Cameron Carter

Dr. Carter is Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology and directs the Imaging Research Center and the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence in the School of Medicine at UC Davis. Dr. Carter has been conducting basic, clinical and translational research using neuroimaging tools for 25 years.

A. Kimberley McAllister

A. Kimberley McAllister is a Professor of Neurology and NPB and Director of the Center for Neuroscience. She is PI of Project 2 in the Conte Center and is a member of the Conte Center Steering Committee. Dr. McAllister was the leader of the UC Davis RISE pilot Center that led to this Conte Center. Her laboratory studies the role for immune molecules in brain development and disease. She discovered that MHCI molecules are present on neurons in the developing brain, where they negatively regulate the establishment and strength of connections. Her laboratory also discovered that maternal immune activation leads to long-lasting changes in cytokine and MHCI levels in the brains of offspring throughout development. At birth, MIA causes a significant deficit in the ability of cortical neurons to form synapses through a mechanism that requires the MIA-induced changes in neuronal MHCI levels. Thus, the McAllister lab is uniquely suited to perform experiments in this Conte center focused on the progression of neuropathology and immune dysregulation in MIA model systems.

Melissa Bauman

Dr. Bauman serves as the Associate Director and is a member of the Conte Center Steering Committee. She is PI of Project 2 and has led efforts to develop the first PolyIC-based nonhuman primate maternal immune activation model. Dr. Bauman is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and a faculty member of the MIND Institute at UC Davis. Her research program uses preclinical models to evaluate risk factors and develop novel therapeutic interventions for neurodevelopmental disorders. Her current research focuses on understanding how changes in the prenatal environment, in particular the maternal-fetal immune environment, may increase the risk for autism, schizophrenia and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Bauman's laboratory utilizes a collaborative, team-science approach to research as demonstrated through her roles of Associate Director of the MIND Institute IDDRC (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center) and the UC Davis Conte Center. In addition to her research interests, Dr. Bauman also has a strong commitment to advancing women's careers in science and medicine and she serves as the director of the UC Davis Health Women in Medicine and Health Sciences (WIMHS) program.

Daniel Geschwind

Dr. Geschwind has focused on integrating genetics and genomics with basic neurobiology to develop a more systematic understanding of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative conditions. This includes efforts in the genetics of neurodevelopmental disorders involving human higher cognition, such as language, focusing on autism spectrum disorders (ASD) since 2001. Dr. Geschwind has made developing shared scientific resources for genetic research and finding autism risk genes a major priority, and played a leading scientific role in the development of the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange. His laboratory has worked to begin to successfully connect genetic risk for disease to brain circuitry and molecular function both in humans, and in vitro and in vivo model systems. One key aspect of the effort has been the application of functional genomics to complex CNS disease, as well as the development and application of new analytic methods that elucidate the underlying network organization in multi-dimensional data.

Ana-Maria Iosif

Dr. Iosif leads the UC Davis Conte Center Biostatistics Core. She has a strong record of collaborative statistical work focused on mental health and a wide range of interdisciplinary research with investigators from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, the MIND Institute, and the Departments of Neurology, Internal Medicine, and Center for Neuroscience. Dr. Iosif's primary research interest lies in the analysis of data with complex structure, including repeated measures, longitudinal assessments with dropouts, and clustered data with informative cluster size. Her methodological focus is on a specific subtype of these data, in which entire clusters of observations are collected repeatedly for individuals (over time or over different conditions).

Tyler Lesh

Dr. Lesh is contributing his extensive expertise in the recruitment and clinical and cognitive assessment of patients with first-episode schizophrenia as well as healthy control subjects. He assists Dr. Carter in establishing and maintaining diagnostic reliability, and with interpretation and analysis of cognitive symptoms. He also assists with the preprocessing and analysis of the diffusion-imaging-based free water measures in both human and animal subjects. He also assists in analyses integrating behavioral and cognitive and social measures obtained in both human and animal subjects.

Richard Maddock

Dr. Maddock is a psychiatrist, neuroimager, and clinical neuroscientist who has used MRS, fMRI, cognitive, and clinical methods to study the neurobiology of human behavior and mental health for over 25 years. He has been PI or co-investigator in 18 clinical trials of medications for psychiatric indications, and has a special interest in anxiety disorders and schizophrenia. Dr. Maddock uses his extensive expertise in magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to supervise all MRS aspects of Project 5. This includes the development of the protocol, quality control and the analysis of all MRS data.

