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  • Writer's picturePennLINC

Celebrating the amazing Dr. Sydnor!!!!

We were lucky to join neuroscience graduate student and scientific phenom Valerie Sydnor in celebration of her astonishingly brilliant thesis defense. Dr. Sydnor's proposed a highly influental model of human cortical organization and development: the sensorimotor to association axis (Sydnor et al., 2021, Neuron). This framework contends that developmental plasticity unfolds along the S-A axis; she subsequently empirically tested this model and found striking support (Sydnor et al., 2022, Nature Neuroscience). She furthermore led work describing how the sensorimotor-association axis model of neurodevelopment provides insight into developmental improvements in executive function (Keller*, Sydnor*, et al., 2023, TICS) and vulnerability to transdiagnostic psychiatric symptomatology (Sydnor, Satterthwaite, 2023, Neuropsychopharmacology). Given her interest in improving treatment outcomes for individuals with psychiatric symptoms, she collaborated with Drs. David Roalf and Desmond Oathes during her PhD to study the role of reward network glutamate in diminished reward responsiveness (Sydnor et al., 2021, Molecular Psychiatry) and connectivity-guided TMS for amygdala neuromodulation (Sydnor et al., 2022, Science Advances). After a true tour-de-force of a thesis defense, Val and friends from all eras of her life gathered to celebrate both her thesis defense and 30th birthday, which followed an amazing alice-in-wonderland meets S-A axis theme. Incredible fun for all!!!!

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