Liang Zhan, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the Swanson Pitt School of Engineering, received a $500,000 career award from the National Science Foundation for developing computer tools that improve our understanding of the human brain. In this project, you will use the modular structure of the brain.
Study the genetics of brain imaging and develop new computational tools to find out how genetic factors affect the structure and function of the brain. Researchers can use this technology to study how certain genes or gene variants affect the nervous system and cause brain diseases. Zhang’s team will specialize in Alzheimer’s disease, which currently affects 5.8 million Americans. It is estimated that by 2060, the number of people in the fields of biomedical computing, neuroscience, and data science will nearly triple to 14 million.
(UIC) will participate in this CAREER award with two key R01-ts from the National Institutes of Health to further study brain function in neurological diseases. In order to maintain basic brain functions, such as learning and memory, synapses are needed to transmit electrical and chemical signals between neurons. Synaptic dysfunction is a symptom of many neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, and leads to excessive excitement of neural circuits.
Zhang and his team will develop innovative computer tools to characterize aging and Alzheimer’s disease’s hyperexcitability patterns and use longitudinal mouse models and human data from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Project and the Human Connectivity Project. Verify their structure. The disease can significantly lead to an accelerated decline in cognitive function and the progression of dementia. Zhang will work with another UIC R01 to study depression in the elderly and discover its effects on neurodegenerative diseases. You will use a similar approach in this study and clarify the relationship between senile depression and neurodegenerative processes.
“We compared cognitively normal people with genetic susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease and people without genetic susceptibility, depending on their age and gender,” said Jean. The results support that four women with genetic predispositions are more The hypothesis of being prone to Alzheimer’s disease. Compared with men, the disease shows higher arousal at age 50, and our method is more sensitive in detecting this difference.