Skip to main content

VISE affiliate Derek Doss awarded prestigious predoctoral fellowship

Posted by on Wednesday, April 26, 2023 in News.

Derek Doss

Derek Doss, a biomedical engineering MD-PhD student and Vanderbilt Institute for Surgery and Engineering affiliate, has received a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Predoctoral Fellowship from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Doss, BE’19, works with his mentor Dario Englot, MD, in the Brain Imaging and Electrophysiology (BIEN) Lab. Englot is an associate professor of neurological surgery, radiology and radiological sciences, and biomedical engineering.

Dario Englot, MD, PhD

“Derek’s research uses both neuroimaging and electrophysiology to understand the effects of seizures on consciousness and cognition in people with epilepsy, and it will lead to improved care in this disorder,” Englot said. “We are very proud of him for receiving this prestigious award.”

Doss is co-mentored by Victoria Morgan, professor of radiology and radiological sciences, neurology and biomedical engineering (Morgan Lab). Englot and Morgan are VISE affiliates and frequently collaborate with other engineering faculty and graduate students.

Victoria Morgan, PhD

“Though it is assumed that seizures cause long lasting physiological, behavioral and cognitive effects, Derek’s project is unique in its goal to directly identify the link between the seizures and their long-term consequences,” Morgan said. “I am excited to mentor Derek with Dario Englot in some of the MRI aspects of his multimodal experiments of this important study.”

The grant, Dynamic multimodal connectivity analysis of brain networks in focal epilepsy, will support Doss’ research into improving understanding of loss of consciousness during seizures and long-term cognitive deficits that can affect people with focal epilepsy.

Doss will use direct intracranial recordings of the brain during consciousness impairing seizures to investigate network correlates of loss of consciousness. Functional MRI data of people with epilepsy will also be used to better understand what networks may contribute to cognitive deficits.

“I am immensely grateful and excited to receive the NIH F31 grant to study consciousness and cognition in focal epilepsy,” Doss said.

“This funding will enable further research into the neural correlates of consciousness and cognition in patients with epilepsy using advanced brain imaging and intracranial recordings, which has important implications for improving treatment,” Doss said.

“I am also incredibly thankful for the support and resources provided by VISE as well as the invaluable guidance from my mentor Dr. Englot and my co-mentor Dr. Morgan, which have been instrumental in helping me achieve this milestone.”

The National Research Service Award provides training fellowships to promising applicants with the potential to become productive, independent investigators in its scientific mission areas. The fellowship supports the research training of exceptional predoctoral students for up to three years leading to a PhD or a combined MD-PhD degree.