Select one of the tabs below to view lab positions, graduate research opportunities, practicum opportunities, and courses that Dr. Williams is teaching.
Neuroimaging Research Coordinator
The PanLab for Precision Psychiatry and Translational Neuroscience within the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science is currently recruiting for a Neuroimaging Research Coordinator. The PanLab is a precision psychiatry and clinical translational neuroscience research group that aims to use brain imaging approaches to improve our understanding and treatment of mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. The Neuroimaging Research Coordinator would perform duties involved with data processing as well as the recruitment and assessment of study subjects. Specifically, the focus of the Research Coordinator will be to assist with the development of brain-based models of mental disorders through integrating brain-imaging data (including functional and structural MRI and EEG) with behavioral, self-report, genetic and clinical measures. This includes assisting with pre-processing and statistical data analysis of clinical, behavioural, EEG and fMRI data.
In addition, the Neuroimaging Research Coordinator will screen participants for eligibility for human neuroimaging scans, schedule testing sessions in coordination with the neuroimaging facility, perform subject testing using behavioral, fMRI and EEG tasks, and acquiring samples for DNA. Study subjects will be experiencing a range of symptoms of anxiety and depression. The Research Coordinator must also be able to escort subjects to the reception or clinical area, and clearly explain the study procedures to subjects. The position requires the collection of data via mail, telephone, or in person interviews, as well as the ability to provide phone follow-up testing of subjects. The position will be based in a lab that values cooperation, fairness, efficiency and conscientiousness.
Interested candidates should include a CV and Cover Letter addressing how your education and experience relates to the position as described above.
- Serve as primary contact with research participants. Coordinate studies from start-up through close-out.
- Determine eligibility of and gather consent from study participants according to protocol. Assist in developing recruitment strategies.
- Coordinate collection of human neuroimaging scans and oversee the quality control of neuroimaging data acquired for the study.
- Collect and manage patient data for research projects. Manage research project databases, develop flow sheets and other study related documents, and complete study documents/case report forms.
- Ensure compliance with research protocols. Ensure Institutional Review Board renewals are completed.
- Monitor expenditures and adherence to study budgets and resolve billing issues in collaboration with finance and/or management staff.
* - Other duties may also be assigned
- Previous research experience in the fields of Biology, Psychology or Neurosciences
- 1-2 years of related hands-on experience in acquiring and/or processing fMRI data
- Proficiency with basic programming and scripts
- Familiarity with working in Linux/Unix
- Beginner to Intermediate level of MATLAB experience
- Technical skills and familiarity with imaging software packages such as SPM, FSL and/or FreeSurfer
- Previous work with human participants
REQUIRED EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
Two year college degree and two years related work experience or a Bachelor’s degree in a related field or an equivalent combination of related education and relevant experience.
Human Neuroimaging Research Trials Coordinator
The PanLab for Precision Psychiatry and Translational Neuroscience within the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science is recruiting for a Human Neuroimaging Research Trials Coordinator. The PanLab is a precision psychiatry and clinical translational neuroscience research group that aims to use brain imaging approaches to improve our understanding and treatment of mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. The Coordinator would conduct clinical research on several biomarker trials using brain imaging and behavioral measures to predict treatment outcomes in depression and anxiety. The focus of these biomarker trials is on treatments for depression and anxiety that encompass off label drugs targeting dopamine action and neurostimulation techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation. These interventions are selected because of theoretically-motivated effects on human brain circuits and accompanying behavior. The main goals of these brain imaging-guided trials are to identify biomarkers that allow us to tailor interventions to individuals based on their brain profile and to understand the mechanisms of intervention.
The primary tasks of the Human Neuroimaging Research Trials Coordinator will be coordination and implementation of the neuroimaging guided trials. The protocols require assessments using functional magnetic resonance imaging and computerized behavioral testing before and after interventions. Additional testing may also be required, including an EEG and saliva or blood sampling for DNA. It would be expected that the Coordinator would develop and manage protocols for participant scheduling, coordinate the workflow for study assessments conducted pre and post-interventions and implement the study assessments. In addition the Coordinator would manage quality control and pre-process the functional magnetic resonance imaging data, behavioural assessments and other data acquired by questionnaires, and ensure completeness and accuracy. The Coordinate would interface with MD and clinical personnel to manage the intervention protocols and report on the research under the guidance of the principal investigator via regular project meetings.
Because the research involves human neuroimaging-guided designs and not traditional clinical trials, the structure of the project requires a very hands-on role for the coordinator. The position requires a deep interest in human neuroimaging-guided research trials, sufficient prior experience in neuroimaging-relevant settings, along with a comfortability with trial protocols and with participant interaction.
The position will be based within a collaborative team and the PanLab values cooperation, fairness, efficiency and conscientiousness.
- Coordinate and implement subject recruitment, project workflows and intervention protocols and NIH recruitment target goals. This requires direct to community recruitment strategies since participants are not coming through a clinic referral, which may be more typical of traditional trials. Determine effective strategies for promoting/recruiting research participants and retaining participants in long-term clinical trials.
- Develop and manage systems to organize, collect, report, and monitor data collection. Extract, analyze, and interpret data.
- Develop project schedules, targets, measurements, and accountabilities, as assigned. Lead project meetings ad prepare/approve minutes.
- Undertake these pre- and post-intervention, including functional magnetic resonance imaging and computerized behavioral assessments as the primary outcome measures to assess the impact of interventions.
