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FNNDSC Weekly Newsletter - Week 75

Upcoming Events

November 3rd: BCH 68th Annual Virtual Blackfan Lecture,12:00 – 1:00 PM EDT

Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the U.S. National Institutes of Health

Dr. Fauci oversees an extensive research portfolio focused on infectious and immune-mediated

diseases. As the long-time chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Immunoregulation, Dr. Fauci has made many seminal contributions in basic and clinical research and is one of the world’s most-cited biomedical scientists. He was one of the principal architects of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a program that has saved millions of lives throughout the developing world.

Please click below to join the webinar:

Password: MEDGR2020

American Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR) abstract submission deadline: November 1

MICCAI Conference: The deadline for submission of workshop proposals is 20 December 2021

Organization for Human Brain Mapping: OHBM 2022 is scheduled to take place in Glasgow, Scotland from June 19, 2022 - June 23, 2022! The deadline to submit an Abstract for OHBM 2022 is: Friday, December 17, 2021 at 11:59 PM EST. (Under no circumstances will this deadline be extended).

Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS): Abstract Submission Important Dates

Call for Abstracts: November 10, 2021, – January 5, 2022

Brain & Brain PET 2022: Abstract Submission due January 2022


Weekly Highlights!

Here are photos from our Halloween Party last Wednesday!


FNNDSC Project Update(s):


The NIRS team enrolled two subjects into their studies this week (one in their SCD study and the other in one of their NICU studies). Additionally, they also completed two follow-up measurements on previously enrolled subjects, with one being a neurodevelopmental assessment with Dr. Queally.

Lastly, Dr. Krbec presented her abstract “Relation of systemic blood pressure to cerebral oxygen metabolism in neonates undergoing therapeutic hypothermia for hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy” at the Northeastern Conference on Perinatal Research in Chatham, Massachusetts earlier this week. Dr. Krbec would like to acknowledge Rutvi Vyas for her significant contribution in the analyzing the data.

The research team is looking forward to more measurements next week!


Last Week's Fun Fact Friday: Ellen Grant, MD!

This is the first installment of our Fun Fact Friday which we are starting as a way to get to know fun things about each other given that COVID has decreased our ability to interact socially.

Hopefully you will enjoy this edition with some things about me:

80% of the time I lead the FNNDSC. We started the FNNDSC in 2009 with just two people (Rudolph and I) but now we are a diverse team of 12 PhD or MD/PhD faculty and 60 members in total. Our overarching goal is to develop and bring new innovations to the clinical service and to better understand what impacts early brain development so we can guide strategies to improve outcome. I am constantly inspired by the faculty and post docs in the FNNDSC and awed by the creativity of the work they do. The research assistants and students enrich our environment with wonderful energy and great questions. The other 20% of the time I enjoy being a clinical neuroradiologist, challenged by the unusual cases we see, humbled by the expertise of my colleagues, teaching the fellows/residents and getting more ideas of things we need to create and problems we need to solve.

I grew up in a small rural town in Ontario, Canada. I loved science and liked to be different so ended up studying theoretical physics at the University of Toronto (gravity, spacetime, etc). I had never thought of medicine but my graduate advisor suggested I apply and the thought of doing something more immediately relevant to mankind appealed to me – so here I am.

I am still a Canadian despite living in the US for over 25 years and have unintentionally deported myself a few times but luckily have managed to get back into the country. Currently, I have an expired green card despite doing all the paperwork (they are so backed up!!) - Don’t worry, they assure me I am still allowed to work but just can’t leave the country :)

We are a family of six – one stepson and two girls and a boy of my own – now 24, 21, 17and 19. Those days of three kids in diapers are hard to forget – we set records for the amount of trash per week! My husband, Orran Krieger, is a Prof of Electrical and Computer Engineering at BU (we got married after a 10-year hiatus but that is another story…). We also have a rescue Pitbull and a rescue cat (sadly the bearded dragon died last year).

My pastimes include helping with homework, troubleshooting kid crises, cleaning up after kids, walking the dog, cleaning cat litter, and making somewhat edible dinners. When not consumed with these tasks (which are decreasing as only 2 kids are at left at home), I love sports and the outdoors. My favorites are outrigger canoeing, skiing, mountain biking, dragon boat racing, and hiking but on a daily basis, I enjoy running outside rain or shine, and yoga in my backyard.

Some places near Boston for hiking and skiing

Blue Hills Reservation – Only ~ 30min away with lots of trails to choose from and some great views. It is also great for kids and/or dogs. The ski hill is tiny but also a great place for kids (or adults!) to learn how to ski or snowboard. Nashoba - (if there is snow) is another tiny ski hill but only ~ 30 min away. White Mountains - an awesome place for a weekend of hiking and in the summer you can do a day trip to rent kayaks and paddle down the Saco River.

And a photo of alpine hiking with family at Whistler this summer


FNNDSC Lecture Series with Guest Speaker(s): Drs. Amanda Lyall and Ofer Pasternak

Date/Time: Wednesday November 3, 2021 @ 10 AM

Title: Biological Correlates of Free Water Imaging and Its Implications in the Development of Psychiatric Illness


The ability to differentiate between brain pathologies is extremely important for neuroimaging studies of psychotic illnesses where the biological underpinnings of these disorders remain unclear. More importantly, given the known neurodevelopmental origins of psychiatric disorders, imaging measures with greater sensitivity will allow for the earlier identification of pathological deviations from healthy developmental trajectories. In this talk, we will focus on Free Water (FW) Imaging is a novel diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) method that is able to separately identify changes affecting the extracellular space, such as edema or atrophy, from those that originate around neuronal tissue, such as axonal degeneration or altered myelination. We will provide a digest of studies demonstrating the utility of this method in improving the biological specificity of diffusion imaging measures across the psychosis illness course. We will also highlight past and planned studies that aim to understand the biological correlates of the free water signal in the context of brain development and psychiatric illness.


Amanda E. Lyall is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. She received her Ph.D. in 2014 in Neurobiology from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill where she worked in the lab of Dr. John Gilmore. Her dissertation research focused on utilizing MRI to characterize the developmental trajectories of cortical thickness and surface area in the first two years of life in both healthy and at-risk for schizophrenia infants. She joined the Psychiatry Neuroimaging Laboratory (PNL) as a postdoctoral research fellow within the Clinical Research Training Program (T32) at Judge Baker Children’s Center in September of 2014, where she worked under the mentorship of Dr. Marek Kubicki. Her present research focuses on leveraging advanced neuroimaging techniques to understand the structural connectivity of the human brain in healthy and clinical populations, with a particular focus on the study of psychosis. Specifically, she aims to identify and describe the underlying biological mechanisms and trajectory of events surrounding transition to psychosis in schizophrenia and other associated psychotic disorders. Her present projects employ multi-modal imaging paradigms (simultaneous MR-PET and 7T GluCEST) combined with physiological, cognitive, and clinical data collection to construct a more complete picture of potential underlying biological factors related to resiliency in early-stage psychosis patients. She has also served as a Visiting Lecturer at Wellesley College for two years and is presently an Associate Director of the aforementioned T32 with her mentors at the PNL, Drs. Shenton and Kubicki.

Zoom meeting information:

Password: 893773

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)

Or iPhone one-tap:

+16465588656,,92746734652# or +14086380968,,92746734652#

Meeting ID: 927 4673 4652


Brain Games



If you have something that you would like to see featured in the next newsletter, please contact Winona Bruce-Baiden at:

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