SBMS Trainee: Nandita Joshi
Graduate Advisor: Dr. Christine DeLorenzo
Clinical Advisor: Dr. Judith Crowell Graduate Program: Electrical Engineering
As a PhD student at the Center for Understanding Biology using Imaging Technology (CUBIT), my work involves understanding the pathophysiology of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) by improving analysis of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) images. MDD is a chronic, recurrent illness that affects more than 350 million people worldwide. Despite its distressing prevalence, MDD can still only be diagnosed through clinical observation and self-report, because its underlying biology is not clearly understood. With such high stakes, there is an urgent need for an objective measure to identify individuals who are most at risk for the disease and also provide an objective test for diagnostic evaluation. This is the major motivation behind my study; a more accurate quantification of a biomarker that would help to develop an understanding of the biological underpinnings of symptoms. This would not only help psychiatrists in developing a better understanding of MDD but also aid currently depressed individuals by providing them a suitable treatment evaluation.