Girl undergoin HD-EEG test

Updates from Cook Children’s Neurosciences Research Center

New postdoctoral fellow joins the team

The Jane and John Justin Neurosciences Center and Dodson Neurosciences Research Endowment at Cook Children’s Health Care System hired Rupesh K. Chikara, Ph.D.,  who will work as a postdoctoral research fellow on National Institutes of Health-funded projects related to pediatric refractory epilepsy under the supervision of Christos Papadelis , Ph.D., director of the Cook Children’s Neuroscience Research Center. Dr. Chikara received his doctorate in Cognitive Neuroscience from the Department of Biological Science and Technology at the National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan. He has published several research papers in scientific journals and conferences, and he is an ad hoc reviewer in scientific journals of his field. Dr. Rupesh has received the Academic Excellence Achievement Award at The Phi Tau Phi Scholastic Honor Society of the Republic of China by National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan.

Recent publication explores contributions of the cerebellum to emotional processing

As senior author, Christos Papadelis, Ph.D., director of the Cook Children’s Neurosciences Research Center, published a research paper in Human Brain Mapping entitled, “Atypical spatiotemporal activation of cerebellar lobules during emotional face processing in adolescents with autism.” The paper reports, for the first time, differences in the spatiotemporal activation patterns within the cerebellum during happy and angry emotional face processing in adolescents with autism. The cerebellum, a brain area that is historically known for its role in motor control and coordination, is often ignored for its involvement in a broad range of non-motor functions, such as the regulation of emotions. Although several studies have showed structural abnormalities in the brain of individuals with autism, their implications into the emotional processing of happy and angry faces were so far unknown. The project is in collaboration with the Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto in Canada.

Research examines newborn suck as a marker of brain injury

Sabrina Shandley, Ph.D., research project manager, published as first author an excellent review paper in Frontiers in Pediatrics entitled “Abnormal nutritive sucking as an indicator of neonatal brain injury.”  The article provides a broad scope synopsis of the research field of infant nutritive and non-nutritive feeding, their underlying neurophysiology and relationship of abnormal activity with brain injury in preterm and term infants. The idea of a brain injury affecting the oral feeding of an infant has been around for decades. The flip side of that idea, the notion that we can identify a brain injury through analysis of how an infant sucks, could be instrumental in the identification of neonates in need of therapies and habilitation. Being able to do this very early in life could take full advantage of neuroplasticity in early infancy and potentially guide clinicians in the repair of brain injury. This paper is part of an ongoing project that Christos Papadelis, Ph.D., director of the Cook Children’s Neurosciences Research Center, is running with the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Cook Children’s Medical Center.

Kudos Christos Papadelis, Ph.D., director of the Cook Children’s Neurosciences Research Center, was selected as member of the Research Grant Committee at the American Epilepsy Society for a three-year term. M. Scott Perry M.D., director of Neurology, was elected to the steering committee for the Pediatric Epilepsy Research Consortium.

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