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2018 Friends of BrainHealth Award Recipients

Center for BrainHealth

(Pictured from left): Kathryn West, Dinesh Sivakolundu, Lyndahl Himes, Susan Larkin, Katie Hinds, and Namrata Das. The Friends of BrainHealth, a circle of donors supporting the Center for BrainHealth® at UT Dallas, announced five $25,000 Distinguished New Scientist Awards at the annual Friends of BrainHealth Scientist Selection Luncheon held at the Dallas Country Club. The scientists will use the funding to lead independently designed research studies: Namrata Das, MD, MPHFriends of BrainHealth Distinguished New Scientist The Role of Sleep in Brain Energy Metabolism and Cognition in Individuals at Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease Lyndahl Himes, MS – Katherine and Bob Penn Distinguished New Scientist Neural Mechanisms of Mindfulness Meditation and Depression Katie Hinds, MS, CCC-SLP and Susan Larkin, MS, CCC-SLP – Jennifer and Peter Roberts Distinguished New Scientist Starting Strong: Using SMART to Empower College Students’ Personal and Academic Success Dinesh Sivakolundu, MDLinda and Joel Robuck Distinguished New Scientist Identifying Biomarkers for Early Estimation of Brain Age Kathryn West, PhD Visionary Friend Distinguished New Scientist Understanding Neural Mechanisms of Multiple Sclerosis Thirteen graduate students, doctoral candidates and postdoctoral fellows at the Center for BrainHealth competed for the awards. Other finalists included Dr. Shikha Prashad, a postdoctoral research scientist in Dr. Francesca Filbey’s lab and Mathew Kmiecik, a doctoral student and teaching assistant in Dr. Dan Krawczyk’s lab. Prashad’s proposal would examine the influence of long-term cannabis use on psychomotor skills for driving. Kmiecik’s project would analyze existing data in new ways to better understand the effects of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) on memory. “The tremendous support from our special Friends of BrainHealth propels budding brain health experts to realize their fuller potential as a researcher,” said Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman, founder and chief director of the Center for BrainHealth and Dee Wyly Distinguished University Chair. “Through the competition for the Friends Award, these early-stage scientists learn how to convey a compelling vision and the life-changing impact their work could have on humanity. The experience is invaluable to their future careers.”

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