jgibson@walkforhope.com

About Jennifer Gibson

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Jennifer Gibson has created 45 blog entries.
5 07, 2023

Lily

Lily My dad, Jon Williams, didn’t have a bad bone in his body. He cherished time spent with family, he felt pride serving his community as a UNC physician, and he was always mindful of the simple things in life for which he felt incredibly grateful. My dad was selfless, wicked-smart, loving, and hilarious, and he could brighten any room with his unbeatable smile and contagious laughter. The peace he felt from listening to music, eating good food, playing cards, and going for “joy rides” in the car always inspired me, for he could find joy in the simplest of things. Despite his love of this life alongside family and friends, my dad lost his battle with depression in the fall of 2020. He sought help in every way that he could (through therapy, audio [...]

15 05, 2023

White Matter Connectome and Behavior Relationships in Early Childhood | Hong | $27,044

White Matter Connectome and Behavior Relationships in Early Childhood 2023 Award: $27,044 Despite increasing research on the association between brain structure and cognition/behavior in adults, their relationship in early childhood remains largely unknown. We propose a new method to study how the brain’s networks relate to behavior in early childhood: connectome-based predictive modeling. Our prediction model will enable the early identification of children at high risk of developing psychiatric disorders. Need/Problem: There is strong evidence that white matter connectome computed from diffusion MRI is associated with cognition or behavior in adults and older children. However, little is known about their relationship in early childhood. Grant Summary: We will investigate how the brain’s networks relate to behavior. We will use the white matter connectome, which shows how different brain area connect to each other. We will develop a novel deep [...]

15 05, 2023

Uncovering Midlife Dementia Risks from Altered Structural and Functional Coupling Mechanisms | Wu | $47,761

Uncovering Midlife Dementia Risks from Altered Structural and Functional Coupling Mechanisms 2023 Award: $47,761 Dementia is a syndrome of cognitive and functional decline, commonly occurring in later life as a result of neurodegenerative and cerebrovascular processes beginning earlier in the life course. Mounting evidence shows that genetic, demographic, and lifespan environmental exposures closely interact to determine vulnerability to dementia. In this context, we aim to discover the smoking gun of dementia risks and understand the neurobiological mechanism of how these dementia risk factors affect brain structures and functions over time. Need/Problem: Mounting evidence shows that genetic, demographic, and lifespan environmental exposures closely interact to determine vulnerability to dementia. Since pre-symptomatic or early symptomatic interventions may ultimately constitute the best long-term therapeutic strategy, a life-course approach is critical to disentangle the nature and timing of dementia risks that contribute to [...]

15 05, 2023

A Machine Learning Approach to Classify Medical Records by Psychiatric Diagnosis | Nash | $35,784

A Machine Learning Approach to Classify Medical Records by Psychiatric Diagnosis 2023 Award: $35,784 The widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) has been accompanied by the enticing promise of using “big data” to improve patient care and clinical research. Many “big data” models rely on discrete data points, while in the field of mental health, our outcomes and diagnostic criteria are typically found in unstructured clinical narratives. In this study, we will train and evaluate machine learning classification models of psychiatric diagnoses using software capable of mining structured and unstructured data in the EHR, by incorporating unstructured clinical data using natural language processing. Need/Problem: The widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) is accompanied by the enticing promise of using “big data” to improve patient care through large-scale research studies, population health and quality improvement initiatives, and improved [...]

15 05, 2023

Adolescent Binge Drinking Persistently Shifts Microglia to a Proinflammatory Phenotype through Reversible Epigenetic Reprogramming | Vetreno | $98,592

Adolescent Binge Drinking Persistently Shifts Microglia to a Proinflammatory Phenotype through Reversible Epigenetic Reprogramming 2023 Award: $98,592 In addition to increasing risk for later development of an alcohol use disorder, adolescent binge drinking increases neuroinflammation in brain that persists into adulthood contributing to neuropathology. In this project, we will investigate the mechanism underlying persistent neuroinflammation in brain using a preclinical rat rodent model of adolescent binge drinking. Findings from the preclinical rat studies will provide an initial step toward understanding molecular mechanisms underlying persistent neuroinflammation in brain and mechanisms of reversal. Need/Problem: Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a chronic relapsing disease characterized by uncontrolled drinking and preoccupation with alcohol despite adverse life and health consequences. An early adolescent age of alcohol binge drinking is highly predictive of developing an AUD and other psychiatric disorders later in life. For instance, [...]

