Lisa McTeague, PhD

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and a licensed clinical psychologist with more than 10 years’ experience using brain imaging and brain stimulation to understand cognitive and emotional control. My research interests in the mechanisms of cognitive control began as an undergraduate at Harvard College. There  I  worked  on  a  project  that  essentially  asked  the  question:  “Why  do  some  Vietnam  combat  Veterans develop debilitating cognitive and emotional disruption while others do not?”This study of individual differences is  in  many  ways  similar  to  my  current  research  direction  in  neuropsychiatric  rehabilitation  research.  These interests were extended at the University of Florida where I published 16 manuscripts (7 first author) on the behavioral and neural basis for fear and anxiety while working with Dr. Peter Lang, one of the world’s leading experts in cognitive and affective neuroscience. While understanding the fundamental neurobiological basis of fear and anxiety is intellectually interesting, my career goal is not just to understand these network disruptions, but  also  to  develop  innovative  treatment  methods  that  can  renormalize  these  neural  networks  and  restore behavior. Consequently, I pursued a postdoctoral fellowship with Amit Etkin, MD, PhD, at Stanford University where  I  was  able  to  combine  advanced  neuroimaging  techniques  with  simultaneous  neuromodulation,  i.e., concurrent   or   interleaved   transcranial   magnetic   stimulation   (TMS)/fMRI   imaging.   

This   technique   allows investigators to causally demonstrate the effects of perturbation of a single brain region on the neural activity in other connected nodes.  In 2014, I received a K23 and initiated a tenure-track position at MUSC where I am using the functional MRI and TMS skills I have acquired along my career development pathway to investigate the  functional  integrity  and  neuroplasticity  potential  of  emotional  and  cognitive  regulation  neurocircuitry  on patients with PTSD. The  primary  goal  of  the  proposed  NVI  application  is  to  harness  an  emerging  technique  in  cognitive  and affective  neuroscience  (concurrent  TMS-fMRI)  to  identify  the  most  promising  targets  for  rTMS  for  MCI.  I  am well- suited to ensuring that the proposed investigation is successfully executed. While continuing to optimize rTMS  interventions  for  anxiety  and  depression  using  TMS-fMRI,  I  have  branched  out  and  am  now  a  Junior Investigator in the Phase 2 COBRE for Stroke Recovery here at MUSC (PI Steve Kautz, Ph.D.). I have proposed to utilize concurrent TMS-fMRI to identify novel targets for rTMS to promote neurocognitive rehabilitation in chronic stroke. Importantly, extending my work to neurodegenerative disorders has been supported by the collaboration between the Brain Stimulation Laboratory in the Department of Psychiatry, of which I am a member, and the NICHD-funded National Center for Neuromodulation for Rehabilitation here at MUSC of which I am an executive committee member. My established interdisciplinary collaborations and support at MUSC will be leveraged for the success of this project in MCI/AD.

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