Cynthia Schumann

Throughout her 15 years of experience in neuroscience and autism research, Dr. Schumann has taken a multidisciplinary approach to investigating potential pathological development in the human brain and specifically in children with autism. Her research primarily addresses the important role that altered brain maturational trajectories may play in the development of autistic neuropathology, using tools such as magnetic resonance imaging of young children with autism and postmortem cellular brain tissue studies. One of her primary areas of research is to define cellular maturation of the human amygdala and temporal cortex from childhood to adulthood in typical development and contrast this with autism. She is a neuroanatomist by training and has developed and published studies using histological and stereological methods to quantify cellular neuropathology, cell/neuron numbers and sizes, immunohistochemistry, and dendritic arborization in human and animal models. She has also published multiple studies utilizing magnetic resonance imaging, including the first longitudinal study of brain development in young children with autism.

Judy Van de Water

Dr. Van de Water has a broad background in clinical immunology and immunopathology, with specific training and expertise in the gestational immune environment. Over the past 20 years, she expanded her research to include the immunobiological aspects associated with autism, which includes the maternal gestational immune environment, and how perturbation during gestation can impact the developing brain. Dr. Van de Water's laboratory has worked to successfully understand the maternal cellular immune response and the humoral immune response during pregnancy and how dysregulation in these systems relates to neurobehavioral disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. Her group discovered the role of maternal autoantibodies in the development of autism spectrum disorder that has led to the definition of a new sub-phenotype of ASD arising through this mechanism.

Dr. Van de Water is a Co-Investigator on the UC Davis Conte Center studying neuroimmune mechanisms of psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia and serves as the PI of Project 1. In this role, she will investigate the immune mechanisms behind the differential basal immune response in rodent model that results in either susceptibility or resilience to MIA induced changes in neurodevelopment. Working with Project 3, Dr. Van de Water will examine the baseline immune response of the non-human primate MIA model to determine if there is a differential baseline immune response that leads to differences in the post-poly I:C response during gestation as well as changes in behavioral outcome and brain structure/function. In addition to her work in the Conte Center, Dr. Van de Water is a Co-Director of the NICHD-funded MIND Institute Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center, for which she heads the Molecular and Biological Analysis Core and is PI of the project embedded in the IDDRC. In addition, she the Associate Director for Biological Sciences at the UC Davis MIND Institute.

Timothy Hanks

Dr. Hanks has 18 years experience studying neural mechanisms of decision making in humans, non-human primates, and rodents. His research uses a combination of behavioral assays, computational modeling, electrophysiology, and optogenetics to better understand neural circuit contributions to decision making and bridging levels of analysis from cellular to behavioral neuroscience.

Martin Styner

Dr. Styner is one of the leading experts in medical image computing with specific expertise in anatomical structure and tissue segmentation, structural brain morphometry, deformable registration, atlas building and diffusion MRI analysis. He applies his research mainly to medical imaging studies of the human, non-human primate, and rodent brain. Dr. Styner has co-authored over 350 papers in peer reviewed journals and conferences. As the director of the UNC Neuro Image Research and Analysis Laboratory and associate director of the Developmental Neuroimaging Core in the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities at UNC, he oversees many medical image analysis research projects in a variety of applications. Dr Styner contributes to all aspects of the structural and diffusion MRI image analysis in non-human primates for the UC Davis Conte Center.

Randall O'Reilly

A major, long-term focus of my research has been on the neural mechanisms supporting flexible executive function (EF), using biologically-based computational models that incorporate the learning and processing effects of dopamine on the basal ganglia/frontal cortical networks that support EF. Consistent with our approach focusing on understanding the learning mechanisms that make EF adaptive in novel tasks and situations, we have been incorporating the motivational systems in the ventral & medial frontostriatal areas into our models. This project represents an exciting opportunity to test key predictions from these frameworks using the MIA model, and in patients with Schizophrenia, in order to determine how changes in dopamine and other circuit properties can affect EF function, both directly and indirectly via changes in the motivational systems. Our computational models in turn provide a means for more directly connecting disparate results across multiple species and levels of analysis, to understand the broader implications for human mental disorders.

Shuai Chen

Dr. Chen brings unique expertise and skills to the Biostatistics Core. Dr. Chen's methodological research interests lie in subgroup identification and comparative effectiveness research, survival analysis, causal inference, and cost-effectiveness analysis. As a biostatistician, she has a broad collaborative experience in health-related areas, including mental health, chronic diseases, cancer, and health services. This includes research experience in design and analysis of mental health related outcomes in both clinical and pre-clinical studies, as well as statistical expertise in subgroup identification analysis to identify important neuroimmune markers including those investigated in Project 1.

Roza M. Vlasova

Dr. Vlasova has strong experience in both human and non-human primate neuroimaging. She plays a key role in the success of the UC Davis Conte Center by performing the analysis of structural, diffusion, and functional MRI images of the non-human primate brain. MRI-detectable neural alterations associated with MIA emerge early in development before cognitive and behavioral changes become manifest. She uses MRI data to bridge maternal immune response and behavioral and cognitive outcomes in offspring.