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Neuropsychology | Neurovariability  | Precision Medicine

Stephanie J Forkel

 

Research Statement

Having lived in many different countries from Egypt to the US, I came to value our differences and similarities. This appreciation is reflected in my research that is focused on Neurovariability and its impact on cognition across brain states (in health and disease). To address some of the central questions about interindividual variability as a biomarker, I use advanced neuroimaging methods to map the connectional anatomy of cognition.  Understanding what we all share and what makes us unique will change the way we approach diagnostics of neurological disorders and improve precision medicine. 

Techniques and methods used:

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

  • Microneurosurgery Klingler dissections

  • Diffusion-weighted imaging and tractography (DTI, HARDI)

  • Navigated Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (nTMS)

  • Structural connectivity 

  • Disconnectome

  • Lesion-symptom mapping in stroke and brain tumour patients

  • Applied Clinical Neuropsychology

  • 3D printing for neuroscience teaching and engagement

 

Research areas:

  • Brain anatomy in health and disease

  • Phenotypes of white matter anatomy 

  • Interindividual variability in brain structure and behaviour

  • Cognitive functions, with a particular focus on language disorders

  • Predictors of clinical recovery in neurological and neurosurgical patients

  • Comparative neuroimaging

 
Throwing Caps

Professional Experience

 
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Since December 2019

Researcher in Neuroscience, CNRS, France

I have joined the Brain Connectivity and Behaviour (BCB) lab, part of the Groupe d'imagerie neurofonctionnelle (GIN-IMN), at the Excellence Cluster Bordeaux Neurocampus at the University Bordeaux as a researcher for the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS).

In this capacity, I work on the Disconnectome (ERC grant agreement No. 818521) and PERSONALISED (MSCA IF grant agreement 101028551)

My welcome interview is available here.

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Since December 2019

Visiting Lecturer, King's College London, UK

I am currently a visiting lecturer at the Neuroimaging Department at King's College London and continue contributing to the research and teaching of the Institue of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN).

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2017 - 2019

Honorary Lecturer, King's College London, UK

In those two years, I was working on a Wellcome Trust-funded project 'Lateralisation of human brain networks: implications for stroke recovery'. This large multicentre stroke study we used advanced neuroimaging techniques to map patterns of neural network lateralisation in the brain and relate these patterns to cognitive function. Beyond my research activities, I started the #LondonPostdoc network and was chairing the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience postdoc community. As Honorary Lecturer, I significantly contributed to the online and in-person teaching of the department. I was part of several committees of the department and the institute, including the Early Careers Research Award and Research and Innovation Committee.

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2017 - 2017

Visiting Researcher, UC Davis, USA

I received a Global Research Fund to study the neuropsychological assessments and Voxel-based Lesion-symptom mapping (VLSM) methods to indentify anatomical predicotrs of stroke recovery.

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2016 - 2017

Senior Neuroimaging Research Scientist, King's College London, UK

During this project, I employed advanced neuroimaging methods to determine the link between lateralisation of brain networks and cognition in the healthy brain and in patients with brain damage due to stroke or brain tumour surgery. The study focussed on left-hemispheric language functions and right-lateralised visuospatial attention.

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2015 - 2016

Lecturer, University of Greenwich, UK

I have joined the department temporarily to lead the BSc Psychology Module Applied Clinical Neuropsychology for a term.

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2013 - 2015

Postdoctoral Research Associate, University College London, UK

This ERC-funded project 'BODILY SELF - Embodied Minds and Mentalised Bodies' was an ambitious exploration of the relationship between the body and the mind which spans philosophy, psychology and clinical neuroscience. For this study, we recruited right hemisphere stroke patients with anosognosia to map the underlying anatomical network.  More details available here

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2006 - 2006

Trainee Psychologist & Research Assistant, Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München, Klinikum Grosshadern, Germany

During this placement, I carried out psychometric testing and neuropsychological diagnosis for patients presenting to the University Department of Neurology. In the RA capacity, I studied executive functions in healthy controls and patients with brain lesions due to surgical interventions (epilepsy) and neurodegenerative patients. This work was presented at the Cognitive Neuroscience Symposium in Turkey in 2007. A letter of reference is available here

Qualifications

Professional Accreditations & Academic Degrees

Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches

(HDR)

The French Habilitation is a requirement for being the primary PhD supervisor and applying for Full Professor positions.

Award expected in June 2021.

L'autorisation à diriger une thèse (ADT)

2021

Authorization to supervise a thesis (ADT) is granted by the Academic Council (CAC), on the advice of the Council of the doctoral school of the University of Bordeaux.

Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol)

2019

The title of Chartered Psychologist is legally recognised and reflects the highest standard of psychological knowledge and expertise. More information available from the British Psychological Society.

Senior Fellow Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)

2018

Senior Fellowship is awarded to professionals who demonstrate they meet the criteria of Descriptor 3 (D3) of the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) for teaching and supporting learning in higher education. A Senior Fellow of HEA presents a thorough understanding of effective approaches to teaching and learning support as a key contribution to high-quality learning. More information available from AdvanceHE

PhD Neuroimaging
King's College London, UK

I obtained my doctorate in applied clinical neuroimaging after successfully completing a multicentre stroke study. In my PhD, I demonstrated that neurovariability is a critical predictive factor for recovery after stroke. The results are available in Brain, 2014

Associate Fellow Higher Education Academy (AFHEA)

2011

Fellowship demonstrates a personal and institutional commitment to professionalism in learning and teaching in higher education. Across four categories, from Associate to Principal, Fellowship provides individuals with recognition of their practice, impact and leadership of teaching and learning. More information available from AdvanceHE

Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (GCAP)

2010 - 2011

The Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice in Higher Education is the first qualification in academic practice for academic staff. It is increasingly recognised that individuals responsible for the student learning experience in universities in the UK should have access to a teaching qualification and/or Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). The GCAP provides a route to both a qualification in higher education academic practice and recognition as a Fellow of AdvanceHE.

MSc Neuroscience
King's College London, UK

2008 - 2009

The MSc Neuroscience covers key areas of psychiatry, psychology, neuroscience and neurology. More information o the MSc website

Psychology (Honours)
National University of Ireland, Galway

2007 - 2008

Graduates will be eligible for membership to relevant professional societies (the Psychological Society of Ireland and the British Psychological Society), as well as entry to specialist postgraduate professional programmes. More information available from the NUIG website.

Psychologie (Diplom)
Paris Lodron Universität Salzburg, Austria

2005 - 2008

Psychology at the University of Salzburg has a strong STEM orientation covering essential classes on biological psychology, statistics, and neuropsychology. More information available from the University website.

2009 – 2013

 

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