The Team

The Neuroinformatics and Brain Connectivity (NBC) Laboratory directed by Dr. Angie Laird (Department of Physics) and co-directed by Dr. Matt Sutherland (Department of Psychology) provides an interdisciplinary research and training environment. The NBC Laboratory is affiliated with the Center for Imaging Science (CIS) in the Office of Research & Economic Development at Florida International University.

Faculty

Profile_ALaird

Angela R. Laird (Director)

Professor, Department of Physics

Dr. Laird was trained as an imaging physicist, but has evolved into a cognitive neuroscientist who aims to understand the functional organization of the human brain. She develops novel data analysis algorithms, neuroscience informatics tools, and neuroimaging ontologies to yield analytic strategies for improving investigations into functional brain networks of healthy individuals, as well as in populations with psychiatric and neurologic diseases and disorders. Dr. Laird received her B.S. in Physics from Florida State University in 1998, and her Ph.D. in Physics/Medical Physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002. She was a faculty member at the Research Imaging Institute of the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (UTHSCSA) from 2004-2012, and is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at FIU. Dr. Laird was recognized as a “Rising STAR” by the University of Texas System in 2010 and as a “Top Scholar” by FIU in 2013. Her research is currently funded by awards from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

 

Dr. Sutherland’s research focuses on understanding the impact of drug abuse on human brain function.  With emphasis on cigarette smoking, cannabis use, and HIV infection his research employs multiple neuroimaging tools (e.g., pharmacological, task-based and “resting-state” functional magnetic resonance imaging). Dr. Sutherland has a broad background in cognitive neuroscience and specific training in drug abuse. He earned his B.A. in Psychology from Ohio University (2002) and his Ph.D. in Psychology/Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of New Mexico (2007). He earned an Intramural Research Training Award to conduct postdoctoral research involving a cognitive neuroscience perspective on drug abuse in the Neuroimaging Research Branch at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA/NIH). He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at FIU. Dr. Sutherland was recognized as a “Top Scholar” by FIU in 2015 and his research is currently funded by NIDA.

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Headshot. MSutherland. 09.24.2014

Matthew T. Sutherland (Co-Director)

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

Staff & Students

Michael Cody Riedel
Michael Cody RiedelPostdoctoral Fellow
Department of Physics
Dr. Riedel earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. His dissertation, entitled Hierarchical Perspectives in Intrinsic Brain Organization, focused on evaluating regional parcellation methods using advanced connectivity analysis of functional brain networks. He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Physics at Florida International University, where he specializes in developing novel methodological approaches for meta-analytic data.

Jessica Bartley
Jessica BartleyFIU Ph.D. Student Department of Physics
Jessica is a fifth-year graduate student in the Department of Physics at Florida International University. She previously earned a Masters in Physics from FIU and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Physics and Math at the University of Colorado (Boulder, CO) where she completed a thesis in physics education research. Her research focuses on understanding the neural mechanisms involved in student physics learning. This NSF-funded project uses functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify brain networks engaged during physics reasoning. Jessica is ultimately interested in applying this interdisciplinary neuroimaging and education research towards developing a better understanding of how learning environments impact the neural development of students’ brain networks.

Emily Boeving
Emily BoevingFIU Ph.D. Student Department of Psychology
Emily is a third-year doctoral student in the Department of Psychology with dual specialization in Developmental Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience at FIU. She previously earned an M.Sc. in Evolutionary Anthropology from Durham University (UK), and a B.S. in Psychology from Ouachita Baptist University. Emily’s research focuses on quantifying sociality in human and non-human primates. She is currently utilizing fMRI to characterize the interplay of social and cognitive development, and is developing a novel approach for assessing relationships between social behavior and functional brain connectivity in humans. Emily is working on the NIH funded Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, investigating relationships between social factors, cognition, and brain network development in pediatric populations.
Jessica Flannery
Jessica FlanneryFIU Ph.D. Student Department of Psychology
Jessica is a second-year graduate student in the Department of Psychology at Florida International University, specializing in Cognitive Neuroscience. She graduated from Grinnell College (Grinnell, Iowa) with a B.A. in Psychology and a concentration in neuroscience. Jessica is interested in substance abuse and addiction. She is currently researching the neural correlates of reward processing in chronic cigarette smokers.

Ranjita Poudel
Ranjita PoudelFIU Ph.D. Student Department of Psychology
Ranjita is a second-year graduate student in the Department of Psychology at the Florida International University, specializing in Cognitive Neuroscience. She completed her M.Sc. in Neuroscience from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway and B.Sc. in Human Biology from the Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences (KUMS), Nepal. Ranjita is interested in application of meditation on human brain functions, drug abuse and addiction.

Taylor Salo
Taylor SaloFIU Ph.D. Student Department of Psychology
Taylor is a second-year graduate student in the Department of Psychology at Florida International University, specializing in Cognitive Neuroscience. He graduated from Cornell University (Ithaca, New York) with a B.A. in Psychology. He is interested in meta-analysis of neuroimaging studies, the improvement and standardization of statistical methods in cognitive neuroscience, optimal management of large datasets, and large-scale network dynamics.
Katie Bottenhorn
Katie BottenhornFIU Ph.D. Student Department of Psychology
Katie is a second-year graduate student in the Department of Psychology at Florida International University, specializing in Cognitive Neuroscience. She graduated from Auburn University (Auburn, AL) with dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Chemistry and Psychology. Katie is interested in the relationship between the anatomical structure of the brain and its functional networks, currently investigating the functional connectivity of the habenula throughout the brain. Additionally, she is assisting with the NIH-funded Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, which will track biological and behavioral development in participants though adolescence.
Lauren Hill
Lauren HillFIU Ph.D. Student Department of Psychology
Lauren is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Psychology at Florida International University, specializing in Cognitive Neuroscience. She completed her M.S. in Experimental Psychology from Nova Southeastern University (Fort Lauderdale, FL) and a B.S. in Psychology from Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO). Lauren is interested in the integration of multiple modalities (e.g. genotyping, EEG, fMRI) to better understand the brain mechanisms that underlie drug use. She is currently working on the NIH-funded Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, which will follow the biological and behavioral development of 10,000 children across the USA through adolescence.

Rosario Pintos Lobo
Rosario Pintos LoboResearch Assistant
ABCD Study
Rosario is a Research Assistant at the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study at Florida International University. She graduated with a B.S. in Psychology from Universidad del Salvador (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and is currently working towards her Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling Psychology at FIU. Rosario has worked with several research labs in the Departments of Physics and Psychology, and her research interests include child and adolescent cognitive development, as well as clinical interventions for groups with developmental cognitive disorders, and/or substance abuse. In the future, she plans to pursue her Ph.D in Clinical Psychology.

Alumni

Kimberly L. Ray, Ph.D.
Kimberly L. Ray, Ph.D.Postdoctoral Fellow
Univ. of California, Davis
Julio A. Yanes
Julio A. YanesDoctoral Student
Auburn University
Karina Falcone
Karina FalconeResearch Assistant Department of Physics