Lilianne R. Mujica-Parodi
THE TALK: Beyond Human Brain Mapping: Predicting Clinical Trajectories for Personalized Medicine
Recent years have witnessed an explosion of interest in neuroimaging the human brain and in using it to identify biomarkers for brain-based disease. However, the field generally conceives of neuroimaging as revealing disease-specific activation areas or networks, rather than self-interacting circuits whose trajectories evolve over time. In this talk, we’ll argue that our goals of detecting and predicting disease may require neuroimaging to go beyond brain “mapping,” to learn from fields as diverse as electrical engineering, financial modeling, and chaos theory. We suggest approaches towards understanding the brain that pinpoint key points of failure in circuit regulation which, depending upon how it breaks, may lead to a wide variety of signs and symptoms that cluster as different psychiatric diagnoses. We’ll look at several examples, discussing: how clinical anxiety and dangerous recklessness may be much more closely related than one might think, how dynamics are constrained by structure in ways that might give insight to our understanding of epilepsy, as well as how a systems-based approach might change our thinking about why some people lose cognitive ability with age. Throughout, we’ll discuss why these newer trends in neuroimaging offer the tantalizing possibility of taking a first step towards personalized medicine with respect to brain-based disease.Register
Pensacola, FL 32502
Lilianne R. Mujica-Parodi is Director of the Laboratory for Computational Neurodiagnostics and Associate Professor in Stony Brook University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, with additional academic appointments in the Laufer Center for Physical and Quantitative Biology, Program in Neuroscience, as well as Neurology, Psychiatry, and Physics departments. Dr. Mujica-Parodi received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Georgetown University and Columbia University, respectively, studying mathematical logic and foundations of physics. After her Ph.D., she completed an NIH Training Fellowship in Schizophrenia Research at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Mujica-Parodi was subsequently promoted to Assistant Professor of Clinical Neuroscience at Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, where she directed a research laboratory until being recruited by Stony Brook University.
Dr. Mujica-Parodi’s multi-disciplinary laboratory interfaces between the fields of physics, mathematics, engineering, psychiatry, and neurology, in developing cutting-edge neuroimaging tools to study brain-based disorders in humans. Her neurodiagnostic research has focused on both psychiatric (anxiety, depression, schizophrenia) and neurological (epilepsy, dementia) disorders. Her neuroimaging-driven computational research has focused on brain aging, pattern detection, nicotine addiction, and mechanistic pathways by which oxytocin affects the brain and social behavior. In 2009, her team provided the first neurobiological evidence for human alarm pheromones, a landmark discovery that garnered international media attention. Her innovative work garnered her the prestigious White House Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (2011).
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