Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Good news for brain imaging research.

Sou-Eun Chang has won a grant to study the neurobiological correlates of childhood stuttering with respect to the different sexes. Congratulations! She did most of her PhD imaging work and her post-doc under Christy Ludlow at NIH, and is now an assistant professor at Michigan State University. I met her at NIH together with Christy Ludlow for lunch. They have done important research on children and stuttering: see here.
I am not sure she will have the same support at Michigan State than at NIH. NIH is really a science factory with state-of-the-art equipment, and crucially technological/scientific expertise. It's much easier to work in such an environment as you are basically forced to do good science. Being on your own gives you more freedom, and more freedom to make mistakes.

Addition by Soo-Eun: "This grant is an "R01" grant that is supported for 5 years (this is to be a longitudinal study to track brain development differences). The total amount funded is $1.8 million. The info you have there covers only the first year of the grant, which will be paid out of a slightly different funding mechanism (American Reinvestment and Recovery Act) but nevertheless still through NIDCD."

Awarded grant: Sexual dimorphism of neural development underlying childhood stuttering

Chang, Soo-Eun, Assistant Professor, schang7@msu.edu; Web site
  • Department: Communicative Sciences and Disorders
  • Title: Sexual dimorphism of neural development underlying childhood stuttering
  • Funding Agency: National Institute on Deafness and other Communication
  • Amount of grant: $369,655
  • Duration of grant: 9/29/2010 - 8/31/2011
  • Summary: There is a fundamental gap in understanding the neural bases for childhood developmental stuttering, particularly with respect to why certain children recover naturally whereas others continue to stutter throughout life and why there is a greater probability of recovery among girls than boys.

    The overall objective in this application is to identify structural and functional neural markers of stuttering close to symptom onset and determine gender-specific brain developmental trajectory markers that serve to differentiate those children who do or do not recover from stuttering. Children who recover from stuttering are expected to exhibit developmental brain trajectories that become increasingly similar to controls with increasing age. On the other hand, children who continue to stutter are expected to exhibit less normalization, but a compensatory connectivity in the right hemisphere. The rationale that underlies the proposed research is that an improved understanding of the complex neural phenotypes in stuttering may ultimately lead to identification of neural targets for developing therapeutic interventions.

    The proposed work is potentially innovative, as it will be the first series of studies designed specifically to identify the sexual dimorphism and the neural bases of risk and persistence of developmental stuttering during early childhood. The results will be significant, because they will provide novel information on the correlation of brain development and gender with stuttering persistence versus recovery. Such results will have an important positive impact, as they will provide markers for early diagnosis and guide future research in identifying specific neural targets for therapy that may differ for boys versus girls who stutter.


Anonymous said...

Correction: She did her PhD under Nicoline Ambrose/Yairi at Univ. of Illinois and postdoc at NIH with Christy Ludlow.

Tom....you are not very smart!!! Get your fact straight before posting.

You are losing credibility everyday....

Tom Weidig said...

If you look at her papers, Ludlow is last author in all of them, which is standard procedure for the head of the lab to be named last.

I think she did all most work including PhD work at NIH, because they have the scanners.

Nothing to do with being smart, you can only accuse me of sloppiness. But I just don't care. It's a detail of history that is not relevant to me.

The only one who has no credibility is you for cowardly hiding behind Anonymous.

Olivier said...

What a pity - such anonymous stupid useless comment for such a good news.

Pam said...

I had the pleasure of meeting Chang when I visited the NIH to participate in one of the research studies on stuttering. She was very thorough, professional and pleasant for a "layperson" to work with. I am happy to have been able to contribute to research for stuttering, and happy that Chang gets to continue her research with another grant. I also participated in a research study for stuttering at Columbia University.

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Cameron Taylor-Dill said...

I would like to say she was very kind and caring at NIH. I participated in one of her studies as a stutterer. I am very happy of the grant she was awarded. I am grateful to be a part of something positive. I wish her the best in her future endeavors.

Cameron Taylor-Dill