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Wayne State professor selected to receive WSU's Career Development Chair Award

April 26, 2013
Vaibhav Diwadkar

DETROIT - Vaibhav Diwadkar, Ph.D., associate professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences for the Wayne State University School of Medicine, has been selected to receive a Wayne State University 2013-2014 Career Development Chair Award.

The president of the university awards no more than seven Career Development Chairs annually, to support outstanding tenured faculty members in the early stages of their careers. Nominees must be faculty members who have earned tenure and been promoted to the rank of associate professor within the last four years.

Award winners receive a $2,500 honorarium, $10,000 in unrestricted research support and $6,500 for use in engaging part-time faculty to cover up to half of the award winner’s normal annual teaching assignment.

The Selection Advisory Committee that forwarded candidates to the provost and president consists of former Career Development Chair Award winners.

“This award is possible because of our collaborative efforts. Though I am the named recipient, it reflects the collective efforts of many of my colleagues, collaborators (in the United States and overseas) and our students,” said Dr. Diwadkar, who also serves as co-director of the Division of Brain Research and Imaging Neuroscience for the School of Medicine. “Therefore, I am very pleased that these efforts have been implicitly acknowledged, and that we can continue to foster them.”

Dr. Diwadkar said the award funding will be applied to his work involving advanced image analyses through functional magnetic resonance imaging to discover brain network function and dysfunction in psychiatric disorders. He plans to use approaches in computational neuroscience and complex systems analyses to understand brain network dysfunction in disorders including schizophrenia, and mood- and emotion-related disorders like borderline personality and bipolar disorder.

The research, he noted, is served by collaborations between the Forschungszentrum Juelich (Germany), the InterUniversity Center of Behavioral Neuroscience (Universities of Verona and Udine, Italy), the University of Pittsburgh, and the Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences at Florida Atlantic University.

“There is tremendous distributed clinical and computational expertise across these sites, providing a strong collaborative element to progress our aims,” he said. “I am excited that we are adopting a framework for fMRI analyses that is highly complex, and may uncover brain mechanisms underlying disorders.  In that sense, we are attempting to advance beyond simply characterizing statistical relationships between fMRI signals.”

Dr. Diwadkar and his fellow award recipients will receive the award during an Academic Recognition Ceremony April 25 at WSU’s McGregor Memorial Conference Center.

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Wayne State University is one of the nation's pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit http://www.research.wayne.edu.