Atilla Gonenc, PhD, is an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a neuroimaging physicist at McLean Imaging Center in the CCNC with training in multimodal neuroimaging technologies (MRS, DTI, MRI, fMRI, PET) and statistics. Since joining McLean in 2009, he has been developing and implementing different research protocols (bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, substance use, ADHD, autism, depression, insomnia, aging) for a wide range of patient populations (child, adult, geriatric), as well as optimizing imaging parameters, data collection and analysis.
Dr. Gonenç is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2010 NARSAD Young Investigator Award, 2011 Rappaport Mental Health Research Scholar Award and 2013 ICGP International Junior Investigator Award. He has been the principal investigator of three foundation- and NIMH-funded studies and plans to extend his innovative MR data analytical strategies to understand the neurobiological substrates of mental illnesses and substance abuse using NIH, foundation and industry grants.
As a Rappaport Fellow, Dr. Gönenç undertook a project that uses neuroimaging technology to examine both structural and functional aspects of the brain in bipolar disorder. The study compared the white matter tracts that connect neurons with functional neuroimaging data that indicate level of neuron activity in different brain regions to determine the relationship, if any, between abnormal brain structure and abnormal brain function. Dr. Gönenç hopes that this research has the potential to advance our understanding of underlying causes of brain abnormalities in bipolar disorder.