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Nancy Andreasen, MD, PhD Schizophrenia, Neuroimaging, Genetics/Genomics, Phenomics, Longitudinal Studies, Creativity, Cognitive/Affective Neuroscience
Aaron Boes, MD, PhD

Neuroimaging, Noninvasive Brain Stimulation

Beng Choon Ho, MD Schizophrenia, Neuroimaging, Family Studies, Cannabis
Karin Hoth, PhD Chronic cardiopulmonary medical illnesses 
Hans Johnson, PhD Imaging Analysis, Supercomputing
Vince Magnotta, PhD MRI, Diffusion Tensor/Chemical Shift Imaging
David Moser, PhD Disorders of Aging, Stroke
Peggy Nopoulos, MD Huntington's Disease, Child Psychiatry
Thomas Wassink, MD Behavioral genetics, panic disorder, schizophrenia
John Wemmie, MD, PhD Brain pH, neural plasticity, bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression


Nancy C. Andreasen, MD, PhD

Nancy C. Andreasen is the Andrew H. Woods Chair of Psychiatry and the Director of the Iowa Neuroimaging Consortium. Her neuroimaging research currently emphasizes the use of structural Magnetic Resonance (sMR) and functional Magnetic Resonance (fMR) Imaging, including Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI). She is currently conducting a longitudinal study of schizophrenia that uses data fusion techniques to integrate these three MR imaging modalities and that examines both first episode patients and patients who have been ill for more than five years, with the goal of examining the role of neurodevelopmental processes. Blood samples are also collected on these subjects so that genetics data can also be integrated into these analyses as well. In addition to examining the Default Mode Network using REST, she is also conducting fMR studies of brain reward circuitry in order to (indirectly) examine the role of the dopamine system in psychosis. She has conducted the largest and longest-running longitudinal study of first episode schizophrenia and uses this sample to investigate the role of environmental factors and genetic factors in the development of brain abnormalities in schizophrenia; this sample is also used for translational studies of medication effects, relapse, and remission across the lifespan. She is also using neuroimaging techniques in a study of highly creative individuals drawn from both the arts and the sciences. Her work developing standard definitions of positive and negative symptoms has been designated as citation classics by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). She is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science and was elected to serve on its governing council for two four year terms. She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Society for Neuroscience. She served on both the DSM III and the DSM IV Task Forces and was the Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Psychiatry for 13 years. She has published over 600 articles and authored or edited 18 books. She has received many awards for her work, including the President’s National Medal of Science.

Research Team

Aaron Boes, MD, PhD 

The Aaron Boes laboratory is interested in the link between brain structure and function across the lifespan, particularly network-based localization of neurological and psychiatric symptoms. We approach this topic using multi-modal neuroimaging methods that include lesion mapping, resting state functional connectivity MRI, and structural MRI.  Dr. Boes also directs the Clinical Program in Noninvasive Brain Stimulation at the University of Iowa and another focus of the lab is to use advanced imaging techniques in conjunction with neuromodulation to better understand the therapeutic mechanisms of brain stimulation, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation for the treatment of depression. Learn more



Beng Choon Ho, MD

Beng Choon Ho’s research activities focus on studying schizophrenia pathophysiology and on elucidating neurobiological mechanisms that underlie the etiologic factors, disease susceptibility, phenotypic features and long-term course of schizophrenia. The research strategy in his work combines multidisciplinary investigative methods so as to maximize scientific discovery regarding the complex syndrome of schizophrenia. The overarching hypothesis unifying his research posits that genetic variations and environmental factors disrupt the regulation of neural cell signaling and neuroplasticity during sensitive time periods of embryonic and adolescent brain maturation leading to the diverse manifestations of schizophrenia. Ongoing projects include: 1) understanding brain maturation, neural network connectivity and cannabis exposure in adolescent biological relatives of schizophrenia patients using MR neuroimaging (rs-fMRI, DTI); 2) predictors of long-term clinical course and outcome in schizophrenia probands. The long-term goal of his research is to develop and implement evidence-based preventive programs so as to reduce morbidity associated with schizophrenia through early identification and personalized treatment.


