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FNNDSC Weekly Newsletter - Week 46

Updated: Apr 29, 2021

Upcoming Events

April 14th 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM: FNNDSC Lecture Series | Avery Berman, PhD

April 15th 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM: Research Excellence Responsibility Committee Foreign Influence Town Hall - Zoom Link, Password: 228642 April 16th 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM: Final Student Internship Presentations | Assia Chericoni, Roberto Billardello, Giulia Iandolo April 28th 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM: Develop your own study SOPs - Register here. April 30th 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM: Final Student Internship Presentation | Jennings Zhang

May 7th 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM: New Coordinator Orientation: Working with the IRB, Register here.

June 23rd 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM: Things I Wish I Knew as a New Research Coordinator, Register here. Various Dates: Newborn Brain Society - Fetal Neurology Webinar Series Helpful Links Research Computing Data Management Research Computing Self Portal Research Announcements & News Office of Sponsored Programs Updates Funding Opportunities and Links Staff Resources - Covid-19 Covid Vaccine FAQs


Welcome New Employee to the FNNDSC!


  • Ajay Rajaram, PHD is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the FNNDSC coming from Western University in Canada.

Ajay will be working directly under Dr. Ivy Lin and will be involved in analyzing NIRS and physiological data with computational pipelines based on both in-house codes and common toolboxes.


Last Week's FNNDSC Project Updates NIRS Team

The NIRS team enrolled a new subject into our IVH study and were able to perform multiple measurements on this kiddo pre and post placement of a VSG shunt and a ventricular tap! The team also enrolled two new subjects into our IntraOps study, where they do NIRS during their pial synangiosis. They also performed a NIRS/TCD study visit for the SCD study. The team is also gearing up to start the CURE study with CURE Children's Hospital in Uganda. It has been a busy few weeks!

Landmark Department Move The FNNDSC departmental move date has been scheduled for Monday, May 10th! Below is the move schedule: Monday May 10th -ISD disconnect computers and phones 2:00 PM -Movers move boxes 3:00 PM

Note: You will not be able to log in to your computers Monday, May 10th after 2:00 PM

Tuesday May 11th -ISD reconnects computers and phones 8:00 AM

  • It is recommended to purge papers and other items you do not plan to bring with you in the move.

  • If your group needs to move file cabinets, make sure all drawers are emptied except the bottom two drawers.

Move Labels:

  • Move labels should contain your First and Last Name, Department name (Newborn Medicine, FNNDSC), and new Desk #/Office #.

  • Desk trash receptacles and personal printers should also be labeled to be brought to your new desk/office location.

  • Computers, monitors, keyboard bags, boxes and other supplies that cannot fit into a box and need to be moved should be labeled.


FNNDSC Lecture Series This Week

Date/Time: Wednesday, April 14th at 9:00 AM

Presenter: Avery Berman, PhD

Title: Achieving high spatial resolution BOLD fMRI acquisitions at ultra-high magnetic field

Abstract: There is growing evidence that hemodynamic responses to neuronal activation are far more spatially specific than previously believed, motivating functional MRI acquisitions with higher spatial resolution than typically used. However, we are limited by the spatial encoding capabilities of MRI to reach these higher resolutions while maintaining a whole-brain field of view. Segmented echo-planar imaging (EPI) can help overcome these limitations, but it is well-known to be temporally unstable due to intermittent ghosting artifacts. In this talk, I will describe our recent developments of a temporally stable, segmented EPI acquisition with a recursive RF pulse design, referred to as Variable Flip Angle (VFA) FLEET, for performing high-resolution fMRI with high signal-to-noise ratio. Using VFA-FLEET, I demonstrated blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) functional activation at 0.6-mm isotropic voxel size – the highest published in vivo spatial resolution for human fMRI using a whole-head receiver coil. I will emphasize the versatility of the VFA-FLEET acquisition for producing a range of image contrasts useful for both functional and anatomical imaging. Finally, I will describe my most recent efforts employing biophysical signal modelling to better understand the role the image encoding process itself has on the formation of image contrast, with a focus on better understanding the microvascular specificity of spin-echo BOLD fMRI.


Avery Berman, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow in Radiology at Harvard Medical School working at the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He received a BSc in Physics at the University of Victoria and an MSc in Medical Radiation Physics and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at McGill University, both under the supervision of Prof. Bruce Pike. His PhD thesis was on the development of advanced biophysical models to extract quantitative physiological parameters from the BOLD functional MRI signal. His postdoctoral training, under the supervision of Dr. Jonathan Polimeni, has focused on developing methods to improve the acquisition and modelling of high spatial resolution functional MRI at ultra-high magnetic field.

Zoom meeting information:

Password: 846504

Or dial in from your telephone:

Internally: x28882

Externally: 646-558-8656 (Primary)

408-638-0968 (If you are unable to dial into the primary number)

Telephone password: 846504

Or iPhone one-tap:

+16465588656,,98141370689# or +14086380968,,98141370689#

Meeting ID: 981 4137 0689


Final Internship Presentations:

Please join us in listening to Assia Chericoni, Roberto Billardello, and Giulia Iandolo’s internship accomplishments at the Fetal Neonatal Neuroimaging & Developmental Science Center (FNNDSC). Assia, Roberto, and Giulia have been working under Dr. Eleonora Tamilia.

· Assia Chericoni is a graduate student in Biomedical Engineering at University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome. She received her Bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering in 2018 from University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, her project of thesis focused on newborns nutritive sucking. At the FNNDSC, her research project will be on new methods to analyze sleep EEG in patients with epilepsy. Her final internship presentation is titled, “Surgery-Related Changes in Sleep Spindle Activity of children with Drug-Resistant Epilepsy “.

· Roberto Billardello is graduate student in Biomedical Engineering at University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome. He received his Bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering in 2018 from University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome. At the FNNDSC, he worked on developing a novel automated method to identify the epileptogenic zone in children undergoing intracranial EEG before surgery. His final internship presentation is titled, “Integrating EEG connectivity and excitability measures to localize the epileptogenic

· Giulia Iandolo is a graduate student in Biomedical Engineering at Campus Bio-Medico of Rome. She received her Bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering in 2018 from University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome. At the FNNDSC, she worked on investigating changes in the EEG of children with epilepsy following repeated surgery. Her final internship presentation is titled, “Outlining the Functional Brain Network of Children Undergoing Repeated Epilepsy Surgery.”

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