15 05, 2023

Youth Mental Health First Aid Training of Rural Black Church Leaders as a Tool to Improve Mental Health Literacy and Access | Hunt-Harrison | $47,275

Youth Mental Health First Aid Training of Rural Black Church Leaders as a Tool to Improve Mental Health Literacy and Access 2023 Award: $47,275 Adolescent depression, anxiety, and suicide are increasingly evident within rural and Black communities, with suicide as one of the leading causes of death among Black youth. Because the Black Church is seen as a safe space for many rural Black communities, congregational church leaders may serve as trusted adults for youth congregants to receive mental health support. This project will adapt the Youth Mental Health First Aid (Y-MHFA) training for African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church leaders in Johnston County, NC and assess whether the adapted training is acceptable, feasible, and effective in increasing the capacity of church leaders to identify, support, and refer youth with mental health challenges. Need/Problem: North Carolina is experiencing a youth [...]

15 05, 2023

Do APOE4+ women stand to benefit from menopausal hormone therapy? Piloting an experimental therapeutics approach to accelerate progress in dementia prevention research | Walsh | $44,875

Do APOE4+ women stand to benefit from menopausal hormone therapy? Piloting an experimental therapeutics approach to accelerate progress in dementia prevention research. 2023 Award: $44,875 Menopausal hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is not currently recommended to reduce risk for Alzheimer’s disease. However, emerging evidence suggests women who are APOE-4 carriers (the “Alzheimer’s gene”) may benefit from early initiation of HRT during the menopausal transition to reduce Alzheimer’s risk. We will pilot a short-term randomized, placebo-controlled trial to determine the potential efficacy of perimenopausal estrogen treatment to improve cognitive and brain markers associated with Alzheimer’s Disease in APOE-4 carriers compared to non-carriers. Need/Problem: Menopausal hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is not currently recommended to reduce risk for Alzheimer’s disease. However, emerging evidence suggests women who are APOE-4 carriers (the “Alzheimer’s gene”) may benefit from early initiation of HRT during the menopausal transition [...]

15 05, 2023

The Effect of Addressing Children’s Early Life Social Needs on Behavioral Health | Gertner | $39,900

The Effect of Addressing Children’s Early Life Social Needs on Behavioral Health 2023 Award: $39,900 In October 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children’s Hospital Association declared a national emergency in child and adolescent mental health. Early life adverse childhood experiences increase risk for the of mental illness throughout the life course. This project will study how NC Integrated Care for Kids, a novel integrated care management program aimed at children with complex medical and social needs, affects the behavioral health of children up to age 5. This study is the first step in a research agenda to understand how whole health interventions could alter children’s behavioral health trajectories. Need/Problem: In 2019, more than 1 in 3 high school students reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, a more than [...]

15 05, 2023

The Other Postpartum: Depression, Anxiety, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder following Stillbirth and Neonatal Death | Riddle | $45,791

The Other Postpartum: Depression, Anxiety, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder following Stillbirth and Neonatal Death 2023 Award: $45,791 Each year, 1% of all live birth will be stillborn or result in neonatal death. The women and families that suffer these losses are at increased risk of anxiety, depression, and PTSD; however, their outcomes remain understudied, underrecognized, and undertreated. The grant allows us to begin to prospectively follow these women to begin to lay the groundwork for further investigation into biological risks, prevention, and best interventions. Need/Problem: Stillbirth and neonatal demise affects 1% of all live births. The repercussions of these losses have been understudied and undertreated, leaving many women and families to suffer without clear guidance and treatment options. Grant Summary: We will prospectively map the course depression, anxiety, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following stillbirth and neonatal loss and, for [...]

15 05, 2023

Identifying Treatment Targets for Children of Mothers Who Experienced Sexual Violence | Roubinov | $199,000

Identifying Treatment Targets for Children of Mothers Who Experienced Sexual Violence 2023 Award: $199,000 Children whose caregivers have been exposed to trauma are at high risk for developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this project, we will examine the factors that increase risk for and the factors that protect against the onset of PTSD among offspring of trauma-exposed caregivers. Findings from this study will support future work to develop novel programs to prevent and treat youth PTSD. Need/Problem: Children whose caregivers are exposed to severe trauma are at high risk for developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Most research focuses on the adult who was exposed to trauma, and scarce research has examined when and how caregiver PTSD may lead to offspring PTSD. Thus, there is limited understanding of how to prevent and intervene in the development of PTSD in [...]