Raven’s research focus combines neuroscience, nutrition, and psychopathology. She is interested in maladaptive eating behaviors. The goal of her project is to identify risk and resilience factors for disorders such as obesity and food addiction. She is interested in the psychopathological, neurobiological, endocrinological, cognitive profiles, and eating behaviors that might predict these disorders. To obtain this goal she will be conducting assessments, neuroimaging and endophenotype analysis in a highly traumatized, low-income, and minority population. Learning more about the biology and profiles associated with various maladaptive behaviors, such as emotional eating and the newly suggested food addiction, can help us detect signs so that therapies could be performed earlier.
MORE ABOUT RAVEN
Raven Hardy is a second-year doctoral student at Emory University. Prior to pursuing her PhD, she attended Spelman College where she received a Bachelors in Science. Raven was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Her research interest combines both basic and social sciences. The literature has shown that there is an interplay between biology and social determinants of health. There exists a feedback loop between the two. She believes that to have success in eliminating health disparities one must assess the contribution of each when designing policies, strategies, and therapies.
DISSERTATION GRANT AWARDEE — FEBRUARY 2020
Mechanism of Brain Circuitry Underlying Cognitive Decline in Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)
We will examine the hypothesis that, disruption in WM connectivity is a potential mechanism of cognitive and neurobehavioral deficit in SCD. Furthermore, that myelin, axonal injury, and neuroinflammation are potential mechanisms for disruption of brain WM connectivity in SCD. The hypothesis will be tested based on the following specific aims:  Determine the relationship between age and deficit in WM connectivity and their relationship to onset of cognitive deficit in SCD.  Determine the potential cellular mechanism of onset and/or progression of deficit in WM connectivity.
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