Dr. Clementz’ research has two general goals. The first is to understand how accurate sensory processing is maintained even within the context of changing environmental circumstances, as assessed using multiple brain imaging technologies. This involves discerning how neural activities in a “controlled” system (e.g., sensory cortices that initially register incoming information from the environment) are influenced by a “controlling” system (e.g., prefrontal cortex, the part of brain that interprets instructions and discerns differences in environmental situations) – a phenomena that is termed “top down control”. Understanding interactions between regulation of sensory input and the ability to use learned rules to guide behavior via input from higher level (e.g., prefrontal) cortices is crucial when studying clinical populations because deviations at any stage (sensory registration, ability to bias sensory input given situational demands, attentional selection, ability to appropriately manipulate sensory information to select context-appropriate responses) can cause abnormalities observed in behavior and brain functioning. The second goal is to understand neurobiological distinctions between different subgroups of brain diseases called the psychoses. Psychosis is defined clinically by the presence of hallucinations, delusions, and disorders of cognitive functions, and they have been demonstrated, at least for the majority of cases and in large measure, to have a substantial genetic diathesis. For Dr. Clementz, the first goal, which often involves the study of the healthy brain, informs the second goal of understanding deviations in brain functions associated with manifestation of psychosis in order to facilitate improved diagnosis and treatment of severe psychiatric disorders. The methodological core of Dr. Clementz’ research involves use of simple and complex behavioral paradigms combined with use of neuroimaging technologies including electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG), and structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). He uses the most modern and sophisticated approaches to analyzing data collected with these technologies and is known for developing innovative analysis techniques.
Interim Associate Director of Animal Imaging
Art Edison received his Ph.D. in biophysics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he developed and applied NMR methods for protein structural studies under the supervision of John Markley and Frank Weinhold. In 1993, Dr. Edison joined the laboratory of Antony O. W. Stretton at the University of Wisconsin as a Jane Coffin Childs postdoctoral fellow, where he investigated the role of neuropeptides in the nervous system of the parasitic nematode Ascaris suum. He joined the faculty at the University of Florida and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in 1996. At UF he Directed the Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy (AMRIS) facility for 8 years. He has had a productive research program discovering elements of chemical communication in nematodes for the past decade. Dr. Edison was the founding PI and Director of the NIH-funded Southeast Center for Integrated Metabolomics, and his research focuses on the role of small molecules in biology and disease. After 19 years at the University of Florida, Dr. Edison moved to the University of Georgia as a Professor and GRA Eminent Scholar in NMR Spectroscopy in August 2015. He is a member of the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, the Institute of Bioinformatics, and the Departments of Genetics and Biochemistry. More recently, he is helping to catalyze the development of a new translational imaging program at UGA that will better integrate chemical analysis studies (e.g. metabolomics) with in vivo animal and human studies.
Associate Director of Human Imaging
Dr. McCully received his PhD in Physiology from the University of Michigan. His graduate research was on contractile properties and muscle injury in small animals. Subsequently, he did a post doc in Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania, mainly to learn how to study skeletal muscle with magnetic resonance spectroscopy. He studied patients with peripheral arterial disease and neuromuscular diseases. He then was a MDA postdoctoral scholar for two years, following which we was employed in Geriatric Medicine at Allegheny University of the Health Sciences and continued to study skeletal muscle using 31P MRS and NIRS in older adults. He then joined the Kinesiology Department at the University of Georgia. Dr. McCully’s research program at UGA is focused on developing new non-invasive approaches to studying skeletal muscle metabolism, blood flow and oxygen utilization. The lab focusing on changes to muscle function after chronic illnesses and injuries: including spinal cord injury, ALS, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, peripheral vascular disease and heart failure. The lab is also focused on innovative methods of improving physical activity levels and exercising people with chronic illnesses and injuries. He uses near infrared spectroscopy, Doppler Ultrasound, muscle accelerometry, electrical stimulation, MRI and 31P MRS to study humans. We also work on novel methods of training humans to improve health, primarily by training skeletal muscle.