Aki Nikolaidis, PhD
Research Scientist, Center for the Developing Brain
Child Mind Institute
Aki Nikolaidis, PhD, is a research scientist in the Center for the Developing Brain at the Child Mind Institute. His research focuses on using advanced machine learning techniques to map the brains corticostriatal circuits. These circuits play a central role in driving brain plasticity related to learning, addiction, and psychopathology in children and adults. Through a better characterization of these systems, we can develop a better understanding of how our minds change through the interaction between our experiences and patterns of large-scale brain plasticity. Towards these efforts, he has created PyBASC, a powerful open source python platform that leverages advanced machine learning to improve the sensitivity and reliability of mapping the organization of the brain’s corticostriatal circuits.
Dr. Nikolaidis completed his undergraduate studies in psychology at Yale, and subsequently went abroad for research positions in Bern and Taipei. While completing his graduate studies at the University of Illinois, Aki investigated how brain networks, metabolism, and structure contribute to individual differences in executive function, intelligence, and learning. His work has also focused on understanding how interventions drive brain plasticity and improvements in cognition. In addition to a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, Dr. Nikolaidis has received multiple awards and fellowships from the Yale University and the University of Illinois for his work using techniques from machine learning in neuroscience. In 2018, Dr. Nikolaidis was given the NARSAD Young Investigator Award from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation.