Postdoctoral Awards

“The MCHRI postdoctoral support allows me to investigate possible mechanisms that underpin symptoms in Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), a type of eating disorder which onsets in childhood and can lead to psychosocial impairment and severe medical sequelae. This grant enables me to collect important pilot data characterizing interoceptive processes, a potential biological marker for dysregulated eating behavior. We hope these data will support the identification of treatment targets and improve physical and psychosocial outcomes for ARFID.”

Nandini Datta, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences


FY 21 Awards

Dulguun Amgalan, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Genetics
Study Title: Regulatory Maps of Endothelial Cell Differentiation to Connect Congenital Heart Disease Risk Variants to Target Genes

Nandini Datta, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Study Title: Exploration of Interoceptive Capabilities in Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder

Dorien Feyaerts, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine
Study Title: Cross-Tissue Assessment of Local and Peripheral Immune Determinants of Preeclampsia

Connie Fung, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Pathology
Study Title: The Role of Intestinal Taste Cells in Regulating Parasite Expulsion from the Gut

Marc Francois Philippe Gastou, MS, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Pediatrics (Medical Genetics)
Study Title: Combining Genetic Substrate Reduction with Targeted-Glucocerebrosidase Addition in Human Hematopoietic Stem Cells: A Universal Strategy for Genetic Correction Gaucher Disease

Dongyun Jiang, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Neurobiology
Study Title: Investigating Activity-Dependent Protein Synthesis in Fragile X Mice Using a Novel Chemogenetic Approach

Nicole Krentz, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Pediatrics (Endocrinology)
Study Title: The Role of Ras Responsive Element Binding Protein 1 (RREB1) in Adipocyte Development and Function

Jiannan Li, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Orthopaedic Surgery
Study Title: Integration of Stem Cell Therapy with a Bioactive Hybrid Scaffold Adaptable to Fetal Growth for Improved Prenatal Treatment of Spina Bifida

Li Li, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Neonatal & Developmental Medicine
Study Title: Deciphering Hypoxic White Matter Injury of Prematurity Using Human Stem Cell-derived Oligodendrocytes

Rihui Li, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Psychiatry (Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research)
Study Title: Uncovering Neurobiological Signatures of Social Interaction Dysfunction in Children with Fragile X Syndrome

Mahalakshmi Ramamurthy, MD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Pediatrics (Developmental Behavioral)
Study Title: Investigating the Causal Role of Attention in Dyslexia

Maria Caterina Rotiroti, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Pediatrics (Hematology/Oncology)
Study Title: Potentiating CAR T Cell Efficacy Through Enhancement of Proximal T-Cell Signaling

Bhagyesh Sarode, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Chemical & Systems Biology
Study Title: A Transposon-Based Approach for Optogenetic Engineering

Xiaoran Sun, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, General Pediatrics
Study Title: Examining Implications of Parent-Adolescent Digital Communication for their Relationship Quality and Adolescent Mental Health

Past Awards

"MCHRI support is integral for our research aiming at developing new therapeutic strategies for patients with Gaucher disease. We strongly believe that our research will provide the proof of concept of a one-time therapy even for the most severe Gaucher disease forms affecting young children. Moreover, this scholarship will allow me to generate additional discoveries that will further the field and our understanding of Gaucher disease therapies."

Marc Francois Philippe Gastou, MS, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Pediatrics (Medical Genetics)

"The MCHRI postdoctoral support enables me to investigate the interplay of neurobiology, genetics, and behavior to improve our understanding of specific learning disorders in childhood. My research aims to identify neurobiological mechanisms underlying learning and to use neuroimaging data for the prediction of reading and mathematical skills in children at high genetic risk for specific learning disorders. Ultimately, we hope this research will allow early identification of learning impairments and development of targeted interventions that will ensure better learning outcomes in children."

Iliana Irini Karipidis, PhD
Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
2020 MCHRI Funded Postdoctoral Fellow
Project Title: Functional Brain Signatures of Learning in Children with Sex Chromosome Aneuploidies: A Model For Neuroendophenotypes in Specific Learning Disorders 


"X monosomy (XO) is the most common chromosomal abnormality in miscarriage, with nearly 99% of conceptuses aborting early in pregnancy. This suggests a crucial contribution of the sex chromosomes to early placental development that is not currently appreciated. MCHRI has made it possible for me to leverage the natural experiment of sex chromosome aneuploidy in placenta to investigate the mechanisms of sex-linked pregnancy loss and complication risk."

Amy Braun, PhD
Obstetrics & Gynecology (Maternal Fetal Medicine)
2020 MCHRI Funded Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Project Title: Determining the Role of Sex Chromosomes in Normal and Abnormal Placentation with Implications for Pregnancy and Child Health


"I am trying to determine how polymorphism in MHC-II locus alters B-cell repertoire and predisposed an individual to autoimmune disorders like type-1 diabetes (T1D) or juvenile diabetes. The MCHRI award will be instrumental to help me achieve the plans as an experimentalist. My immediate future plan is to use data generated from this project to apply for a K99 award to pursue further avenues using in murine model of autoimmune T1D."

Debopam Ghosh, PhD
Pediatrics (Human Gene Therapy)
2019 MCHRI Funded Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Project Title: MHC Class-II Molecule H2-M Affects the Development and Function of B-1 Cells


"I’m looking forward to the opportunity to use qualitative research to engage with diverse families about how they experience care in California Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs). This MCHRI award [postdoctoral support] has allowed me to incorporate family perspectives into the development of measures for family centered care in NICUs."

Krista Sigurdson, PhD
Pediatrics (Neonatal & Developmental Medicine)
2018 MCHRI Funded Postdoctoral Research Fellow 
Project Title: Developing Measures for Family-Centered Care in the NICU