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Science Updates

Advancing the Science of the Developing Brain

November 10, 2021

Thank you for your interest in our Research Update Newsletter, dedicated to the scientific research community. This year marks the Child Mind Institute’s 10th year of groundbreaking science initiatives, and we are thrilled to share our progress with you.

In ten short years, the Child Mind Institute has become the global leader in brain imaging research for children’s mental health. Our science team has generated more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, received $30 million of federal funding, and made the equivalent of more than $1 billion in data available to all. Two of our senior scientists are in the top 0.1% of researchers based on citations.

Our program is a direct response to a research culture that had given up on collaboration. We know we need to transform the culture if we hope to achieve meaningful change in children’s lives. Learn more about our groundbreaking work and impact.


On the Shoulders of Giants Scientific Symposium

In this issue of our quarterly newsletter, we will cover information on our annual On the Shoulders of Giants Scientific Symposium, the CRISIS Survey townhall, grants received by the Research team and more! As always, we hope you will find this information interesting and useful, and we welcome your feedback and suggestions for future issues.

On October 5th, the Child Mind Institute hosted the 11th annual On the Shoulders of Giants Scientific Symposium. The event was held virtually and with an audience of over 1000. The symposium celebrated the work of Dr. Yasmin Hurd, the Ward-Coleman Chair of Translational Neuroscience and the Director of the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai. Dr. Hurd is also the winner of the Child Mind Institute’s Sarah Gund Prize for Research and Mentorship in Child Mental Health. The event began with presentations from Dr. Hurd and her two protegees, Dr. Yoko Nomura, a tenured professor in the Department of Psychology at Queens College, CUNY, and Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; and Dr. Jacqueline-Marie Ferland, a postdoctoral researcher at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

The second half of the symposium consisted of a powerful roundtable discussion led by Dr. Wilson Compton, Deputy Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. On the panel were the symposium presenters Dr. Yasmin Hurd, Dr. Yoko Nomura and Dr. Jacqueline-Marie Ferland. Additionally, the panel included Dr. Kevin M. Gray, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina; Dr. Leslie A. Hulvershorn, Interim Co-Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine; and Dr. Christian Thurstone, Director of Service of Behavioral Health Services at Denver Health and Professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado Denver.

View Event Recording

CRISIS Survey Townhall Gives Families a First Look at Survey Findings

Over the past 15 months, our team surveyed families worldwide about their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. On September 9th families who completed the survey were invited to join Dr. Michael Milham and hear what our team learned about coping during the pandemic. The virtual townhall also provided information to help families return to school in the fall and featured Healthy Brain Network and School and Community Programs clinicians answering parents’ questions.

Listen to Q&A

Ting Xu Receives R01 Grant

Ting Xu, PhD, a research scientist in the Center for the Developing Brain, was awarded a prestigious R01 grant for her project titled “An Alignment Framework For Mapping Brain Dynamics and Substrates of Human Cognition Across Species.”

Using non-human primate (NHP) models is critical to the advancement of translational neuroscience, as it allows researchers to link observations regarding brain dynamics and cognition in the human brain to underlying phenomena that cannot be fully investigated in humans. Importantly, the ultimate value of findings from the NHP for informing human models relies on the adequacy of methods for cross-species anatomical and functional alignment. This grant will build on Dr. Xu’s previous work developing methods to align the brain between human and non-human primates using multimodal MRI data.

Learn More About Ting Xu

‘Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience’

A new manuscript from the Autism Center: Research Program titledPredicting multiscan MRI outcomes in children with neurodevelopmental conditions following MRI simulator training” has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.

This paper examines factors predictive of successfully obtaining neuroimaging data from a pediatric sample with Autism and/or ADHD who have completed a systematic MRI simulator training. The results provide insights on factors to consider in designing pediatric brain imaging protocols.

Read More