Current Studies:
Bipolar Inflammaging Study 
The goal of this study is to better understand the role of changes in mood and inflammatory function on cognitive aging in bipolar disorder. The function of factors important for the immune system, such as inflammatory cytokines, can change with age and predict cognitive decline in mentally healthy individuals, and levels of cytokines appear to be abnormal in individuals with bipolar disorder. In this investigation, we hope to discover how fluctuations in these cytokine levels and in mood affect long-term cognitive decline in bipolar disorder. We will use cell phone and activity monitoring technology, along with home visits, to test day-to-day and year-to-year relationships among these variables.

Schizophrenia Inflammation Imaging Study

We are interested in finding out more about how the immune system may affect the brain in
schizophrenia. This study will examine how blood-based biomarkers of inflammation may be related to cognitive functioning, and brain structure and function using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).



Past Studies:
Bipolar Aging and Imaging Study
We conducted a research study about brain aging with individuals who have a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder I. We used functional and structural neuroimaging techniques along with other measures to assess how aging may differentially affect individuals with bipolar disorder as compared to those without the disorder.

Psychobiology of Cognition and Positive Traits in Aging
We were interested in understanding how individual levels of compassion, empathy, and other positive psychological traits (for example, resilience and optimism) related to differences in brain function and well-being across the lifespan. To understand these differences, we used multiple methods, including those from cognitive neuroscience, neuropsychology, biology, psychiatry, social psychology, and medical anthropology.


Gender and the Brain
The primary focus of this study was to identify biological substrates of gender identity in the brain. Observations of individuals with Alternating Gender Identity (AGI) allows for a unique opportunity to better examine the biological foundations of mental sex. Functional magnetic resonance imaging measures and endocrinological measures were used to assess changes in resting state connectivity and hormonal fluctuations. We aimed to understand how functional connectivity in the default mode network,  hypothesized to be critical in self-referential cognition, was affected by gender state.