Lab News

Dr. Veronika Vilgis awarded a Young Investigator Award!

The $35,000, one-year grant begins in January 2018.

Vilgis is a member of Professor Amanda Guyer’s TEEN Lab at UC Davis’ Center for Mind and Brain. She joined the lab in in January 2016 after completing her Ph.D. at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

For her project, Vilgis will draw on data from a study that followed 232 girls from age 9 through age 20 to study the body’s stress response as measured by cortisol.

“We know that cortisol can affect the structure and function of the hippocampus,” a region in the brain associated with memory processing and emotional responses, she said. “We also know that patients with depression sometimes show changes in the hippocampus.”

Vilgis said a better understanding of the biological mechanisms involved could lead to new interventions during critical periods of development to reduce the burden of depression.

The NARSAD Young Investigator Grant provides support for promising young scientists conducting neurobiological research. NARSAD is an acronym for National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, the former name of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. The foundation is the top non-governmental funder of research grants for the early detection, treatment, prevention and cure of mental illness. Grant recipients are recommended by its scientific council, composed of 168 leading scientists.

Our undergraduate research assistants present at UC Davis Undegraduate Research Conference!

Congratulations to our undergraduate research assistants, Elizabeth Kim (Junior majoring in NPB), Sandra Avila (Senior majoring in Psychology), and Megan Ng (Sophomore majoring in NPB), who recently presented their work at the UC Davis Undergraduate Research Conference (April 2017)! Their projects cover topics such as altruistic behavior, poverty and socioemotional functioning.

Elizabeth Kim – “Altruism Project: An Observation of Social Influence on Adolescents’ Altruistic Behavior”
Sandra Avila – “Socio-Emotional Functioning in Adolescent Girls Is Associated With Alterations in Prefrontal Cortex and Amygdala Volumes”
Megan Ng – “Poverty and Physiological Reactivity to Future Stressors in Adolescents”

 

Congratulations to Rajpreet Chahal!

This March, Rajpreet was awarded the prestigious CTSC TL1 Pre-Doctoral Clinical Research Training Fellowship! The TL1 program is jointly sponsored by the UCD School of Medicine and the Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC) to provide trainees with the skills required to develop a career in multidisciplinary clinical and translational research relevant to human health.

 

UCD Summer Poverty Research Engagement Experience (SPREE)

Christopher Coleman, a rising senior at Howard University, spent the summer of 2016 at our lab collaborating with graduate student, Rajpreet Chahal, on studies involving socioeconomic factors and their impact on adolescent girls’ development. He joined us through the UCD-SPREE program, a competitive program that offers students from around the country the opportunity to do poverty research at UC Davis. During his time here, he helped analyze scans that used diffusion tensor imaging to examine activity in the brain in response to different functional tasks. He made an excellent academic presentation on his work here and we wish him all the best in his senior year and future endeavors!

 

Congratulations to Dr. Amanda Guyer!Fellows with Chancellor

Dr. Guyer was named one of ten 2014-2015 Chancellor’s Fellows. “Initiated in 2000, the “Chancellor’s Fellow” designation is one of the highest and most prestigious faculty honors at UC Davis. The program recognizes rising stars who shine as teachers and campus citizens, and whose scholarly work already puts them at the top of their fields — garnering attention far and wide.”

 

The HEAD Lab takes second in the CMB annual Pumpkin Carving Contest!

This year’s carving was an adolescent having an MRI scan and providing saliva samples.
HEAD Lab Halloween 2014_3 HEAD Lab Halloween 2014_7

 

Congratulations to Dr. Carrie Masten!

Dr. Carrie Masten, a postdoctoral trainee in the Guyer lab, has received Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Awards from the Society for Research in Child Development and the American Psychological Association.  Additionally, Dr. Masten has accepted a tenure-track assistant professor position at Vanderbilt University, beginning this fall.