ATLANTA—Vince Calhoun, one of the world’s foremost experts in brain imaging and analysis, has been named the founding director of the Center for Translational Research in Neuroimaging and Data Science (TReNDS) at Georgia State University.
TReNDS will be a tri-institutional effort supported by Georgia State, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, with a focus on increasing cooperation among Atlanta brain imaging researchers.
Calhoun will be professor of psychology at Georgia State, with secondary appointments in the departments of Computer Science and Physics and in the Neuroscience Institute. Calhoun will have appointments at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. He will have additional appointments at Emory in the departments of Neurology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Radiology and Imaging Sciences. Calhoun is joining the university as a Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) Eminent Scholar in Brain Health and Image Analysis, becoming the first eminent scholar with appointments at three institutions.
Calhoun was recruited from the Mind Research Network, where he was president, and the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque, where he was a distinguished university professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. His focus is on improving approaches for imaging and understanding the human brain and identifying biomarkers of health and disease. He seeks to make better use of complex brain imaging data through improved analysis. Calhoun has developed algorithms that have strengthened understanding of brain function, structure and genomics, and how each is affected during various tasks or by mental or neurological illness. He also works to develop neuroinformatics tools that enable experts to use larger data sets and improve efficiency in data capture, management, analysis and sharing.
“Georgia State is excited to welcome Dr. Calhoun as the founding director of the university’s new Center for Translational Research in Neuroimaging and Data Science,” said James Weyhenmeyer, vice president for research and economic development at Georgia State. “We believe his arrival will be transformative in building collaboration among brain scientists at Georgia State, Georgia Tech and Emory, of which the result can only be significant progress in understanding and treating brain disorders.”
“I am very impressed with the commitment Georgia State has to growing brain imaging and data science efforts,” Calhoun said. “I’m also impressed by the desire to build a larger community focused on moving the needle in understanding the healthy and diseased human brain.”
For more than 25 years, the GRA has partnered with Georgia’s research universities to recruit world-class scientific talent to Georgia. The organization also invests in advanced laboratory equipment and fosters collaboration among universities, business and government.
“GRA is delighted to welcome Dr. Calhoun and his deep expertise in brain imaging and mapping to Georgia,” said Susan Shows, senior vice president of the Georgia Research Alliance. “His joint appointment marks the first of its kind for GRA, and we believe he will be an outstanding leader in our university-based brain health community.”
Calhoun is the principal investigator on two National Science Foundation grants and nine National Institutes of Health grants. One of those funded studies is being conducted in collaboration with Jessica Turner, associate professor of psychology at Georgia State, and aims to determine genetic effects on brain structure in psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia.
“Brain health disorders represent an enormous health burden,” said Allan Levey, professor and chair of the Department of Neurology at Emory University's School of Medicine. “Dr. Calhoun's pioneering research in brain imaging of neuropsychiatric disorders has significant public health implications, and we are excited to see him contribute to a new interinstitutional collaborative approach with Emory, Georgia State and Georgia Tech.”
“Dr. Calhoun is a brilliant and creative engineer who has devised critical new ways of leveraging data-science to improve our understanding of the brain,” said Magnus Egerstedt, the Steve W. Chaddick School Chair and head of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech. “We are delighted to welcome him to our university and the broader Atlanta research community.”
Calhoun has received extensive recognition for his work. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Biomedical and Medical Engineers, the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. In 2017, Calhoun was selected as the University of New Mexico’s 62nd annual Research Lecture Honoree, one of the highest honors bestowed upon a faculty member in recognition of research activity.
A prolific scientist, Calhoun is the author of more than 650 peer-reviewed journal articles as well as 750 technical reports, abstracts and conference proceedings. He is chair of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping and specialty chief editor for the journal Frontiers in Brain Imaging Methods.
Calhoun received his master’s degree in biomedical engineering and master’s degree in information systems from Johns Hopkins University and his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.