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Wei Gao, PhD

Associate Professor, Biomedical Sciences

Director, Neuroimaging Research

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310-423-6699

Wei Gao, PhD

Associate Professor, Biomedical Sciences

Director, Neuroimaging Research

The research of Wei Gao, PhD, focuses on delineating the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying normal/abnormal early brain development and adult brain disorders using multi-modal MR imaging techniques, particularly functional connectivity fMRI. In pediatric research, Gao and his colleagues have successfully delineated not only the normal early brain development processes including intra-regional functional specialization, inter-regional functional integration, network orchestration/interaction, and whole brain system evolution but also abnormal trajectories associated with either genetic (e.g., maternal psychiatric disorders) or environmental (e.g., prenatal drug exposure) risks. In adult study, Gao and his colleagues have robustly documented the task-related dynamics of brain's functional interaction patterns among large-scale functional networks and are actively exploring potential disruptions of such dynamic interaction patterns in different brain disorders.

  • Editorial Board, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2015
  • Foundation of Hope for Research and Treatment of Mental Illness Award, 2014
  • UNC-Chapel Hill IBM Junior Faculty Development Award, 2014
  • Editorial Board, International Journal of Pediatric Research, 2014
  • RSNA Trainee Research Prize, Radiological Society of North America, 2009
  • Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Students Abroad, 2009

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Click here for a list of peer-reviewed publications.

  • Gao W, Zhu HT, Giovanello KS, Smith JK, Shen D, Gilmore JH, Lin W. Evidence on the emergence of the brain’s default network from 2-week-old to 2-year-old healthy pediatric subjects. Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A. 2009;106(16):6790-6795.
  • Gao W, Lin W. Frontal parietal control network regulates the anti-correlated default and dorsal attention networks. Human Brain Mapping. 2012;33(1):192-202.
  • Elton A, Alcauter S, Gao W. Network connectivity abnormality profile supports a categorical-dimensional hybrid model of ADHD. Hum Brain Mapp. 2014;35(9):4531-4543.
  • Elton A, Gao W. Divergent task-dependent functional connectivity of executive control and salience networks. Cortex. 2014;51:55-66.
  • Alcauter S, Lin W, Smith JK, Short S, Goldman B, Reznick JS, Gilmore J, Gao W. Development of thalamocortical connectivity during infancy and its cognitive correlations. J Neurosci. 2014;34(27):9067–9075.
  • Salzwedel A, Grewen K, Vachet C, Gerig G. Lin W, Gao W. Prenatal drug exposure affects neonatal brain functional connectivity. J Neurosci. 2015;35(14): 5860-5869.

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