Congratulations to recent graduate Jodie Gray, Ph.D. who has received the 2020 Armand J. Guarino Award for Academic Excellence in Doctoral Studies.
The award, named after the founding dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS), and is typically presented at the Annual Convocation but in light of the pandemic, we are not holding a convocation.
The Guarino Award is the highest student recognition given by the Graduate School. As such, it is a tribute to the outstanding accomplishments in biomedical research, the noteworthy leadership and the extensive involvement in service during their tenure as a graduate student. Recipients receive a monetary award and their name is added to the Armand J. Guarino Award plaque that is displayed in the GSBS Dean’s Office.
Dr. Gray graduated from the Radiological Sciences Program with a concentration in Diagnostic Medical Physics and Neuroscience Imaging last August. Currently, she is working as a researcher in private industry.
While a graduate student, she studied at the Research Imaging Institute under Dr. Peter T. Fox and focused on research related to major depressive disorder (MDD).
Specifically, she worked on a study which analyzed findings from 92 previously published brain imaging studies of MDD spanning data from 2,928 human subjects. The study examined the effects of different imaging modalities (MRI, PET, SPECT) on observed brain changes as well as the potential role of varying clinical presentation of MDD on brain imaging findings.
Her study, Multi-Modal Abnormalities of Brain Structure and Function in Major Depressive Disorder: A Meta-Analysis of Neuroimaging Studies, was published in the May 2020 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, and is the largest meta-analysis of brain imaging studies in depression to date and is the first to assess unified structural and functional brain imaging findings at this scale.
“Considering the problems that arise when analyzing brain imaging findings, we sought to cast a very wide net over the available data in depression,” Dr. Gray said.
While a student, she was involved in multiple leadership activities including serving as chair of the University of Texas System Student Advisory Council for the 2017-2018 year (pictured) and president of the Graduate Student Association where she helped organize the annual Mikiten Research Symposium which had a spotlight on mental health and wellness for graduate students. In 2016, she helped lead the effort for the World’s Largest Periodic Table of the Elements which included participants from 118 local K-12 San Antonio schools. She received the Joe and Patty Robles Leadership Award in 2018 for her leadership efforts. She also enjoyed volunteering opportunities with San Antonio Science, Inc. and the Northside Independent School District as a mentor. Her mentee from the 2017-2018 independent study mentoring program, Chloe Frame (pictured), is currently studying cognitive neuroscience at UT Dallas.
Dr. Gray encourages incoming trainees to strive for excellence by seizing every opportunity to engage with their community, scientific or otherwise, through service and leadership.