The Penn FTD Center has several opportunities for research training. As members of the Penn FTD Center, fellows with MD or PhD training are supported in the development of an independent research question or topic. These questions may be translational in nature in an effort to extend basic science research to practical applications that aim to improve our understanding, diagnosis, prognosis and care of neurodegenerative disease patients. Research questions may alternatively investigate cognitive neuroscience from a unique, multifaceted perspective by focusing on understanding brain-behavior relationships in cognitive, language or social-behavioral research areas.
Many of our studies in the Penn FTD Center incorporate multimodal neuroimaging methods and advanced trainees are provided with the necessary training to independently conduct this research. Examples of neuroimaging studies include measures of structural changes in grey matter and white matter in patient populations and functional MRI studies of healthy adults. We frequently obtain converging sources of information from both types of neuroimaging studies. We additionally investigate biomarkers, and in conjunction with the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research, clinical-pathological correlations and the basic mechanisms of neurodegenerative disease.
Pre-doctoral PhD students can learn about systematic human neuroscience investigations, and develop a programmatic approach to addressing translational or cognitive neuroscience research questions. Techniques include various forms of structural neuroimaging and functional neuroimaging along with hypothesis-driven linguistic, social, and cognitive experiments and the characterization of biomarkers.
Undergraduate students can perform rotations during the year or during the summer on a volunteer basis. Under the supervision of one of the scientists at the Penn FTD Center, a student can learn about hypothesis-driven research.