UNDERSTANDING MECHANISMS OF RISK AND RESILIENCE THROUGHOUT BRAIN DEVELOPMENT

THE CHALLENGES THAT DRIVE OUR WORK

  • To understand why some youths who grow up with developmental stress become suicidal, while others do not (resilient).

  • To timely identify those at risk for serious psychopathology and divert the developmental trajectory from risk to resilience.

THE QUESTIONS WE ASK

  • What are the mechanisms that drive variability in the development of brain and behavior? 

  • How do environmental (E) exposures (e.g., trauma, neighborhood environment) interact among themselves (E X E), and with biological (e.g., genetic (G)) factors (G X E), to shape developmental trajectories of youth?

OUR VISION

  • Promote resilience and prevent suicide and serious psychiatric outcomes in youths.

OUR MISSION

  • Conduct impactful translational science aimed at reducing youth mental health burden.

 

OUR RESEARCH

In the BarziLab, we use multiple methods to understand variability in the development of brain and behavior.

5 pillars of the research_v2.png

We study how a myriad of environmental exposures (such as trauma and socioeconomic factors) dynamically interact among themselves, and with biological factors (such as genetic and epigenetic) to shape the development of brain and behavior.

 

OUR VALUES

We collect and analyze large human datasets.

We do collaborative interdisciplinary science.
We work with basic scientists to inform mechanistic gaps that can only be investigated in animal models.

 

OUR APPROACH

CONDUCT LONGITUDINAL STUDIES

BarziLab studies at-risk youths throughout development in attempt to elucidate the immune mechanisms associated with risk and resilience to developmental stress.

ANALYSE EXISTING LARGE-SCALE INFORMATIVE DATASETS

BarziLab uses available human datasets that can inform on the factors (features) that drive risk and resilience. We are specifically interested in integrating data from multiple levels of environmental exposures (exposome) with large scale biological data (e.g., genomics, imaging) and other available data sources (such as electronic health records) in order to better understand complex mechanisms of development and to allow prediction of adverse behavioural outcomes such as suicidal behavior.

 

SELECTED PROJECTS

OCS PREDICTIVE.JPG

Identifying subclinical behaviors as markers for serious psychopathology risk

 

COLLABORATORS

We aim to solve complicated challenges that require a multidisciplinary team of clinicians,
data scientists, geneticists, immunologists, developmental psychologists, basic neuroscientists and computational biologists.

TYLER MOORE, PhD

University of Pennsylvania

Statistics and Psychometrics

VARUN WARRIER, PhD

University of Cambridge

Genetics of Complex Traits

AARON ALEXANDER BLOCH, MD PhD

University of Pennsylvania

Neuroimaging

FUCHIANG (RICH) TSUI, PhD

University of Pennsylvania

Clinical Informatics

FEATURED PUBLICATIONS

Hertz-Palmor, N., Moore, T. M., Gothelf, D., DiDomenico, G. E., Dekel, I., Greenberg, D. M., Brown, L. A., Matalon, N., Visoki, E., White, L. K., Himes, M. M., Schwartz-Lifshitz, M., Gross, R., Gur, R. C., Gur, R. E., Pessach, I. M., & Barzilay, R. (2021). Association among income loss, financial strain and depressive symptoms during COVID-19: Evidence from two longitudinal studies. Journal of Affective Disorders, 291, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2021.04.054

Shoval, G., Visoki, E., Moore, T. M., DiDomenico, G. E., Argabright, S. T., Huffnagle, N. J., Alexander-Bloch, A. F., Waller, R., Keele, L., Benton, T. D., Gur, R. E., & Barzilay, R. (2021). Evaluation of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder medications, externalizing symptoms, and suicidality in childrenJAMA Network Open, 4(6), e2111342. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.11342

Barzilay, R., Moore, T. M., Calkins, M. E., Maliackel, L., Jones, J. D., Boyd, R. C., Warrier, V., Benton, T. D., Oquendo, M. A., Gur, R. C., & Gur, R. E. (2021). Deconstructing the role of the exposome in youth suicidal ideation: Trauma, neighborhood environment, developmental and gender effectsNeurobiology of Stress, 14, 100314. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ynstr.2021.100314

Barzilay, R., Moore, T. M., Greenberg, D. M., DiDomenico, G. E., Brown, L. A., White, L. K., Gur, R. C., & Gur, R. E. (2020). Resilience, COVID-19-related stress, anxiety and depression during the pandemic in a large population enriched for healthcare providers. Translational Psychiatry, 10(1), 291. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-020-00982-4

Barzilay R. (2020). Predicting trajectories of risk or resilience in traumatized youth. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, 5(5), 473–475. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsc.2020.03.002

Barzilay, R., Calkins, M. E., Moore, T. M., Wolf, D. H., Satterthwaite, T. D., Cobb Scott, J., Jones, J. D., Benton, T. D., Gur, R. C., & Gur, R. E. (2019). Association between traumatic stress load, psychopathology, and cognition in the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort. Psychological Medicine, 49(2), 325–334. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291718000880

Barzilay, R., Patrick, A., Calkins, M. E., Moore, T. M., Wolf, D. H., Benton, T. D., Leckman, J. F., Gur, R. C., & Gur, R. E. (2019). Obsessive-compulsive symptomatology in community youth: typical development or a red flag for psychopathology?. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 58(2), 277–286. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2018.06.038

Featured in Medscape: “Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms May Herald Mental Illness in Youth

 

EXCITED ABOUT WHAT WE DO?
Join The BarziILab