Author: Charlotte Anthony | Category: Meet The Researcher | M.D./Ph.D. | Radiological Sciences (Ph.D.) | July 29, 2015
Mariam Ishaque is a dual degree student in the M.D./ Ph.D. program. She is currently working with Dr. Peter Fox to investigate structural
and functional neural networks in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
“We are using advanced neuroimaging methods to build a network
model that reflects consistent abnormalities in ASD,” Ishaque said. “As of now, there is no
reliable, objective way to diagnose ASD, especially in infants
and toddlers. We believe that our methods could result in an
imaging-based signature of ASD for diagnostic use in young children.”
Ishaque is passionate about her work because she believes that it
could be extremely impactful in terms of an earlier diagnosis of autism.
“If our method works, it could result in earlier implementation
and greater potential efficacy of treatment,” Ishaque said. “Autistic
children could lead much higher quality, or even normal, lives.”
Ishaque was recently selected along with Elizabeth Fucich, Travis Block, and Huynh (Nancy) Nga for the prestigious Translational Science Training (TST)
TL1 Scholar Award, from the UTHSCSA’s Institute for Integration of Medicine and
“The TST program directly aligns with my own personal short and
long-term goals,” Ishaque said. “The particularly translational potential of my
research significantly contributes to my fervor for this work.”
Ishaque’s passion for neuroscience and imaging has led her to
pursue a career as a neurologist/neuroscientist.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the brain; I believe there is so
much left to learn about it. Given this interest and my background in physics,
neuroimaging was a clear choice.”
She plans on using the award to attend the Association for Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS) meeting and the Frontiers in Translation Science Research Day.
“These will be great opportunities to present my research
and further learn about a career in translational science.”
This article is part of the "Meet The Researcher" series which showcases researchers at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio.
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