Early Neuroimaging, Neuroimmune, and Neuropsychology (N³) Lab

Location and Contact Information

Early N³ Lab
622 West 168th St
New York, NY 10032
United States

Principal Investigator

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.


Lab Members

Director

  • Marisa N. Spann, PhD, MPH

    • 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.

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Postdoctoral Researchers

  • 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 Ph.D. 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

Lab Manager

  • Ayanna Gilmore, MA

    Ayanna received her M.A. 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.

Research Assistants

  • 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.

Alumni

  • Erica Lambeth, BA

  • Antonette Davids, BA

  • Kristiana Barbato, BA

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