Early Neuroimaging, Neuroimmune, and Neuropsychology (N³) Lab
Location and Contact Information
The overarching goal of Early Neuroimaging, Neuroimmune, and Neuropsychology Lab (Early N3 Lab) is to identify early immune, brain, and neuropsychological antecedents of childhood psychiatric risk to reduce the time to intervention for young children. This is accomplished through two complementary lines of study involving national and international birth cohorts, and clinical samples of pregnant women. Dr. Marisa Spann currently has a NIMH R01 to study the effects of maternal immune activation (infection and inflammation) on early brain and emotion regulation development in a Finnish national birth cohort and a newly recruited sample of pregnancy women at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She also has another NIMH R01 to identify circuit-based markers of regulatory deficits that are passed inter-generationally and persist from infancy to early childhood.
- Herbert Irving Associate Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry)
Marisa Spann, PhD, MPH, is a Herbert Irving Associate Professor of Medical Psychology in the Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC). Dr. Spann is a clinical neuropsychologist with specialty training in developmental neuroimaging and perinatal epidemiology. She obtained her PhD in clinical psychology at George Washington University. She went on to pursue a clinical neuropsychology postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine, an MPH at Yale School of Public Health, and a NIH-funded T32 research postdoctoral fellowship in Translational Child Psychiatry at CUIMC.
The overarching goal of Dr. Spann’s research is to identify early immune, brain, and neuropsychological antecedents of childhood psychiatric risk to reduce the time to intervention for young children. She accomplishes this through two complementary lines of study involving national and international birth cohorts, and clinical samples of pregnant women at CUIMC. Dr. Spann is the director of the Early N3 Lab.
- Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology (in Psychiatry) at CUIMC
Venus Mahmoodi, PhD is a clinical psychologist, researcher, and advocate for women’s mental health. She is an Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry) at Columbia University and an Assistant Attending Psychologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Mahmoodi is a clinical researcher in the Early Neuroimaging, Neuroimmune, and Neuropsychology (Early N3) Lab, where her research focuses on the perinatal experiences of mothers, focusing mental health, acculturation and discrimination, and biological sequelae. Her research also focuses on perinatal depression in Muslim women, including treatments that integrate Islamic spirituality. In addition to research, she provides clinical care to women across the reproductive lifespan in The Women’s Program at CUIMC. Dr. Mahmoodi is also an adjunct faculty member at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she teaches graduate level courses in perinatal mental health and mentors students in research. Dr. Mahmoodi completed her PhD in clinical psychology with an emphasis in women’s neuroscience at Palo Alto University and Stanford University. She completed her APA-accredited predoctoral internship at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in NYC and her postdoctoral training at the Seleni Institute.
Ezra Aydin, PhD
Ezra studied fetal development in relation to later infant development in autistic mothers or mothers who already have a child with autism through ultrasound. She was being co-supervised by Dr. Topun Austin, Perinatal Obstetrics Consultant at the Rosie Hospital and Director of the Evelyn Perinatal Imaging Centre in Cambridge, and Dr. Gerald Hackett, Consultant in Obstetrics at the Rosie Hospital in Cambridge. Ezra also worked on the CHILD (Cambridge Human Infant Longitudinal Development) Study as a Research Co-ordinator funded by the Autism Research Trust that tested fetal and neonatal brain development in infants and toddlers whose mothers have autism, and who are themselves at increased likelihood for developing autism. Ezra’s PhD was funded by the Autism Research Trust and the research was funded by a grant from the NIHR. Ezra completed her PhD in 2020.
Cristin Holland, PhD
Dr. Holland is a postdoctoral research fellow whose overarching research interests focus on early growth trajectories of social-emotional development and identification of precursors to social-emotional vulnerabilities in order facilitate early intervention and overall developmental and family outcomes.
Isabelle Mueller, PhD
Dr. Isabelle Mueller studies the developing Autonomic Nervous System and how early life experiences shape risk and resilience for later psychopathology. She holds a PhD in Developmental and Brain Science from the University of Massachusetts. Her dissertation, advised by Dr. Ed Tronick and Dr. Nancy Snidman, focused on infant autonomic and neuroendocrine stress reactivity, the impact of acute caretaker stress on infant regulation, and how infants recollect previous stressful experiences. In a cross-species approach, she also studied the effect of early-life scarcity on the developing cardiovascular system and mitochondrial metabolism in Long-Evans rats with Dr. Celia Moore. Dr. Mueller has worked with Dr. Tronick on several expert testimonies on childhood exposure to domestic violence, child well-being, and attachment. She also holds a graduate degree in Clinical Child Psychology from the University of Vienna and is the official German translator of the MATCH-ADTC, the first modular approach for evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy in children with comorbid psychopathologies.
