Bio Dr. Julie R. Korenberg, PhD, MD
Dr. Julie R. Korenberg leads as PI and Project Director, three multidisciplinary granted Programs from NIH/NICHD/NIMH, that deploy mature technologies from a cross-disciplinary team to accelerate basic and clinical research on brain development, neural circuitry and function in DS, WS and the genetic social brain in primates. These projects build on the success of her recent work reporting an exon-level genetic map of DS congenital malformations (Korbel, 2009), and Neural Circuitry of Primates, combined with our extensive human genome work (see CV) and applies the approach to define and genetically dissect neuroanatomy, neural circuitry and cognitive features of neurodevelopmental diseases. Dr. Korenberg has reviewed for the NIH for 30 years through the present as member and chair of study sections evaluating student loans, fellowships, RO-1’s and PO1’s, P30’s, and special multidisciplinary panels. She has broad training and expertise in genetics, genomics, human neuroscience, three-dimensional confocal and MRI/DTI/fMRI imaging of genes, brain and behavior for lifespan neurodevelopmental disorders on primate brain neural circuits. While at UCSF and then professor at UCLA, Dr. Korenberg developed and has extensively applied the now broadly used approaches to link single human genes with physical, behavioral and MRI features in neurodevelopmental disorders including Down syndrome and in William’s syndrome. During the past 15 years, she has turned to human genetic and model systems for brain and behavior and have developed a series of mouse models for DS and human stem and other cellular models linked to individuals with Williams syndrome that seriously affect brain circuitry and alter transcriptional and translational pathways. She has successfully administered numerous NIH-funded projects (e.g. staffing, grants, research protections, budget), collaborated with >100 other researchers, developed close links to rare patient cohorts, organized parents groups for DS and WS, and produced several landmark peer-reviewed publications from each project. At the University of Utah, she has created and lead three exciting cross disciplinary groups of PI’s, Engineers, Bioengineering undergrads and graduate students in the development of novel initiatives related to common human mental illnesses based on her results from brain and behavior of neurodevelopmental disorders. One of these has brought together a team from the Scientific and Computational Imaging Institute (SCI) with her group and has already resulted in two NIH funded Initiatives to develop the computational tools to map genes for human syndromes on the 3-D circuits of the primate brain using technology she developed for mapping genes for human social behavior to primate neural circuits using a single coordinate system across 3Dimensional diffeomorphic independent reconstructions of single brains using MRI/DTI/fMRI/Blockface, SideScape, Confocal and Electron microscopic Imaging. A second group is comprised of PI’s in animal behavior, drug screening and evaluation for humans with epilepsy, pediatric clinical trials and economics of human developmental disorders. Dr. Korenberg has also brought together a third team of outstanding experts to the field of developmental disabilities, internationally recognized builders of their fields of Neural Imaging, in clinical/genetics of Down syndrome, biomathematics and multidimensional modeling of complex data. Further, she guest lectures in graduate Neuroscience and Bioengineering, interviews students for Graduate Training Program, has served on Neuroscience Admissions Committee, and as faculty advisor to > 30 graduate students, fellows and faculty members. In summary, Dr. Korenberg has a long standing record of high level productivity and training all levels of scientists in state of the art research including realitstic planning, timelines and budgeting, and combine this with creativity, collaboration and administrative experience.