Rosalyn Moran

Rosalyn Moran, PhD

Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

Assistant Professor, Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering, Virginia Tech

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

Research Program Summary

The research in our laboratory focuses on parallel aims in neuroscience: to develop new neuroimaging methodologies and to investigate the neurobiology of aging.

Within the context of dynamic causal modeling—a statistical inference framework for interrogating non-invasive (functional magnetic resonance imaging, electroencephalography, and magnetoencephalography) and invasive (local field potential) neuroimages—we are developing a mathematical microscope to probe fine-grained synaptic physiological details from these macroscopic recording modalities. In the development of this technology, we rely on pharmacological, in silico, and small-animal validations and have successful initial results in humans. The approach holds promise for better understanding the active neurochemistry of brain networks that support cognition and behavior in both healthy and pathological conditions.

We are applying these techniques in combination with theoretical neurobiological constructs to investigate connectivity and synaptic physiological phenotypes of age. Specifically we are investigating whether cortical networks accrue properties such as redundancy, hyperactivation, or hypoactivation over the adult lifespan and whether particular neurotransmitters underpin such systematic changes. By investigating the neural activity supporting memory, executive function, and sensory-motor learning, we are targeting our investigations to circuits that develop pathological attributes in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Our research goals are to identify potential fault lines in individual brains that may engender susceptibility to neurodegenerative disease and to produce translational imaging-based methodologies for better therapeutic interventions.

Education and Training

  • University College London: Postdoctoral fellowship, Neuroimaging
  • University College Dublin: Ph.D., Electronic Engineering
  • University College Dublin: B.S., Elecronic Engineering

Previous Positions

  • Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London, United Kingdom
    Senior Research Associate

Awards and Honors

  • Honorary Fellow, Translational Neuromodelling Unit, Zurich University and Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland
  • Patent Holder, Automated Voice Analysis System for Pathology Detection, US Patent Office
  • Campus Company Development Award, Program Winner, NOVA Technology Transfer Centre, University College Dublin

Selected Publications

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