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FNNDSC Weekly Newsletter - Week 10

Key Dates

· August 05: Bi-weekly Lecture Series with Alexander Cohen

· August 08 - 14: ISMRM & SMRT Virtual Conference & Exhibition

Helpful Links

Bi-Weekly Lecture Series

This Wednesday's Bi-Weekly Lecture Series will be presented by Dr. Alexander Cohen, MD, PhD

Date: Wednesday, August 05 at 10:00 AM Title: Using Other Clinical Cohorts to Understand ASD (and Maybe Generate New Treatment Targets)


Autism Spectrum Disorder is associated with a heterogeneous mix of disabling and difficult to manage symptoms, yet there remains a paucity of therapeutic approaches. However, if we could identify the neuroanatomical circuits driving specific symptoms, we could attempt targeted therapy using non-invasive neuromodulation. One approach to localizing symptoms to specific brain circuits is the study of focal brain injuries that cause new-onset symptoms. Since brain injuries provide a causal link between lesion location and resulting symptom, studying these clinical cohorts provide tremendous insight into symptom generation. Recently, a new method termed ‘lesion network mapping’ has allowed the localization of a number of important neuropsychiatric syndromes that localize to brain networks instead of single regions. My work is leveraging the principle that consistent brain regions appear to be involved in consistent symptoms across conditions to 1) identify the brain networks causally associated with specific symptoms seen in ASD and then 2) prospectively determine if alterations of these networks correlate with symptom severity in ASD and in typical development. If successful, I will be able to generate useful biomarkers and potentially treatment targets for symptoms in ASD, which would represent a first step towards building a precision medicine platform for the growing population of children with ASD who are sorely in need of new therapeutic options.


Alex is an Instructor of Neurology at Boston Children’s Hospital who specializes in translational neuroimaging approaches to understand and develop treatments for neurodevelopmental disorders. He earned his BA, MD, and PhD from Washington University in St. Louis, and did his Child Neurology training at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. He joined BCH in 2016 as a Pediatric Behavioral Neurology fellow and did his post-doctoral training in the Computational Radiology Laboratory at BCH and the Laboratory for Brain Network Imaging and Modulation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Now, he sees patients in the Autism Spectrum Center and Behavioral Neurology Clinic at BCH and is building a neuroimaging laboratory focusing on identifying the causal neuroanatomy of symptoms in autism that could serve as treatment targets for non-invasive stimulation.

Zoom meeting information:

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Or dial in from your telephone:

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Meeting ID: 992 3305 3342

How have we adapted to work from home?

Cooking with Eleonora Tamilia during quarantine includes the following delicious meals (in clockwise order):

1) Carbonara pasta

2) Loaded Mortadella sandwich

3.) Oven baked salmon with mashed potatoes and zucchini toast on the side

4) Chicken with salad and naan bread on the side

If you would like to share your work from home set up, fun quarantine activities, or pictures of your quarantine pet pals on the weekly newsletter series, please email

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