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EH MATTERS Faculty: Megan Herting

Megan Herting, PhD
Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine

Websites: Herting Lab, Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study, Faculty Profile, Google Scholar

Areas of research:

• Influence of air pollutant exposure during childhood and adolescence on neurodevelopment

• Role of biological (e.g. sex and hormones) and environmental (e.g. physical activity and neurotoxins) in risk for emotional and cognitive neurodevelopment disorders

• Multi-model neuroimaging techniques: structural MRI, functional MRI (fMRI), resting-state functional connectivity MRI (rs-fcMRI) and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI)

EH MATTERS Internship description:

The Herting Laboratory focuses on understanding how endogenous and exogenous factors may influence neural and cognitive development across childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. Endogenous factors include hormones, genetics, and biological sex. Exogenous factors include environmental toxins, including air pollution. Interns receive hands-on experience with important facets of conducting human research to assess brain and behavior development in children and adolescents. Topics include IRB human subjects training, discussions regarding ethics in conducting research with children and incidental MRI findings, learning about the collection and processing of neuroimaging data, and an expanded knowledge in environmental neuroscience, including how air pollution impacts the developing brain during childhood and adolescence.

Key publications

Herting MM, Younan D, Campbell CE, Chen JC. Outdoor Air Pollution and Brain Structure and Function From Across Childhood to Young Adulthood: A Methodological Review of Brain MRI Studies. Front Public Health. 2019;7:332. Published 2019 Dec 6. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2019.00332

Cserbik D, Chen JC, McConnell R, Herting, MM, et al. Fine particulate matter exposure during childhood relates to hemispheric-specific differences in brain structure [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jul 10]. Environ Int. 2020;143:105933. doi:10.1016/j.envint.2020.105933

Herting MM, Johnson C, Mills KL, et al. Development of subcortical volumes across adolescence in males and females: A multisample study of longitudinal changes. Neuroimage. 2018;172:194-205. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.01.020

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