Hernán González, VISE trainee, awarded Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (F31)
VISE trainee and biomedical engineering MD-Ph.D. student Hernán González is among those awarded a prestigious fellowship from The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
The fellowship González received is given to support the research training of exceptional pre-doctoral students. Award recipients receive up to five years of research training support leading to a PhD or a combined MD-PhD degree.
González works alongside mentor Dr. Dario Englot, Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery, Radiology and Radiological Sciences, and Biomedical Engineering in the Brain Imaging and Electrophysiology (BIEN) Lab. Englot also is an affiliate of the Vanderbilt Institute for Surgery and Engineering (VISE) and frequent collaborator with engineering school faculty and graduate students.
“This is an exciting project that will not only help us understand epilepsy, but also which brain networks underlie normal brain functions such as arousal and cognition,” Englot said. “Hernan has already made great headway on the project, and this NIH award is very well deserved.”
The award will support the research of González in temporal lobe epilepsy, the most common form of epilepsy in adults. It causes widespread brain network dysfunction. He will use functional magnetic resonance imaging and electrophysiological brain recordings in persons with temporal lobe epilepsy to better understand how this disorder causes a broad spectrum of neural network problems.
“Through this work we hope to achieve improved knowledge of temporal lobe epilepsy as a brain network disorder that may lead to improved diagnosis and treatments for this disease,” González said.
González, has also participated in a novel NIH-sponsored training program directed by Dr. Michael Miga, Harvie Branscomb Professor and Professor of Biomedical Engineering, entitled Training Program for Innovative Engineering Research in Surgery and Intervention.
“Hernan is among the trainee vanguard of our leading-edge, innovative training program focused at creating bench-to-bedside technologies for treatment and discovery within the domains of surgery and intervention,” Miga said. “The F31 is a culmination of that effort and I am thrilled Hernan received this prestigious and highly competitive award.”
González’s grant title is “Multimodal analysis of interictal and ictal brain connectivity in temporal lobe epilepsy”. According to the NINDS, the National Research Service Award provides training fellowships to promising applicants with the potential to become productive, independent investigators in its scientific mission areas.