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Natalie Gilmore, PhD

Research Fellow, MGH Lab for Neuroimaging of Coma and Consciousness

Natalie Gilmore has always been fascinated by cognitive processes and how the brain can adapt to support recovery of these essential functions after damage. She recently graduated with a PhD in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences from Boston University during which she studied treatment-induced recovery of language and other cognitive processes in individuals with stroke-induced aphasia and other acquired brain injuries (Aphasia Research Laboratory, PI: Swathi Kiran). Prior to returning for her PhD, she worked clinically as an outpatient speech-language pathologist at MossRehab in Philadelphia, PA. She loved working with patients to improve their language and other cognitive functions with the ultimate focus being on promoting community reintegration and successful return to previous (or newly identified) roles and responsibilities. Not surprisingly, her research interests have been strongly influenced by her clinical experiences. In the long-term, she plans to develop theoretically- and neuroscientifically-grounded rehabilitation programs to promote cascading gains in language and other cognitive function, activity participation, and quality of life for individuals with acquired brain injury. In parallel, she aims to apply neuroimaging methods to increase understanding of the neuroplasticity that may be underpinning these treatment-related changes and inform models of rehabilitation-induced cognitive recovery. Working as a post-doctoral research fellow in the NICC will support her advancement toward these research goals in many ways. She is looking forward to studying how the extent of repetitive low-level blast exposure experienced by military service members impacts brain health, cognitive function, mood, and overall functioning. She is also excited to strengthen her skills in higher-level statistical analysis methods and expand my understanding of the nature of traumatic brain injury recovery across the severity continuum via the combination of behavioral assessment and advanced neuroimaging techniques.

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