Ayanna Gilmore, MA
Ayanna received her MA in Psychology from The City College of New York-CUNY. After her graduate studies she joined Rutgers Division of Addiction Psychiatry-RWJMS as a research assistant on the study Mindfulness Oriented Recovery Enhancement in Methadone Treatment for Chronic Pain Management and Opioid Use (MORE). Working on the MORE study piqued Ayanna’s interest in substance use trends and treatment outcomes amongst African Americans. More broadly, Ayanna is interested in health disparities research and novel intervention methods.
Manya Balachander, BS
Manya Balachander is a research assistant at the Early N3 Lab. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a B.A. in Psychology and Community Studies. Manya's interests are rooted in health equity and access for underserved populations, particularly refugee and immigrant populations. She hopes to pursue these interests in various professional and academic endeavors.
Sanjana Murthy, BS
Sanjana joined the Early N3 Lab as a Research Associate upon graduating with her B.S. in Brain and Behavioral Sciences from Purdue University. Broadly, she is interested in clinical and neural predictors of psychosis risk and in interventions for first-episode psychosis. She hopes her future work will contribute to a better understanding of atypical neurodevelopment and more optimal outcomes for underserved populations.
Erica Lambeth, BA
Antonette Davids, BA
Kristiana Barbato, BA
Spann MN, Bansal R, Hao, X, Rosen, TS, Peterson BS (2020). Prenatal socioeconomic status and social support are associated with neonatal brain morphology, toddler language and psychiatric symptoms. Child Neuropsychology, 26(2):170-188. PMID: 31385559 PMCID: PMC6930975
Spann MN, Cheslack‐Postava K, Brown AS (2020). The association of serologically documented maternal thyroid conditions during pregnancy with bipolar disorder in offspring. Bipolar Disorders, 22(6):621-628. PMID: 31758834
Scheinost D, Spann MN, McDonough L, Peterson BS, Monk C (2020). Associations between different dimensions of prenatal distress, neonatal hippocampal connectivity, and infant memory. Neuropsychopharmacology, 45(8):1272–1279. PMID: 32305039 PMCID: PMC7297970
Spann MN, Scheinost D, Feng T, Barbato K, Lee S, Monk C, Peterson BS (2020). Association of maternal prepregnancy body mass index with fetal growth and neonatal thalamic brain connectivity among adolescent and young women. JAMA Network Open, 3(11):e2024661. PMID: 33141162 PMCID: PMC7610195
Spann MN, Timonen-Siovio L, Suominen A, Cheslack-Postava K, McKeague IW, Sourander A, Brown AS (2019). Proband and familial autoimmune diseases are associated with proband diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 58(5):496-505. PMID: 30975444 PMCID: PMC6631342
Spann MN, Monk C, Scheinost D, Peterson BS (2018). Maternal immune activation during the third trimester is associated with neonatal functional connectivity of the salience network and fetal to toddler behavior. Journal of Neuroscience, 38(11):2877-2886. PMID: 29487127 PMCID: PMC5852665
Noble S, Spann MN, Tokoglu F, Shen X, Constable RT, Scheinost D (2017). Influences on the test–retest reliability of functional connectivity MRI and its relationship with behavioral utility. Cerebral Cortex, 27(11): 5415-5429. PMID: 28968754 PMCID: PMC6248395
Spann MN, Serino D, Bansal R, Hao X, Nati G, Toth Z, Walsh K, Chiang I, Sanchez-Peña J, Liu J, Kangarlu A, Liu F, Duan Y, Shova S, Fried J, Tau GZ, Rosen TS, Peterson BS (2015). Morphological features of the neonatal brain following exposure to regional anesthesia during labor and delivery. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 33(2):213-221. PMID: 25179140 PMCID: PMC4293264
Spann MN, Bansal R, Rosen TS Peterson BS (2014). Morphological features of the neonatal brain supports development of subsequent cognitive, language, and motor abilities. Human Brain Mapping, 35(9):4459-4474. PMID: 24615961 PMCID: PMC4188825
Spann MN, Mayes LC, Kalma, JH, Guiney J, Womer FY, Pittman B, Mazure CM, Sinha R, Blumberg HP (2012). Childhood abuse and neglect and cognitive flexibility in adolescents. Child Neuropsychology, 18(2):182-189. PMID: 21942637 PMCID: PMC3326262