- Quality control and pre-process the functional magnetic resonance imaging data, the behavioral assessments and the other data acquired by questionnaire, and ensure completeness and accuracy.
- Ensure data are managed effectively using the project databases and scripts.
- Formally supervise, train, and/or mentor new staff or students, as assigned, potentially including hiring, preparing and performing related duties, in addition to instruction on project work.
- Monitor and manage quality issues associated with the study assessments (such as eligibility for neuroimaging) and report adverse events related to study protocols and resolve study queries.
- Work with principal investigator to report regularly to the funding agencies, primarily NIH. Ensure Institutional Review Board renewals are completed.
* - Other duties may also be assigned
- At least 1-2 years previous full-time research experience in human research settings in the fields of Psychology, Cognitive Neurosciences or cognate fields, at a post-Bachelor’s level or higher;
- At least 1-2 years of hands-on experience in acquiring and/or processing human fMRI data;
- Hands-on experience with participants experiencing mental health issues and relevant interventions;
- Hands-on experience with observational human trials using neuroimaging, behavioral and/or physiological endpoints;
- Familiarity with clinical trial protocol requirements
- Proficiency with basic programming and scripts;
- Ability to be proactive, solution-focused, efficient, self-directed, adaptable and organized
- Demonstrated skills relevant to coordinating and implementing human neuroimaging research trials
REQUIRED EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
Bachelor's degree in a related field and two years of experience in clinical research, or an equivalent combination of education and relevant experience.
Areas of Opportunity
Areas for graduate study include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Translational neuroscience. Developing new models of depression and anxiety 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 depression and anxiety, such as substance use problems.
- Computational models. Developing new computational models for quantifying the human connectome using brain imaging measures: structural MRI, functional MRI, diffusion imaging and EEG.
- Imaging genetics. Identifying how genetic variants relate to alterations in the large scale circuits implicated in depression and anxiety.
- Advanced imaging and next generation ‘omics. Adding precision to our understanding of large scale neural circuits using ultra high-field imaging and simultaneous MRI-PET scanning. Advancing the integration of brain data with personal information on the microbiome.
- 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 “personalized neuroscience” approach in which the goal is to quantify homogenous subgroups of people and to understand personal variation relevant to both underlying mechanism and to clinical applicability.
Getting a "jump start" with existing data
There is the opportunity to access a large databank of existing data to answer immediate questions, and to then use these results to develop more tailored hypotheses.
The existing data include healthy, twin, first degree relative, depression, anxiety and psychosis samples. The measures include multiple types of brain imaging (structural/functional/diffusion imaging, EEG and accompanying autonomic measures), detailed clinical information, psychological measures, behavioral measures of performance on cognitive and emotional tasks and genotype data.
As part of the graduate training experience, publication is absolutely encouraged. The lab has a strong record of graduate student publications.
Translational Assessment Training Program
This program is oriented towards predoctoral psychology trainees who are currently part of the Gronowski Center 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 adults. Specifically, students would gain experience in:
- 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 and anxiety disorders and psychosis
- Translation and application of assessment in clinical research settings
- The relationships between neurocognitive testing and neuroscientific techniques such as fMRI
- Report writing and individualized feedback based on assessments
- Mentoring and consultation with the research team
- Experience on projects assessing adults with a spectrum of anxiety and mood disorders. In these projects, the goal is to characterize neurocognitive and emotional functions that are disrupted in these disorders, and how these disruptions contribute to specific symptoms and real world outcomes.
Dr. Williams is currently teaching these independent studies courses:
The Williams PANLab is always looking for Software Engineering Interns looking for research experience. Some upcoming projects the lab needs software engineers for:
- Build web-based versions of our psychological tasks.
- Updating our psychological tasks to be more consistent.
- Maintain analysis scripts and data.
Interested applicants should send a resume and a short introduction to Carlos Correa email@example.com.
We are looking for an iOS Developer to help build StopWatch, an iOS and Apple Watch application that can be used by youth and adults with ADHD or other focus problems. We are building a real-time biofeedback attention training system, as well as the basic infrastructure to collect movement data to better understand how it relates to attention and ADHD. We are using the mHealth Platform provided by Stanford Medicine IRT to manage our data.
The Williams PANLab is a translational research group at Stanford School of Medicine that is building systems to make psychiatry more precise and more accessible. Dr. John Leikauf is a child psychiatry postdoctoral fellow in the group and leads the StopWatch project. Carlos Correa is a research software engineer in the group who contributes to writing code, currently focused on building out data collection infrastructure. Dr. Leanne Williams is Director of the PanLab, and overall PI.
We are looking to bring on an undergraduate student, master's student, or contractor on a 5-15 hour a week basis starting Summer 2017, extending into Fall 2017. Interested applicants should send a resume and short introduction to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is opportunity to build the real-time biofeedback module as part of this project. There is also opportunity to continue working with the lab on other projects in the future. This position would be especially suited to students wanting to rapidly gain experience in a thriving lab, and to build their experience for future graduate and industry career opportunities. Master’s students in C.S./E.E. looking for a Summer Student Intern position/Research Assistantship should contact us, particularly if they have extensive experience with iOS.
It will be based at Stanford, within the William’s PanLab.
REQUIRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
- Experience developing iOS applications
- Experience with Swift 3
- Prototype and build user interface/haptic feedback
- Optimize data collection pipeline
- Improve user signup flow
- Help ensure secure storage of research participant information
- Participate in conversations about technical feasibility and project planning