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Funded Research Projects

NeuroHealth | SIGF - Graduate Fellowship
Lead Researcher(s): Angela Y. Lee
Mental illnesses like bipolar disorder affect millions of people around the world, but early symptoms are often difficult to detect. Working across the disciplines of clinical psychology, communication, and computer science, my research will develop a novel computational tool to identify signals of...
NeuroHealth | SIGF - Graduate Fellowship
Lead Researcher(s): Kwamina Nyame
Phospholipid dysregulation is implicated in the pathogenesis of lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs). We found that glycerophosphodiesters (GPDs) accumulate in lysosomes derived from Batten disease models, a life-limiting LSD whose pathological mechanism remains elusive. GPDs are the degradation...
NeuroHealth | SIGF - Graduate Fellowship
Lead Researcher(s): Xianghao Zhan
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has become a global health hazard. If undetected, the brain damage of TBI can accumulate, calling for better TBI modeling and warning systems. TBI modeling involves three stages: head impact kinematics, brain deformation, and injuries. This project will leverage machine...
NeuroHealth | SIGF - Graduate Fellowship
Lead Researcher(s): Erin Kunz
Many neurological injuries and diseases such as brainstem stroke and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) result in severe speech impairment, drastically reducing quality of life. Recent progress in brain-computer interfaces (BCI) has allowed these individuals to communicate, but performance is...
NeuroDiscovery | SIGF - Graduate Fellowship
Lead Researcher(s): Tamara Chan
In a process called tiling, homeostatic microglia homogenously organize in a grid-like fashion to achieve efficient surveillance of the brain. The molecular mechanisms underlying tiling are unknown. I hypothesize that microglia use cell-surface proteins to sense density of neighboring microglia,...
NeuroEngineering | SIGF - Graduate Fellowship
Lead Researcher(s): Yixiu Zhao
We propose a novel framework for efficient Bayesian cognition called Inference via Abstraction (IvA), which learns to approximate complex world models with simpler abstractions that capture main dependencies, but leverage structure in the prior distribution for efficient inference. We instantiate...
NeuroDiscovery | SIGF - Graduate Fellowship
Lead Researcher(s): Kyrstyn Ong
Although ultrasonic neurostimulation has the potential to outperform traditional treatments for many debilitating neurological disorders, it remains unclear how ultrasound affects nervous system activity on the molecular level. Since ultrasound acts on a molecular scale in a macroscopic environment...
NeuroHealth | SIGF - Graduate Fellowship
Lead Researcher(s): Kathryn Wu
Schwann cells (SCs) sort and myelinate peripheral axons, and impairments in either process can cause long-term disability. There are no therapeutic strategies for targeting SC dysfunction, underscoring the need to investigate mechanisms of sorting and myelination. Both processes require highly...
NeuroHealth | SIGF - Graduate Fellowship
Lead Researcher(s): Gustavo Chau
Absence epilepsy is a form of pediatric epilepsy which causes seizures with brief lapses in awareness. Electron microscopy results in a murine model of absence epilepsy support the hypothesis that maladaptive myelination plays a role in disease progression. To enable whole-brain, longitudinal...
NeuroDiscovery | SIGF - Graduate Fellowship
Lead Researcher(s): Isabel Low
Behavioral state—such as alertness or exhaustion—dramatically impacts how our brains function. Yet, in spite of the key role that it plays in cognition, how behavioral state influences brain function remains a central mystery in neuroscience.

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