Karin Hoth, PhD

Karin Hoth is a clinical neuropsychologist whose primary research examines changes in brain structure and function among adults with chronic cardiopulmonary medical illnesses including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and heart failure.  The goal of this research is to identify physiological mechanisms that impact the brain. Our research team is highly interdisciplinary including specialists in psychology, neuroscience, pulmonary medicine, cardiovascular physiology, and medical engineering. Dr. Hoth also collaborates with other investigators involved in multi-site research to study emotional adjustment (e.g., symptoms of depression and anxiety) in individuals with smoking related diseases.  



Hans Johnson, PhD

Hans Johnson has received formal training in biomedical, electrical and computer engineering, which provides a solid foundation for his academic research objective of accelerating brain research through development of automated software processes. Johnson is the lead developer on 14 projects hosted by the Neuroinformatics Tools and Resources Clearing House. He is also the 13th most prolific contributor to the Insight Toolkit package and the president of the Insight Software Consortium. Johnson has been significantly involved in several imaging and informatics projects that focused on developing the tools necessary to monitor and manage large-scale, multi-site projects. In particular, he is the core leader for informatics of a 32-site, longitudinal study called PREDICT-HD that is funded by the National Institutes of Health. See the SINAPSE web site.



David Moser, PhD

David Moser's primary research interest involves finding better ways to identify those individuals at greatest risk for vascular cognitive decline and, ultimately, finding ways to prevent or at least attenuate this process. A secondary line of research involves the assessment of decisional capacity for informed consent in various vulnerable populations, determining what factors (e.g. cognitive dysfunction, mental illness) are most likely to impair this capacity, and finding new ways to improve this capacity in those who are unable to make informed decisions on their own behalf.




Peggy Nopoulos, MD

The Nopoulos lab studies the structure and function of the brain using imaging tools such as MRI and cognitive / behavioral assessment. In the healthy brain we study topics such as brain development over the lifespan, gender differences and social cognition. Disease populations that we work with include patients with schizophrenia, Huntington's Disease, and children with clefts of the lip/palate.







Vincent Magnotta, PhD

Vincent Magnotta, PhD, is Associate Professor of Radiology and Co-director of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Research Facility. He 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 frocuses on diffusion tensor imaging and chemical shift imaging. Magnotta is also working on methods to automate the analysis of brain morphology and incorporating these tools into diffusion tensor and chemical shift imaging. See the MR Research Facility web site.







Thomas Wassink, MD

The goal of research in the Wassink Laboratory is to identify genes that underlie susceptibility to a variety of psychiatric disorders, with our primary focus being autism. We use a variety of approaches in this endeavor, including positional cloning, sophisticated cytogenetic analyses, various microarray platforms, and candidate disease gene screening. We perform these studies in DNA obtained from numerous independent samples of families with multiple autistic individuals. We are also equipped to assess the function and expression of identified disease genes using an array of molecular and animal model techniques. We are also actively investigating the genetics of panic disorder and schizophrenia. The panic disorder work uses traditional positional cloning methods and a sample of moderate to large panic disorder pedigrees. The schizophrenia genetics research is performed in association with the Department of Psychiatry's Mental Health Clinical Research Center. We collect DNA from individuals with schizophrenia, their families, and psychiatrically normal control subjects. All of these individuals participate in protocols that gather data from a wide variety of research domains, including functional and structural brain imaging, cognitive testing, disease phenomenology, longitudinal progression of disease, etc. The goal with the schizophrenia sample, therefore, is to investigate relationships between genetic information and these other types of data. Extensive additional resources and expertise are available to us here at Iowa through our collaborations with the Center for Statistical Genetics, the UIHC Cytogenetics laboratory, and the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. See the Thomas Wassink Laboratory web site.


John Wemmie, MD, PhD

John Wemmie, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa, is interested in the role of brain pH and acid-sensing ion channels in brain function and behavior. This work has led to the discovery of critical roles for brain pH in synaptic plasticity, anxiety, and depression-related behaviors in mice. Current projects include investigating the synaptic mechanisms for acid-sensing ion channel action and also translating these discoveries to human behavior and brain function. For example, his laboratory is using non-invasive pH-sensitive magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the roles of brain pH in psychiatric illnesses such as panic disorder and bipolar affective disorder. See the John Wemmie Laboratory web site.