Author: David S. Weiss, PhD | Category: GSBS Alumni | July 25, 2014
Recently I had the opportunity to attend the thesis defense
of Kimberly Ray, a doctoral student in Radiological Sciences working under the
mentorship of Dr. Angela Laird, a faculty member working in Dr. Peter Fox’s
group at the Research Imaging Institute (RII). Dr. Laird moved to the
Florida International University in Miami a while back and Kimberly moved as well, although she
remained a student here at our HSC. The title of Dr. Ray’s thesis was “A graph theoretical analysis of human
intrinsic connectivity networks”. Since I was on her dissertation
committee, I not only saw her public presentation, but also witnessed her
private defense where she passed with flying colors, to say the least. I asked
Dr. Ray three questions.
What did you
I learned that there is a high correspondence of
the brain's network organization and interactions during a goal directed
task and the task-free state. This indicates that the brain is continuously and
dynamically active, even when at rest. In addition, the brain's network
organization has been consistently identified across healthy individuals. These
findings ultimately provide a foundation for disease diagnosis based on altered
network function in the brain.
I accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at UC Davis
in the department of Psychiatry. At UC Davis, I will be working with Dr.
Cameron Carter, an expert in studying cognitive control and schizophrenia.
I chose this fellowship so that I could gain experience working with
clinical populations, mainly schizophrenia and psychosis related disorders. This
will give me an opportunity to apply the techniques I learned while at UTHSCSA
to investigate dysfunction in the brain associated with schizophrenia and
Any advice for
your fellow graduate students?
Graduate school is tough; make sure to celebrate
the small victories and take setbacks in stride. Also, do your best to find a
balance between school, friends, and family.
Well done, Dr. Ray. We will be watching for great things
from you down the road. And of course trying to get you to donate money to the
grad school as an alumnus.
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