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Acclaimed brain researcher to lead new center affiliated with GSU, Georgia Tech, Emory

By David Pendered

Metro Atlanta’s standing in public health and medical research has grown by another notch. A highly regarded brain researcher has agreed to serve as the founding director of a new institute at Georgia State University, in addition to assuming appointments at Georgia Tech and Emory University.

Vince Calhoun has agreed to join Georgia State University as a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Brain Health and Image Analysis, and accepted appointments at Georgia Tech and Emory University in a relation promoted by the Georgia Research Alliance. Credit: gsu.edu

The research aims to unlock secrets that could be used to treat brain abnormalities and mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. The Center for Translational Research in Neuroimaging and Data Science is based at Georgia State and is to be supported by GSU, Tech and Emory.

Vince Calhoun joins Georgia State as a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Brain Health and Image Analysis. 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.

Calhoun will become the first GRA eminent scholar with appointments at three institutions.

“GRA is delighted to welcome Dr. Calhoun and his deep expertise in brain imaging and mapping to Georgia,” Susan Shows, senior vice president of GRA, said in a statement. “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 keeps a lively presence on his Twitter account, posting both original content and retweets.

With one exception, all the posts were about professional achievements that involve him or colleagues, including one regarding work on schizophrenia.

vince calhoun, tweet 2

Vince Calhoun paid tribute to a Danish colleague who recent passed away from a brain tumor. Credit: twitter.com/vdcalhoun

The one exception paid respects to an acclaimed researcher at the University of Denmark, in Copanhagan, who was an expert in machine learning and signal processing.

Calhoun indicated he looks forward to the research that can be leveraged from the three universities:

  • “I am very impressed with the commitment Georgia State has to growing brain imaging and data science efforts. 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.”

Likewise, the academic leadership at Georgia State, Georgia Tech and Emory embraced Calhoun’s arrival.

James Weyhenmeyer, vice president for research and economic development at Georgia State, observed:

  • “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. 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.”

Allan Levey, professor and chair of the Department of Neurology at Emory University’s School of Medicine, observed:

  • “Brain health disorders represent an enormous health burden. 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 inter-institutional collaborative approach with Emory, Georgia State and Georgia Tech.”

Brain researcher Vince Calhoun posts frequently on topics related to brain research, including this one on new findings that involve schizophrenia. Credit: twitter.com/vdcalhoun

Magnus Egerstedt, the Steve W. Chaddick school chair and head of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech, observed:

  • “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. We are delighted to welcome him to our university and the broader Atlanta research community.”

Calhoun earned a doctorate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He earned two masters degrees from Johns Hopkins University, one in biomedical engineering and one in information systems, according to a GSU statement.


David Pendered

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow.


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