Adult brain function and behavior are influenced by neuronal network formation during development. In particular, final fine tuning of network connectivity in adolescence is likely to play a key role in the onset of a wide range of severe mental illnesses, such as psychotic disorders (schizophrenia), mood disorders, and substance use disorders in young adulthood. Nevertheless, biological dissection of adolescent brain maturation has not been well addressed yet.
To fill this major knowledge gap, this Conte Center forms an interdisciplinary team
associated with Johns Hopkins iMIND that consists of physicians, scientists in neurobiology, geneticists, and computational biologists. We study how genetic and environmental factors interact with each other and affect adolescent maturation, in particular that of the prefrontal cortex. The disturbance of the cortical maturation can, in turn, underlie the pathophysiology of the disease conditions.
The Conte Center, supported by a P50 Center Grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), includes 3 Projects supported by 3 Cores to address the central question.
According to the policy of NIMH, we are keen to data and reagent sharing. Please feel free to contact the Conte Center Data/Resource Manager Dr. Kun Yang (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We are also highly enthusiastic to accepting postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and visiting scholars. Please contact the principle investigator of each Project/Core.