Our Newsletter

Current Grants

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Modeling of Joint Face-Brain Dysmorphology in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder.

Shantanu Joshi PI, NIH/NIAAA: K25 AA024192-01, Sowell Primary Mentor

This study aims to find quantitative relationships between the anatomy of the brain from MRI, and that of the face from 3D photographs of children affected by fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) caused due to prenatal alcohol exposure. A critical outcome of this research is expected to reveal diagnostic effects for children who have neurocognitive deficits but for whom the facial dysmorphology is not directly visible, and will have a significant impact for early detection and possible intervention strategies for FASD in the nation as well as all over the world, wherever alcohol is consumed by mothers during pregnancy. Moreover, this research will integrate methods from engineering and neuroscience, and will develop a common scientific approach for analyzing diverse imaging modalities such as MRI images (brain) and 3D laser scans (face).

$705,000 | 2015 – 2019

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Brain and Adipose Contributions to Food Seeking in Youth with adrenal Hyperplasia.

Mimi Kim PI, NICHD K23, Sowell Mentor

The goal of the proposed mentored research is to investigate the neurobiology of food-seeking behaviors in children, and to provide Dr. Mimi Kim the in-depth training and mentorship to become an independent investigator in childhood obesity and metabolism. This proposal targets children with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) as a natural human model for the study of brain and adipose contributors to obesity.

2016-2019

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Mimi Kim PI, Zumberge Individual Research Award

Sowell Mentor

$2,000 | 2015-Present

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Imaging the Impact of Air Pollution on Brain Development in the ABCD Sample and Mice.

TSRI Team Planning grant, Sowell PI 

The goal of this Team Planning grant is to assemble a multidisciplinary collaboration between USC-CHLA including experts in the areas of human developmental neuroimaging, developmental cognitive neuroscience, environmental epidemiology, air pollution neuroroxicology, experimental neurobiology, and mouse model imagers to prepare a pilot proposal to study the neurodevelopmental toxicity of exposure to air pollution in humans and mice.

$7,250 | 2015-Present

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Exploration of Cortical Sequelae of Neonatal Brachial Plexus Injury.

J. Werner PI, CHLA Research Council and PCS Clinical Outcomes Pilot Funding, Sowell Mentor

The goal of the research project is to explore brain changes associated Neonatal brachial plexus injury (NBPI) in the context of development, specifically gray matter and white matter properties in regions of interest (primary and secondary sensory and motor cortices, corticospinal tract/corona radiata, and between-hemispheres differences). A secondary aim of this project is to establish feasibility of conducting MRI investigations by the research team (members of Rehabilitation Services) using CHLA facilities. As a pilot study, this research would serve as a gateway to future intervention studies and for understanding the mechanisms of change in these patients.

2014-Present

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Imaging Brain, Neurocognitive and Pubertal Maturation During Adolescence

R01 MH087563, NIMH, Sowell PI

The purpose of this study is to investigate relationships between brain and cognitive-behavioral development during adolescence use cutting-edge, integrative, multimodal image analyses of functional and structural MRI data to examine, longitudinally, brain development in adolescents and to distinguish hormonal from other age-related environmental and behavioral correlates. (25% effort)

$433,403 | 2010– 2016

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Adolescent Brain Cognitive Study (ABCD) 

U01 DA041048 (Sowell PI)

The ABCD study is a national longitudinal study that will assess the short- and long-term impact of substance use on brain development. The project will recruit 10,000 youths before they begin using alcohol, marijuana, tobacco and other drugs, and follow them over 10 years into early adulthood.

2015 – 2020 | $8,000,000

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Mapping the Brain, the Face and Neurocognitive Function in FASD

NIAAA U01 AA017122-01 (Sowell PI)

One of the overall goals of the entire CIFASD during this renewal period is to determine if innovative techniques can be used to identify brain alterations, neurobehavioral deficits and facial characteristics and relationships between these variables to help define prenatal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).
ABSTRACT

2007 – 2017 | $573,973

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A Multisite Neurobehavioral Assessment of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

NIAAA U01 AAO14834-04 (Mattson PI)

The major goals of this project are to assess children with prenatal alcohol exposure using broadly-defined neuropsychological measures at 5 U.S. Sites and 1 South African Site. This project is part of an international consortium involving multiple sites.
ABSTRACT
 

2007 – 2017 | $42,518 (sub-award)

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Imaging Brain, Neurocognitive and Pubertal Maturation During Adolescence

The purpose of this study is to investigate relationships between brain and cognitive-behavioral development during adolescence use cutting-edge, integrative, multimodal image analyses of functional and structural MRI data to examine, longitudinally, brain development in adolescents and to distinguish hormonal from other age-related environmental and behavioral correlates.

2010 – 2015 | $444,114

NIDA

Pediatric HIV/AIDS (PHACS) Brain Imaging Project

NIDA (Sowell PI), R01 DA031634-01

Pediatric HIV/AIDS (PHACS) Brain Imaging Project.

2011 – 2016

 Print Effects of in utero alcohol exposure on adolescent brain connectivity (K. Uban, PI), F32 AA022561, NIAAA, Sowell Mentor, 2013-2016The goals of this study are to use a multimodal imaging approach to assess sex differences in the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) on brain connectivity. The proposed research project will assess hormone function in PAE boys and girls, and hormones will be integrated with measures of structural and functional brain connectivity. Integrated brain and hormone measures will be correlated with measures of cognitive performance (WISC-IV)

2013-2016

 nichd_logo A longitudinal study: the influence of sex and puberty on neurodevelopment (M. Herting, PI), F32 HD078084, NICHD, Sowell Mentor, 2013-2016.The goal project is to more fully characterize the influence of pubertal maturation, as measured by physical and hormonal assessments, on brain and mental health behaviors in typically developing girls and boys. The study will use a multimodal approach, including structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and diffusion tensor imaging, to quantify the contributions of pubertal maturation in predicting changes in neurodevelopment within the same adolescents over an average of 2 years and will examine if pubertal-related changes are distinct or similar depending on sex, and using behavioral self-reports, determine if individual differences in rates of pubertal-related brain maturation influence internalizing and externalizing behavior in typically developing adolescents.

2013-2016

 http://sc-ctsi.org/assets/images/logo.png Investigation of the Neural Mechanisms of Sensorimotor Integration in Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders (S. Bodison, PI), USC CTSI, Sowell Mentor, 2013-2016The goal of the proposed research study is to document brain connectivity between known sensory and motor neural structures and explore the possible mediating effects of a sensory enriched intervention on changes within brain architecture of children with ASD.

2013-2016