2015 | Postdoctoral Fellow – McCarroll Lab, Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School
2014 | Postdoctoral Fellow – Sherwood Lab, The George Washington University, Institute for Neuroscience and Center for Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology
2013 | PhD Psychology – Buckner Lab, Harvard University
2006 | BA Cognitive Science – University of California, Berkeley
For my PhD in Prof. Randy Buckner’s laboratory at Harvard University, I used MRI methods to estimate large-scale networks across the human cerebrum and cerebellum. With these methods we can start to map the internal organization of the human brain to determine how it compares to other species. Such maps provide insight about the functional significance of new, expanded or modified circuits.
Functional neuroimaging is a powerful but limited approach. Moving forward, I am adopting a more comparative perspective on human mental health and brain organization by exploring how different ‘cerebro-types’ enable a diversity of complex behaviors across primates. Using gene and protein expression techniques in the lab as well as available transcriptional databases, I am exploring how the molecular architecture associated with corticocortical and thalamocortical connectivity varies across primates as well as more broadly across extant mammals. One possibility is that the human brain is a scaled-up version of a ‘prototypical’ primate brain. An alternative view is that evolution acts on particular brain circuits that are specialized for particular behaviors or adaptations, resulting in innovations to the molecular landscape of the human brain.