The Psychiatric and Developmental Imaging Laboratory

Richards Research Labs, 5th Floor

3700 Hamilton Walk

Philadelphia, PA 19104


Lab Alumni

Marieta Pehlivanova received her Ph.D. in Psychology at Penn and was co-mentored by Ted and close collaborator Joseph Kable.   Among her other work, Marieta demonstrated that impulsive choice in adolescents is associated with thinner cortex, especially in regions important for reward-based decision making (Pehlivanova et al., JNeurosci 2018).  Marieta is now a Senior Research Scientist at the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.   

Senior Research Scientist

Marieta Pehlivanova, Ph.D.

University of Virginia

Shi Gu completed his Ph.D. in the lab of close collaborator Dani Bassett.  As a graduate student, he was incredibly productive, including the first application of network control theory to neuroimaging data (Gu et al., Nature Communications, 2015).  As he transitioned to a post-doc position in Ted's lab, he completed a study defining normative network development as he transitioned to a post-doc position in Ted's lab (Gu et al., PNAS, 2015).  Later, Shi used functional hypergraphs to examine development of brain connectivity (Gu et al., Human Brain Mapping, 2017).   Dr. Gu's post-doc ended when he was the youngest recipient ever of the won the hyper-competitive "1000 Talent's" mechanism in China, which allowed him to start his laboratory as a Professor in the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China in Chengdu.  Subsequently, he was recognized as one of Forbes China "30 Under 30".


Shi Gu, Ph.D.

University of Electronic Science and Technology of China

After Simon Vandekar completed his undergraduate work at Penn State, he joined the lab as a data analyst.  While also teaching himself advanced statistics on the side, he became an incredibly productive member of the lab.  By the time he left three years later to join the lab of  close collaborator Taki Shinohara as a graduate student, he had contributed to seven publications.  Notably, he lead a study that described how cortical thinning is governed in part by the sulcal topology of the cortex (Vandekar et al., J Neurosci 2015).  Simon graduated with his Ph.D. in Biostatistics in 2018, and is now an Assistant Professor in Biostatistics at Vanderbilt University.

Assistant Professor of Biostatistics

Simon Vandekar, Ph.D.

Vanderbilt University

Ted's was very lucky that his first clinical research coordinator was Lillie Vandekar.  She helped him get his lab started, and ran an imaging study examining reward system deficits across psychiatric disorders.  She contributed and was a co-author on three papers during her three years in the lab.  She is now finishing her doctoral training to be a clinical psychologist.  

Psy.D. Student

Lillie Vandekar

Rutgers University

Post-doctoral fellow

Graham Baum

Harvard University

Angel Garcia de La Garza completed his undergraduate training in statistics at Penn, and was a data analyst in the lab for two years.  He quickly grew to be an in-house statistical expert, developing particular expertise in analysis of longitudinal data with mixed models, and nonlinear developmental data with general additive models.  To facilitate the application of these complex models to high-dimensional neuroimaging data, he developed an R package-- `voxel` -- which is available in CRAN.   In addition to this, Angel contributed to and was co-author on an additional five papers from the lab.   Angel is now a Ph.D. candidate in Biostatistics at Columbia University.

Ph.D. Student in Biostatistics

Angel Garcia de la Garza

Columbia University (New York)

Natalie was a clinical research coordinator for Ted and Dan Wolf for four years. During her time in the lab, she was responsible for a series of NIH-funded studies on how abnormalities in the brain's reward system are associated with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. Through her hard work on these studies, she contributed to four publications.  She is now a student in the joint MD / MBA program at KCU. 

Joint MD / MBA Program

Natalie Katchmar

Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences

Lauren Beard began working in the lab during her first year as an undergraduate at Penn.  She continued to work with Ted for the next five years, including a year after graduation as a data analyst.  Lauren worked on many projects including the ENIGMA consortium projects, and contributed as a co-author five of these publications.  Lauren is now a Ph.D. student in Sociology at the University of Chicago. 

Ph.D. Student in Sociology

Lauren Beard

University of Chicago

Rastko Ciric was a data analyst in the lab for three years, where he was one the primary people responsible for processing the multi-modal imaging data of the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort.  To accomplish this huge task, Rastko designed and built a new image processing pipeline system – the eXtensible Connectivity Pipelines.  Rastko used this system to conduct a rigorous benchmarking analysis of 14 different denoising strategies to mitigate motion artifact in studies of functional connectivity; this paper was one of the top 3 most-cited papers in Neuroimage in 2017.  Subsequently, he provided further details for these procedures in a dedicated protocol paper (Ciric et al., Nature Protocols 2018).  In addition to these major projects which he lead, Rastko supported (and was co-author) on an additional 13 papers.  He is now a Ph.D. candidate in Bioengineering at Stanford University.

Ph.D. student in Bioengineering

Rastko Ciric

Stanford University

Nick completed a research rotation in the lab while he was the Chief Resident at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, where he is mentored by Aristotle Voineskos.  He started a new collaboration between the labs, applying non-negative matrix factorization techniques to a clinical trial that integrates neuroimaging. 

Research Fellow, University of Toronto & Attending Physician, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Nick Neufeld