BME student receives NINDS T32 fellowship in movement disorders and neurorestoration

UF BME Ph.D. student Rob Chen will join doctoral students from neuroscience, genetics, bioengineering, and applied physiology-kinesiology for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) funded T32 training grant directed by Dr. David E. Vaillancourt.

Rob’s primary research focus is the intersection between neurodegenerative disorders, diffusion magnetic resonance imaging, and machine learning algorithms. In particular, Rob focuses on the development of machine learning models to differentiate between Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia, and frontotemporal dementia by leveraging the different patterns of water movement in the brain. The outcome, improved diagnostic accuracy, may shape future clinical methodologies as well as patient care.

The goal of this program is to help train a future generation of independent investigators with programs of research in movement disorders that focus on the ABC’s of translational research: aetiology, biomarkers/phenotypes, causative and/or symptom based therapies. To do so, the program encompasses three themes of critical relevance:
· Training in human movement and cognitive neuroscience
· Training in molecular biology and animal models
· Training in translational neuroscience and physiology

NINDS is an Institute within the National Institutes of Health that aims to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease.