TPCP - Training Program in Computational Psychiatry

What

Funds from the Training Program in Computational Psychiatry (TPCP) will support the training of recent postdoctoral scientists with strong backgrounds in fields such as brain science, engineering, applied math and computer science, and provide them with the tools to make important contributions to the nascent field of computational psychiatry. The program embraces an apprenticeship model in which fellows work with a primary research trainer in a computational field and a secondary research mentor in clinical psychiatry. The primary trainer works closely with the fellow and a secondary clinical psychiatry mentor, who is conducting research in areas such as depression and suicide, anxiety disorders, neurodegenerative disorders and stress and trauma. The long-term goal of this program is to produce a new cohort of academics who can conduct research in computational psychiatry and train the next generation of graduate students in this emerging field of inquiry.

Co-Principal Investigators

  • Michael Frank is a leading computational neuroscientist who has extensive experience in bridging different levels of analysis and description in computational theory, and testing these with empirical tests in humans and in animal models. He has also used this computational approach to study how brain-behavior relationships are altered as a function of disease and treatments, helping to develop the burgeoning field of computational psychiatry and neurology.
  • Thomas Serre seeks to understand the neural computations supporting visual perception. His research focuses on the development of computational models of the visual cortex, as well as the development of computer vision and machine learning methods and their application for the automated analysis of neuroscience and other biology data. 
  • Steven Rasmussen conducts research focused on understanding the role of frontostriatal circuitry in the etiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and the use of this understanding to develop novel circuit-based interventions for the illness. Current projects with suitable data sets for computational analyses include: 1) the use of neuroimaging (functional and structural connectivity), cognitive tasks and clinical assessments to test a structural equation model of two-core clinical features, harm avoidance and incompleteness, as drivers of symptoms of OCD and related disorders, and 2) the development of invasive and noninvasive closed loop neuromodulatory circuit based treatments for OCD.

TPCP includes 21 trainers from six academic departments and 18 clinical mentors from the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior in the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University.

Who

To qualify for this interdisciplinary training program, scientists must have a Ph.D. in brain science, engineering, applied math, computer science, or a related discipline, and propose a project that applies computational methods to psychiatric research topics. 

Qualifying postdoctoral scientists will receive a two-year appointment. TPCP encompasses:

  • Six academic departments, including: Applied Mathematics, Biostatistics, Engineering, Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences, Computer Science, and Neuroscience.
  • Thirty-nine trainers from seven departments, including the six aforementioned departments and the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior.
  • Up to six trainee slots. Applicants must hold U.S. citizenship or a green card.

How do I apply?

Nominations will be accepted from faculty trainers annually in March. Candidates from outside of Brown University should directly contact the trainers they are interested in working with. 

For more information contact Kristin Webster, TPCP T32 program manager.