh at (650) 725-5922
Send applications with a resume and cover letter to email@example.com
The position is open until filled.
ABOUT THE PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
The supervising PI for this position is Dr. Manpreet K. Singh, Stanford University.
The position will be based within Dr. Singh’s Pediatric Emotion And Resilience Lab, the PEARL, at Stanford University. The PEARL is based within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the Stanford School of Medicine. The Department maintains a staff of hardware and software technicians to support faculty research. On-call clinical resources are detailed in the letter in the Protection of Human Subjects section.
AREAS OF OPPORTUNITY AND APPROACH
Areas for study include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Clinical and developmental neuroscience. Developing new models of how major mood disorders develop based on brain imaging of large-scale neural circuits for emotional and cognitive functions. These models could also be applied to understanding other characteristics that overlap with mood problems, such as attentional dysfunction, anxiety, and substance use problems.
- Computational models. Developing new computational models for quantifying the human connectome using brain imaging measures: structural MRI, functional MRI, diffusion imaging.
- Imaging genetics. Identifying how genetic variants relate to alterations in the large scale circuits implicated in mania and depression.
- Interventional and biomarker trials. There is the opportunity to incorporate interventional probes, or studies that are designed to predict treatment outcome. These designs will depend on the available mix of clinical experience/qualifications and clinician advisors.
In each of these areas there would be encouragement to develop a developmental neuroscience approach in which the goal is to investigate the dynamics, risk factors, and underlying mechanisms that lead to the onset and progression of major mood disorders.
GETTING A "JUMP START" WITH EXISTING DATA
There is the opportunity to access a large database of existing and archival data to answer immediate questions, and to then use these results to develop more tailored hypotheses.
The existing data include healthy, first degree relative, depression, and mania samples. The measures include multiple types of brain imaging (structural/functional/spectroscopy imaging, and accompanying physiological measures), detailed clinical information, psychological measures, behavioral measures of performance on cognitive and emotional tasks and genotype data.
Publication is strongly encouraged as part of the training experience, and the lab has a strong record of publications by its students.
This program is oriented towards predoctoral psychology trainees who are currently part of the Psy.D. or Ph.D. programs at Palo Alto University. The program provides training and experience in clinical, interview, questionnaire and neurocognitive assessments used in clinical practice and in clinical research in medical and community settings. Students would be provided with experiences in assessments and testing across multiple clinical conditions in children and adolescents. Specifically, students would gain experience in:
- Learning and conducting family focused therapy and other psychotherapeutic interventions in youth with or at risk for major mood disorders.
- Assessment of emotional and psychological functions
- Assessment of real world capacities related to social and occupational function, productivity and coping and resilience
- Behavioral testing of general and cognitive emotional functions
- Clinical interview techniques, using semi-structured formats and generating diagnostic formulations. Interviews focus on mood disorders in children and adolescents.
- Translation and application of assessment in clinical research settings
- The relations between neurocognitive testing and neuroscientific techniques such as fMRI
- Report writing and individualized feedback based on assessments
- Mentoring and consultation with the research team