CNCDP-K12 scholars, appointed July 1, 2019
Matthew Elrick, MD, PhD
Johns Hopkins University
Assistant Professor, Neurology
Ariel Lyons-Warren, MD, PhD
Baylor College of Medicine
Albert Misko, MD, PhD
Massachusetts General Hospital
Rujuta Wilson, MD
University of California, Los Angeles
Assistant Professor, Pediatric Neurology & Psychiatry
CNCDP-K12 scholars, appointed July 1, 2018
Bhooma Aravamuthan, MD, DPhil
Washington University School of Medicine
Assistant Professor, Neurology
Juliane Gust, MD, PhD
University of Washington / Seattle Children's Hospital
Acting Instructor, Child Neurology
Juliet Knowles, MD, PhD
Stanford University School of Medicine
Instructor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences
Monica Lemmon, MD
Duke University School of Medicine
Assistant Professor Pediatrics
CNCDP-K12 scholars, appointed July 1, 2017
Aaron Boes, MD, PhD
University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Neurology & Psychiatry
I am an academic pediatric neurologist with training in neuroimaging and noninvasive brain stimulation. My research has focused on using neuroimaging techniques to better understand brain function and dysfunction in children and adults, including the use of structural MRI, resting-state functional connectivity MRI, and lesion mapping. Recent efforts have focused on developing a technique to visualize the networks associated with focal brain lesions to infer how remote network effects of lesions contribute to neurological symptoms. I will continue to use multi-modal neuroimaging techniques to better understand how the brain works and how its dysfunction contributes to clinical symptoms, but the ultimate clinical translation of advanced neuroimaging, in my view, will be to guide treatment using noninvasive brain stimulation. I believe there is tremendous therapeutic potential in the combined use of advanced imaging to detect dysfunctional network activity and noninvasive brain stimulation to modulate dysfunctional networks in a targeted way, which is the focus of ongoing research and clinical efforts.
Autumn Ivy, MD/PhD
Assistant Professor, Dept of Pediatrics
Med Sci 1 C237
University of California Irvine School of Medicine
Exercise is known to be a powerful positive modulator of human cognitive function. In rodents, mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of exercise on cognition include formation of synapses, enhanced neurogenesis, expression of neurotrophic and growth factors directly implicated in neural plasticity, among others. Important, yet unanswered questions remain: what is the impact of exercise on the developing brain, and at what ‘dose’ is it beneficial? More specifically, are there indelible, transcriptional and epigenetic modulations that occur as a result of physical activity during critical periods of neurodevelopment? Dr. Autumn Ivy’s scientific interest in understanding mechanisms of early life, experience-dependent neuroplasticity began as a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Tallie Baram. There she developed her skills in molecular biology, electrophysiology and behavioral techniques, applying these to discover a necessary role for hippocampal corticotropin-releasing hormone signaling in adult-onset cognitive impairments provoked by early-life chronic stress. This work was supported by an individual NRSA award, resulted in two first-author publications and many more collaborative publications in the lab. After completing her MD and PhD at the University of California, Irvine, Dr. Ivy completed her Pediatrics and Child Neurology clinical training at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and Stanford University Medical Center. As a child neurology resident she continued developing her basic science research experience in the lab of Dr. Tony Wyss-Coray, where she was able to harness techniques in genomic deep sequencing and microscopy to study pathologically activated microglia in genetic leukodystrophies. For the K12 award period, she will further her training and apply her expertise toward understanding the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of experience-dependent plasticity during critical neurodevelopmental periods, using rodent models of early-life exercise. Ultimately, she hopes that this work will harness the beneficial effects of exercise on brain function to inform therapeutics for children with learning disabilities and/or those who otherwise cannot physically exercise.
Hsiao-Tuan Chao, M.D., Ph.D.
