Luis Colon-Perez, PhD
I am the PI of the Colon-Perez neuroimaging lab at HSC. I began graduate school at the McKnight Brain Institute and the Department of Physics at the University of Florida (UF) in 2008. I worked under Dr. Thomas Mareci’s guidance and focused on developing tractography approaches to quantify brain connections. During this time, I worked on creating novel measures of brain network connectivity with tractography, which led to two first-author publications and several as a contributing author. The culmination of this work led me to a postdoc in quantitative studies of network neuroscience.
At the end of my graduate studies, I became interested in functional MRI. I started a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Marcelo Febo in the Department of Psychiatry at UF in 2013. I began studying differences in functional connectivity in animal models of substance use disorders. Part of my substance use research focuses on studying the effects of the “bath salt” drug 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) on brain connectivity. I have published two articles showing a reduction in brain connectivity after one hour of an acute administration of MDPV and how chronic administration of MDPV altered brain connectivity and structure at longer time periods, respectively.
At HSC, I will continue using MRI and brain network connectivity to elucidate in vivo features of mental health in brain connectivity. Also, as the faculty director of the Preclinical Imaging Core, I will foster the usage of imaging with collaborators at the HSC.
I graduated from Texas Christian University with a B.S. in Psychology with a minor is Sociology. During my time as an undergraduate, I worked as a research assistant in the Centanni Lab, where we observed whether speech processing deficits are an early biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease. Working alongside Dr. Centanni is what inspired me to pursue my passion in Neuroscience research. At the Colón-Pérez Lab in HSC, I work in behavioral studies for the identification of biomarkers of addiction and substance use disorders. I also seek to further my research experience to fulfill my goal of pursuing a PhD in neuroscience. I hope to devote my career research/medicine. My long-term research goals is devoting my career in understanding the basis of Alzheimer’s disease.
I graduated from UT Arlington with a bachelor’s in biomedical engineering with an emphasis in tissue engineering. During my time as an undergraduate, I worked as a research assistant in UT Arlington, on the exploration of the interface interactions between prostate cancer and human dermal fibroblasts. I have experience with MATLAB and SOLIDWORKS in various labs. Previously, in my research assistant role, I exercised a calculated and methodical approach to problem solving. I am independently motivated, yet I appreciate team efforts and collaborate productively within groups. For my final project, including the skills mentioned above, I also learnt soldering and making printed circuit boards. Because my professional goals align with HSC Fort Worth’s mission and values, I believe this opportunity will be especially exciting and helpful for me to eventually pursue a PhD.