BIRC news

BIRC bids farewell to Director Fumiko Hoeft

Dr. Fumiko Hoeft officially ended her BIRC Director appointment on August 22, 2023. During her five year tenure, Fumiko worked hard to support the BIRC mission statement and had much success despite the unprecedented challenge of a world-wide pandemic. Her accomplishments are too great to list, but include transitioning the BIRC Speaker Series to a completely virtual format during the pandemic, providing the opportunity to present new science and research from renowned investigators to more than 100 registered virtual attendees on average. Fumiko created opportunities at BIRC for undergrads, grad students, and post docs to learn new imaging techniques, strengthen skills in data collection and analysis, and cheered them when they left for new opportunities. Always an advocate for education, Fumiko mentored many students, and even at her busiest, she would always make time to answer a question, write a letter of reference, and give a mental boost when needed. Fumiko recognizes that we all need an occasional break, and was always ready to organize and host a social gathering on behalf of BIRC.

Fumiko will now be concentrating all of her considerable energy on her position as Director of the UConn-Waterbury campus, and while BIRC will miss her leadership, we are thrilled she has the opportunity to lead an entire campus.

Now Hiring: Director of the UConn Brain Imaging Research Center

Director of the UConn Brain Imaging Research Center

The University of Connecticut (UConn) invites applications for a full-time Director of a state-of-the-art neuroimaging core facility currently in UConn's Brain Imaging Research Center (BIRC). The facility is located in 3,200 square feet of recently renovated space and houses a Siemens Prisma 3-Tesla scanner and additional instrumentation for simultaneous and standalone high-density EEG, TMS, and tES.

The successful candidate will be enthusiastic to run a full-service core and motivated to maintain a high-quality fee-for-service facility at the cutting edge of research.

The University of Connecticut has dynamic, highly-regarded research programs in cognition and cognitive neuroscience, language, speech, and reading, developmental psychopathology, health psychology, kinesiology, genetics/genome sciences, and others, including the Institutes for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences (IBACS) and for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy (InCHIP).

This is a full-time, end-dated position with the possibility of renewal subject to performance and funding. The University offers a competitive salary, and outstanding benefits, including employee and dependent tuition reimbursement at UConn, and a highly desirable work environment. For additional information regarding benefits visit: https://hr.uconn.edu/benefits-beyond-pay/.

Please apply online at https://hr.uconn.edu/jobs, Staff Openings, Search #497648 to upload the following documents as a single PDF file: cover letter, curriculum vitae, research and scholarship statement, evidence of a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion statement, and contact information for three (3) professional references. Evaluation of applicants will begin on August 7, 2023. For more information regarding COR2E and BIRC, please visit our websites at core.uconn.edu and birc.uconn.edu.

For additional information, please see: https://hr.uconn.edu/jobs, Staff Openings, Search #497648 or contact: Andrew Moiseff, Search Chair, at Andrew.Moiseff@UConn.edu.

The University of Connecticut is an AA/EEO Employer.

Farewell to Dr. Roeland Hancock

Associate Director of BIRC and Psychological Sciences faculty Roeland Hancock has accepted the position of Director of the new Imaging Center at Yale’s Wu Tsai Institute.

Roeland came to UConn in 2017 after completing his postdoctoral fellowship. His accomplishments are numerous. He started the IBRAiN program, created the TMS training protocol and offered training in TMS and EEG, and taught the only course on neuroimaging methods on campus. Roeland led a team of IBRAiN students to co-author a Nature paper. Numerous graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty benefited from his support, including 14 dissertations. During his tenure, BIRC has not only contributed to grow and strengthen our scientific community, but also contributed to increasing the revenue of BIRC by 10x (of which research-related expenditure grew by 5x also), becoming the first service center to “break even” at UConn despite the pandemic and shut down. Needless to say, it is a huge loss to our psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience communities.

Roeland’s last day was June 23rd.

Kelly Mahaffy MA receives the 2022 BIRC Excellence Award

The BIRC is pleased to announce the third annual BIRC Excellence Award, which highlights the achievements of a student, staff, faculty member, lab, or group who has made exceptional contributions towards advancing the goals of the BIRC as outlined in the Mission Statement:

  • To facilitate scientific discovery and theoretical and methodological innovation
  • To serve as an intellectual center for interdisciplinary basic and clinical research
  • To prepare graduate students and post-doctoral fellows for careers in academia and related fields
  • To provide undergraduate students with research experience and other educational opportunities
  • To disseminate scientific knowledge to the broader university community, relevant professional communities, and the general public

The BIRC Excellence Award is awarded on an annual basis at the end of each Fall semester. Awardees are selected by BIRC staff and confirmed by the BIRC steering committee.

Congratulations to our 2022 BIRC Excellence Award honoree, Kelly Mahaffy, M.A! Kelly has a B.A. in English Literature from Truman State University, M.A. in English Literature from UConn, and is currently a PhD student in Developmental Psychology in Dr. Nicole Landi’s lab. Kelly training to run the MRI scanner to eventually provide additional scanning hours for all investigators, has led or supported MRI and EEG data collection for two pediatric studies at BIRC, trained undergraduate and graduate students in behavioral assessment and EEG, and widely disseminates her knowledge—be sure to check out her poster for great tips on running a successful pediatric MRI study next time you are at BIRC!

Suggest speakers for the ’22-23 talk series!

The Brain Imaging Research Center (BIRC) is soliciting your suggestions for speakers to fill remaining openings in the 2022-2023 BIRC Speaker Series. The BIRC supports research using human brain and whole-body magnetic resonance imaging, electrophysiology, and non-invasive stimulation. The past speaker series has featured renowned speakers working broadly in magnetic resonance imaging, cognitive neuroscience, and related fields. Suggestions may be submitted using this form at any time, but submissions received by July 11th will be given special consideration for the upcoming year. We welcome suggestions from all disciplines and career stages. 

As always, we are particularly interested in speakers who introduce conceptual or methodological innovations that inspire UConn researchers to explore new research directions and applications in magnetic resonance imaging, physiology, and brain stimulation, and develop interdisciplinary collaborations.

Fumiko Hoeft wins the Samuel Torrey Orton Award

Each year, the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) acknowledges the achievements of leading researchers and practitioners in the dyslexia field, as well as those of individuals with dyslexia who exhibit leadership and serve as role models in their communities. These award recipients have done so much to advance the mission of helping all those who struggle to read.

The Samuel Torrey Orton Award is the International Dyslexia Association’s highest honor. The Award recognizes a person or persons who have:

  • Made a vital contribution to our scientific understanding of dyslexia, or
  • Significantly enhanced and advanced our capacity to successfully intervene and assist people with dyslexia, or
  • Expanded national and international awareness of dyslexia, or
  • Demonstrated unusual competence and dedication in service to people with dyslexia

Congratulations, Fumiko! This is a well deserved honor.

(Information courtesy of International Dyslexia Association)