Pediatric Neurology Resident, PGY-5
Baylor College of Medicine
Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, Texas Children’s Hospital
Hsiao-Tuan Chao is completing her final year of pediatric neurology residency training in the basic neuroscience research track at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital. She received her M.D. and Ph.D. from BCM in Neuroscience under the joint mentorship of Christian Rosenmund, Ph.D., and Huda Y. Zoghbi, M.D, where she explored the role of excitation and inhibition in Rett syndrome and MECP2-duplication syndrome. Dr. Chao’s primary research interest is to elucidate how transcriptional regulation of inhibitory GABAergic signaling modulates neural activity and affects complex behaviors through cross-species approaches in humans, fruit flies, and mice. Specifically, her research goal is to obtain mechanistic insights for many neurodevelopmental disorders associated with disrupted inhibitory GABAergic signaling, including autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, and epilepsy. She will pursue her post-doctoral research training under the mentorship of Hugo J. Bellen, D.V.M, Ph.D. at the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute. Dr. Chao has co-authored several peer-reviewed publications, including lead author publications in Nature, Neuron, American Journal of Human Genetics, Nature Neuroscience, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Mai Dang, M.D. PhD
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia/University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Dang finished neurology fellowship in 2014 and is specializing in the neurologic complications of cancer. Her current research project is focused on understanding the role of the immune microenvironment on the growth of brain tumors and their response to treatment.
Christa Whelan Habela, MD
Epilepsy Fellow, PGY-7 Department of Neurology, Assistant Professor
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
During normal brain development there is a transition from proliferating and migratory progenitor cells to stationary, post-mitotic, and highly differentiated functional neurons and glial cells. In my doctoral training, I studied how intracellular concentrations of and permeability to chloride ions in immature cells in the brain affected their ability to proliferate and migrate. As an extension of this, I am interested in the mechanisms regulating appropriate proliferation, migration and integration of neurons and glial cells in both the prenatal and postnatal developing brain and how aberrations in these processes result in neurodevelopmental disabilities. My hypothesis is that deregulation of pre and postnatal neurogenesis is a significant contributor to the behavioral phenotypes observed in intellectual disability, epilepsy and autism. Obtaining a better understanding of the underlying genetic abnormalities in these disorders, will teach us about normal and abnormal development and potentially provide direction for treatment in the future.
Eric J. Mallack, MD, MBE
Pediatric Neurology Center for Neurogenetics
K12 NSADA Scholar
Weill Cornell Medical Center
NY Presbyterian Hospital
Dr. Mallack's translational research program allies with the NY State Newborn Screening Program and Patient/Parent Advocacy Groups to identify presymptomatic patients with X-Linked Adrenoleukodystrophy. He is investigating a novel, advanced neuroimaging prediction model to identify patients appropriate for stem cell transplant prior to symptom onset. He aims to become a clinical trialist, and to develop a leukodystrophy gene therapy program at his home institution. Primary mentor: Florian Eichler, MD. Dr. Mallack completed his A.B. in Philosophy and Biomathematics at The University of Scranton. He then simultaneously earned his Medical Doctorate at the Temple University School of Medicine, and his Master’s Degree in Bioethics (MBE) at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He completed his Pediatrics and Child Neurology Residency at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Mallack is a faculty neurologist and clinical researcher in the Center for Neurogenetics at Weill Cornell Medicine. He is also investigating specified genotype-phenotype relationships in autism under the Weill Cornell Autism Research Project (WCARP).
Joshua Bear, MD, MA
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Child Neurology
Fellow in Pediatric Epilepsy
Children’s Hospital Colorado
The pathway to become a pediatric epileptologist requires six years of dedicated clinical training with limited time for research. Despite this, I embraced every opportunity available to pursue research projects that would give me both a general exposure to the physician-scientist pathway as well as foundational skills in statistics and clinical and translational studies. These efforts resulted in publications stemming from my work in radiographic imaging, the analysis of large datasets, and the use of magnetoencephalography to study individuals with epilepsy. As I complete my clinical training, my focus is now shifting toward a more research-oriented career. Over the next several years, I will use my background in computer programming and working with information systems to build a knowledge base in computational neuroimaging and neurophysiology. I look forward to the opportunity to grow into an independent research with the support of the NSADA/CNCDP K12 grant.