$2.3M awarded to PNG affiliate Moriah Thomason

PNG affiliate and Wayne State University neuroscientist Moriah Thomason, PhD, was awarded a 5 year $2.3 million grant to study the functional development of the human fetal brain and correlate it to behavior at age 4. The grant is an Innovative New Scientist award through the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health, reserved for early-stage investigators implementing high-impact, novel research.

The project, “In Utero Assessment of the Human Neural Connectome and Later Child Behavior,” takes advantage of recent technology that allows noninvasive imaging studies of coordinated function in the living human fetal brain. Compelling evidence indicates that psychiatric and developmental disorders are generally caused by disruptions in the functional connectivity of brain networks. The project is focused on understanding the emergence of whole brain functional circuitry beginning in fetal life, and identifying relationships between prenatal brain connectivity and preschoolers’ attainment of key developmental milestones.

Joining as co-investigator will be PNG affiliate Christopher Trentacosta, PhD at Wayne State University.