We focus on two main areas of research: (1) neural basis of cognitive control and decision-making, with emphasis on statistical methods for modeling hemodynamic responses in decision-related neuroimaging studies, and (2) the clinical implications of neurovascular deficits in brain tumors and other vascular disorders. We developed a set of statistical techniques to measure neurovascular coupling differences across individuals or groups and to control between-subject variance in neurovascular coupling to improve the estimation of the underlying neural activity. We also developed methods to measure disruption of neurovascular coupling (i.e. BOLD asynchrony) by infiltrative glioma to estimate extent of tumor infiltration and predict risk of recurrence.
Rejection Distress Suppresses Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Borderline Personality Disorder (Biological Psychiatry: CNNI, 2022) – We showed that, in healthy control subjects, rejection distress is associated with increased activation in mentalization-related, rostromedial PFC. However, for subjects with BPD, rejection distress results in decreased activation of this region. These results suggest that individuals with BPD have difficulty upregulating mentalization activity during rejection distress.
Chronic convection-enhanced delivery of topotecan for patients with recurrent glioblastoma: a first-in-patient, single-centre, single-arm, phase 1b trial (Lancet Oncology, 2022) – Topotecan chemotherapy was delivered directly into the tumor, completely bypassing the blood brain barrier. We were able to produce local topotecan concentrations 1000 times higher than what could be achieved using systemic delivery, without any systemic side effects. We showed that topotecan was able to kill dividing tumor cells without any toxicity to neurons.
BOLD asynchrony elucidates tumor burden in IDH-mutated gliomas (Neuro-Oncology, 2022) – BOLD asynchrony is proportional to tumor burden in IDH-mutated gliomas, is more sensitive to tumor burden than standard-of-care MR imaging, and can be used for neurosurgical planning of extent of resection.