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.