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Mood Disorders Research Team

Vincent Magnotta, PhD

Dr. Magnotta is interested in the development of novel imaging approaches and analysis strategies to better understand psychiatric and neurological brain disorders. His work in image acquisition focuses on diffusion tensor imaging and chemical shift imaging. He is also working on methods to automate the analysis of brain morphology and incorporating these tools into diffusion tensor and chemical shift imaging.

Gail Harmata, PhD

Dr. Gail Harmata is a postdoctoral researcher interested in understanding the neural correlates of psychiatric disorders and suicide and how these are impacted by treatments, comorbid conditions, and sex differences.   She intends to establish an independent research lab that combines techniques from brain imaging, genetics, neuropsychological testing, task-based assessments, large-scale databases, and machine learning. 

 

Michelle Voss, PhD

Dr. Voss is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. Dr. Voss's research is interested in how health and health behaviors modify brain and cognitive aging, and risk for psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. Her lab is most focused on health behaviors that are modifiable, like physical activity, cognitive enrichment and training, and sleep. Her lab uses MR imaging of brain structure, function, and metabolism to measure how health behaviors affect brain networks to modify cognition, affect, and mood.

John Wemmie, MD, PhD

Dr. Wemmie’s research centers around the role that pH regulation plays in brain function and disease. This work spans animal models and humans and includes bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, and substance use disorders.

Aislinn Williams, MD, PhD

The Williams lab is interested in understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which genes contribute to psychiatric disease from a developmental perspective. Our current projects focus on voltage-gated ion channel genes, which have been linked to bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, and autism. We use induced pluripotent stem cells and transgenic mouse models to study how ion channels modulate neuronal development, neural circuit function, and behavior. We employ a wide range of approaches, including molecular biology, live cell imaging, neuropathology, and animal behavioral assessments, to try to unravel the developmental pathways involved in neuropsychiatric disease, in the hope of identifying novel treatment targets

Marie Gaine, PhD

The Gaine lab is dedicated to the study of biological and environmental factors that increase the risk for psychiatric disorders with a specific focus on bipolar disorder and suicide. Through large-scale human studies, we study the role of the environment, genetic variation, and DNA methylation in individuals with suicidal behavior and bipolar disorder. My scientific expertise is built upon a research career aimed at studying the molecular biology of neurological disorders. Current projects in the lab include studying meQTLs associated with attempted suicide, immune dysregulation in individuals with bipolar disorder, and the role of environmental toxicants in psychiatric symptoms.

Krystal Parker, PhD

Dr. Parker's long-term goal is to understand the cerebellar contribution to cognitive and affective processes. She studies the potential for cerebellar stimulation to rescue cognitive impairments and mood in humans using EEG but also in animals with pharmacologically- and genetically-induced phenotypes of disease. Her training in psychology, systems neurophysiology, and clinical psychiatry allows her to target the cerebellum for novel treatments of diseases involving cognitive and affective dysfunction.

John Freeman, PhD

Dr. Freeman is interested in behavioral neuroscience, neurobiology of learning and memory, and developmental psychobiology of learning.

Jess Fiedorowicz, MD, PhD

Jess Fiedorowicz is an expert on course of illness and mortality in bipolar disorder. His research focuses on suicide and cardiovascular disease as the leading causes of excess mortality in bipolar disorder. Related, he has been interested in circadian/seasonal influences on mood, inflammation, and metabolism in bipolar disorder.

Nicholas Trapp, MD

Dr. Trapp’s research is focused on the targeting, application and optimization of neuromodulation therapies for the treatment of neuropsychiatric conditions. Prior studies include using functional and structural MRI to guide repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) therapy for the treatment of symptoms of traumatic brain injury-associated depression; schizophrenia; bipolar disorder; autism; methamphetamine use disorder; and chemotherapy-associated cognitive impairment, as well as neuropsychiatric assessment in these patient populations. A second aim of his research involves neuroimaging correlates of mood, including lesion-network mapping approaches.  Finally, his research aims to explore and harness the mechanisms underlying brain stimulation-induced neuroplasticity and mood modulation, utilizing neurophysiology, neuroimaging, cognitive and behavioral measures in human subjects. Clinically, Dr. Trapp directs the psychiatric neuromodulation program at University of Iowa, where he evaluates patients with treatment refractory mood disorders considering neuromodulation-based therapy options.

Jing Jiang, PhD

The overarching goal of the Jiang Lab is 1) to better understand the neural and cognitive mechanisms underlying social and affective dysfunctions and treatment effects in patients with neuropsychiatric conditions (e.g., depression disorder, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder); and 2) to identify neural markers of social and emotional function development in typically and atypically developing infants and children. To this end, we use an interdisciplinary approach that combines, but not limited to, naturalistic paradigms, brain imaging (fNIRS, fMRI), brain stimulation (TMS, intracranial stimulation), behavioral recording (eye-tracking, mobile app), brain-lesion cases, machine learning, and network analyses.  

Gary E. Christensen, DSc

Dr. Christensen is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Radiation Oncology at the University of Iowa. His research interests include medical imaging, deformable shape models, tracking shape changes over time, shape analysis, differential geometry, and high-performance computing. Dr. Christensen is interested in studying the differences between normal and abnormal brain shape, how brain structures change shape over time, and the differences between normal and abnormal brain function.