Message from the Dean, Dr. James C. Bartlett
StoryAltTagHereI am excited to report on three new developments involving Behavior and Brain Sciences here at UT Dallas.

1. New Professors are here! It is always big news when we attract new faculty, and I am thrilled to report that three new professors have joined our ranks since January 2017.

Dr. Lisa Goffman joins us as a tenured full professor and recipient of the prestigious Nelle C. Johnston Chair in Communication Disorders in Children. Dr. Goffman grew up and completed her education through the doctorate level in Indiana, and then rose up through the ranks from Assistant to Associate to Full Professor at Purdue University. We enticed her away from the Midwest with the interdisciplinary research and teaching opportunities in Behavioral and Brain Sciences here at UTD, as well as the clinical programs at Callier Center. Dr. Goffman finds our environment to be the perfect setting for her translational research on cognitive, linguistic and motor factors that influence typical and atypical learning and development. In her teaching, she is interested in facilitating an empirical approach to clinical practice and contributing to the development of the next generation of researchers in communication sciences and disorders.

This fall, Dr. Goffman is teaching a graduate “special topics” seminar on Developmental Motor, Speech, and Communication Disorders (COMD 7V82); next spring she will offer a graduate course on Assessment and Intervention in Language Impairments in Preschool and School-aged Children (COMD 6308).

Dr. Jiyoung Park is a new Assistant Professor in Psychological Sciences. She joins us from the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she also was affiliated with the Neuroscience and Behavior Graduate Program. Prior to UMass, Dr. Park held a postdoctoral position at the University of California, San Francisco following her doctoral studies, and a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Park’s research is broad and uses multiple methods to assess how (a) socio-cultural environments and (b) emotional regulation affect the experience and expression of negative emotions along with downstream physical and mental health outcomes. She is interested in teaching courses related to culture, emotion, neuroscience, and health/well-being, such courses including Cultural Psychology, Emotion and Emotion Regulation, Health Psychology, and Social/Affective Neuroscience. She currently is teaching an undergraduate Psychological Sciences course on Cultural Diversity and Psychology (PSY 4323), and she will offer a graduate seminar on Social Neuroscience (HCS 7355) this spring.

Dr. Michael Burton is another new Assistant Professor whose research focuses on how the immune system influences the nervous system to regulate pain and other behaviors. Michael received his BS and PhD at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and then moved to Dallas to begin a postdoctoral fellowship at UT Southwestern Medical Center in the Division of Hypothalamic Research. After that, he moved to UT Dallas for a second postdoctoral opportunity focusing on how immune cells influence the transition to chronic pain. It was the fusion of these two experiences that formed the basis of a recently awarded Transition-to-Faculty Award from the National Institute of Health (NIH), and to his appointment as an Assistant Professor this fall.

This spring, Dr. Burton will be teaching Immunology (NSC 4372), in our undergraduate neuroscience program.

2. A joint UT Dallas/UTSW symposium on brain imaging.

Another exciting new development affecting The School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences is a major scientific symposium, “Neuroimaging is a Team Sport,” co-sponsored by The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and The University of Texas at Dallas. As the symposium title suggests, exploring the structure and function of the human brain requires collaborations across a diverse set of disciplines, including bioengineering, cognitive neuroscience, neurology, neuropsychology, neurological surgery, psychiatry and radiology. These collaborations are critical for unleashing the potential that neuroimaging research has to remediate human suffering as well as to provide an understanding of nature’s most complex creation — the human brain. The symposium, to be held on the UTSW campus on January 26, will involve BBS faculty located at the Center for BrainHealth, the Center for Vital Longevity, the Texas Biomedical Devices Center, and the Callier Center for Communication Disorders, as well as a faculty from several departments at UTSW. This groundbreaking symposium will lay the foundation for significant future successes in basic science and translational research at UT Dallas, UTSW, and around the world, and will enrich our teaching mission as well.

3. I cannot close without highlighting the fabulous new Davidson-Gundy Alumni Center, which opened on the Richardson campus earlier this fall. It’s located just north of the Naveen Jindal School of Management and just east of the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building. The DGAC will serve as a gathering place and event center for the growing base of alumni — now numbering over 100,000 — who support UT Dallas, as well as for current students who we hope view themselves as future alumni. Feel free to drop by, perhaps with something to read, to enjoy the beautiful building and its grounds away from the hubbub of our multifarious campus life.

This edition of the NEXUS Newsletter highlights selected research of faculty and students.
Read more news about the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
800 W Campbell Road | Richardson, TX 75080 |