Lisa Gorham

Program: Neurosciences

Current advisor: Cynthia Rogers, MD

Undergraduate university: Washington University

Research summary
I am a Neuroscience PhD student working in the WUNDER lab (Dr. Cynthia Rogers and Dr. Christopher Smyser). Our lab studies longitudinal trajectories of brain development in neonates and young children using MRI/fMRI. The first few years of life are a period of rapid brain development, and work done by the WUNDER lab hopes to illuminate how prenatal factors, such as prematurity and poverty, influence developmental trajectories of the brain. My project specifically is looking at how development in the first few years of life may be spatially and temporally guided by the sensorimotor-association axis. In order to examine this, I am using a combination of structural neuroimaging scans and anatomically constrained multimodal surface matching (aMSM) to map cortical expansion across the brain over this key developmental time period. Next, I will be comparing cortical expansion in development with cortical atrophy in Alzheimer’s Disease, illustrating how there are many parallels between how the brain changes in these two distinct time periods of life. Finally, I will be examining how external factors such as poverty may impact these longitudinal trajectories across the lifespan. Ideally, this work will help us better characterize how the brain develops during key periods of plasticity, and how environmental variables like poverty may be impacting these trajectories.

Graduate publications


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