Neami Tedla wins Neuroscience Award at V-PURC

Undergraduate lab assistant, Neami Tedla, was awarded the Neuroscience Award at the 2020 Virtual Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference for her oral presentation, “White Matter Integrity Associated with Empathy: A DTI-based Study.” Her mentors on the project were graduate student Stephanie Steinberg and Dr. Tricia King. Congratulations, Neami! We’re very proud of you.

New JINS publication from Dr. Alyssa Ailion

Congratulations to lab alum, Dr. Alyssa Ailion, for the publication of her dissertation in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society! Dr. Ailion describes her findings below:

This theory-driven research employs a combination of classic neuropsychological methodology (double dissociation) with advanced neuroimaging. We experimentally demonstrated a brain-behavior double dissociation between auditory and visual attention constructs. As such, neurocognitive performance can be localized to specific and theoretically supported white matter pathways. Thus, the notion that neurocognitive difficulties are due to diffuse neurological injury alone in brain tumor survivors may be overly simplistic.

Dr. Ailion is now an attending neuropsychologist directing her own research lab at Boston Children’s Hospital.

GSTP1 Polymorphisms Sex-specific association with verbal intelligence in survivors of pediatric medulloblastoma

Congrats to Rella Kautiainen, the author of a recent paper looking at genetic correlates of verbal intelligence outcomes in survivors of medulloblastoma. 

Children with the same cerebellar brain tumors (medulloblastoma) and treatment (surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation), but they have substantial variability in cognitive outcomes. This variability may partially be due to treatment-related toxicity conferred by genetic risk, including polymorphisms on the GSTP1 gene. Our study found that female medulloblastoma survivors with a GSTP1 polymorphism may have increased vulnerability to deficits in core cognitive skills, IQ, and everyday functional outcomes. 

New lab logo designed by Kevin Battles

The lab would like to thank Kevin Battles for designing our new lab logos that you see on our website!

We sincerely appreciate his time and effort. Here is a bit about the artist:

Kevin completed his Master’s degree in Physics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in August 2020. After graduating, he moved to Atlanta to join the Quantum Systems Division (QSD) as a Research Scientist at the Georgia Tech Research Institute’s (GTRI) CIPHER Laboratory. Kevin is currently contributing to work that will utilize existing GTRI-designed surface ion traps to demonstrate scalability of quantum information systems. Implementing small quantum algorithms on the existing hardware will enable testing of a quantum advantage over classical computation for certain algorithms and give insight into simulations of quantum phenomena such as protein folding, phase transitions, and chemical dynamics. The QSD is also pairing its expertise in quantum devices with other groups at GTRI to develop compact atomic magnetometers for use in real-world applications such as magnetic anomaly detection and research/clinical MEG.

Kevin’s LinkedIn:

New paper in Pediatric Blood & Cancer

Graduate student, Eric Semmel, and undergraduate alum, Tobi Quadri, recently published a new manuscript in Pediatric Blood & Cancer. Their paper evaluated potential cognitive factors accounting for the relationship between neurological risk factors and adaptive functioning outcomes in survivors of pediatric brain tumors. This was Tobi’s first published manuscript and she was a huge help in the process. Congratulations! Click the photo below to go to the manuscript at the publisher’s website.

New paper: Considerations for effort testing in brain tumor survivors

Michelle Fox and Dr. Tricia King collaborated on a recent manuscript evaluating the use of Reliable Digit Span with survivors of childhood brain tumors: Considerations for Reliable Digit Span as a performance validity test for long-term survivors of childhood brain tumors

Results suggest that typical RDS cutoffs might be too conservative for use with brain tumor survivors.

Well done and congratulations to the authors!