The International Biomedical Research Alliance introduced two new recognition awards designed to honor the achievements of alumni and newly-graduated students of the NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program. The ceremony to honor the winners was held during the 2020 NIH Global Doctoral Partnerships Research Workshop June 15th-18th.
The 2020 Outstanding Recent Graduate Award was bestowed upon Dr. Jakob Seidlitz, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania and Co-Founder of Cooperative Open Science Network (COSciN), aiming to bridge the gap between academia and industry. The Outstanding Recent Graduate Award recognizes the noteworthy and distinctive achievements of an individual who has graduated from the NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars program within the last two years. The honoree embodies the values of scientific innovation and collaboration leading to seminal biomedical discoveries at an early stage in their career.
Dr. Seidlitz was also the recipient of the 2018 IBRA Innovation Award for novel solutions in biology or medicine for discoveries of unusual importance, application, or magnitude that make use of new or unusual methods, paradigms or approaches to solve important problems in biology or medicine. Dr. Seidlitz’s work focused on adolescence — a time of major physical, chemical, and biological changes, as well as a common period of onset for various brain-related disorders. It is crucial to develop methods that help achieve a full understanding of normative neurodevelopment, allowing better characterization of aberrant neurodevelopment. His work is focused on providing such an understanding through the use of brain networks generated from multimodal neuroimaging. He is looking at new ways to integrate multiple MRI contrasts in order to create a brain network “fingerprint” for an individual. In theory, these methods will be more robust to capturing an individual’s neurobiological profile, and thus more sensitive to inter-individual differences in behavior, cognition, and psychopathology. Dr. Seidlitz’s work was published in Neuron, with a related publication co-lead by another OxCam student in Science.
“I was delighted and humbled to receive the inaugural Outstanding Recent Graduate Award. My PhD, and the work being recognized herein, is representative of what makes the OxCam program so unique – the support and freedom to pursue curious and collaborative science. A big thanks to the directors and staff for this recognition, and for making the program what it was for me and what it is today,” remarked Dr. Seidlitz.
Dr. Seidlitz’s postdoctoral fellowship finds him collaborating with another NIH OxCam alumnus, Dr. Aaron Alexander-Bloch. Under a T32 training grant at the University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, they are working on imaging-genetic and imaging-transcriptomic methods and applications with a focus on development and neuropsychiatric disease. A graduate of the University of Rochester, Dr. Seidlitz received his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2019 as a Scholar in the prestigious NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program under Dr. Armin Raznahan (NIMH/(NIH) and Prof. Ed Bullmore (Cambridge).