Science Spotlights

This year we will be highlighting cutting edge, topical, research with our Science Spotlights. Science Spotlights feature invited speakers who are conducting paradigm shifting research that will help shape new directions in understanding and treating depression and anxiety disorders.


Saturday, March 30. These sessions are back to back in Mayfair, Meeting Room Level 2.

Computational Psychiatry: Promises and Challenges
Time: 8 am - 9 am

GU-Xiaosi.jpgDr. Xiaosi Gu, PhD is one of the foremost researchers in the area of computational psychiatry. Her research examines the neural and computational mechanisms underlying human beliefs, emotions, decision making, and social interaction in both health and disease, through a synthesis of neuroscience, cognitive science, and behavioral economics. After receiving a dual degree in Psychology and Economics from Peking University in Beijing, Dr. Gu moved to New York City to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Gu then completed her postdoctoral training in computational psychiatry at Virginia Tech and the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London (UCL). During her time in London, she also set up and has since been directing the world’s first computational psychiatry course at UCL. Before joining Mount Sinai, Dr. Gu held faculty positions at the University of Texas, Dallas and UT Southwestern Medical Center. She is currently an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Neuroscience, and a Principal Investigator and the Friedman Brain Institute and the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai.

Neurodevelopmental Mechanisms Linking Childhood Adversity with Anxiety and Depression 
Time: 9 am - 10 am

KATIE MCLAUGHLIN PHD_0.jpgKatie McLaughlin, PhD is a clinical psychologist with interests in how environmental experience influences brain and behavioral development in children and adolescents. She has a joint Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and Chronic Disease Epidemiology from Yale University and is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington.  Her research examines how adverse environmental experiences shape emotional, cognitive, and neurobiological development throughout childhood and adolescence. Specifically, Dr. McLaughlin’s work seeks to understand how experiences of stress, trauma, and social disadvantage in childhood alter developmental processes in ways that increase risk for psychopathology. Her research uncovers specific developmental processes that are disrupted by adverse environmental experiences early in life and determines how those disruptions increase risk for mental health problems in children and adolescents.



This program is sponsored by:
VistaGen Therapeutics


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