Current Projects

Study of Adolescent to Adult Neural Development (SAND): 5R01MH103761-05 and 1R01MH121079-01

Between 1998 and 2000, researchers began following a large cohort of children born to predominantly low-income, at-risk families in cities such as Detroit, Toledo, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Indianapolis (amongst others) as part of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS). These children have subsequently been assessed at birth, 1, 3, 5, 9, and 15 years of age. Recently, we used neuroimaging, mental health, and genetic and epigenetic measures to examine participants in adolescence. Now that this cohort of children has entered young adulthood, we seek to examine how their increased risk for exposure to adversity impacts later psychopathology. Through the use of MRI sessions, psychiatric interviews, self-reports, and biological samples, we will be able to investigate these relationships as a part of this unique, longitudinal study, specifically as they pertain to the psychopathology of depression and anxiety. This study is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (5R01MH103761-05; PI: Dr. Christopher Monk and 1R01MH121079-01; PIs: Dr. Christopher Monk, Dr. Luke Hyde, and Dr. Colter Mitchell) and is a collaboration with researchers from the University of Michigan, as well as the original FFCWS investigators.


Pediatric Anxiety and Brain Markers of Treatment: 5R01MH107419-04 and 5R01MH086517-05

Anxiety is among the most prevalent, costly, and disabling conditions and tends emerge early in childhood. As many as 40% of children who receive treatment for anxiety fail to get better, but we know little about how individual differences in brain function and related behavior may be used to predict likelihood of response to treatment or guide the development of new treatment options. In an ongoing collaboration with Dr. Kate Fitzgerald (UM Psychiatry) and Dr. K. Luan Phan (Ohio State University, Psychiatry), this project is using neuroimaging in the context of a randomized clinical trial to help us better understand for whom and how does various forms of treatment (cognitive behavioral therapy and medication) work; such knowledge will improve efficiency, reduce costs, and help alleviate the burden of anxiety in children and adolescence.