Brefczynski-Lewis Lab

Principal Investigator: Julie Brefczynski-Lewis
WVU Center for Neuroscience

Brefczynski-Lewis Lab studies how we perceive people we love and people we don’t like, both famous and political, and how training in compassion can affect those perceptions. The Lab is examining the neural and physiological correlates of the liked and disliked persons and how these change after training in compassion. Grudge forgiveness study: fMRI response to the face of the grudge person, as well as cardio and reactive measures will be tested before and after the interventio.

Detectors are detached from a functioning prototype of Julie Brefcyznski-Lewis' PET-scanner helmet. It awaits replacement parts at the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center. (Lois Raimondo/For The Washington Post)

Detectors are detached from a functioning prototype of Julie Brefcyznski-Lewis’ PET-scanner helmet. It awaits replacement parts at the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center. (Lois Raimondo/For The Washington Post)

Web Information

Website:  hsc.wvu.edu/wvucn/Summer-Internships-%28SURI%29/2012-SURI-Mentors/Brefczynski-Lewis-Lab
BRAIN Initiative Grant – “Imaging the Brain in Motion: The Ambulatory Micro-Dose, Wearable PET Brain Imager”

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Latest News

Brainstormers: Obama’s big research push kicks off with a meeting of the minds

Amy Ellis Nutt Washington Post 1/2/15

That’s when Dean Foster Wong, a professor of radiology at Johns Hopkins University, ran into West Virginia’s Brefczynski-Lewis, an assistant professor of physiology and pharmacology.

“You’re the PET helmet woman!” Wong exclaimed, correctly identifying Brefczynski-Lewis’s project, which involves the creation of a portable positron emission tomography scan capable of imaging activity in deep brain structures as a person moves, talks or performs a task.

“We’re really PET researchers, and we study psychiatric disorders,” Wong continued, “and we’d love to work with you.”

Brefczynski-Lewis was not familiar with Wong’s research, but she certainly was game — and that is just what the NIH and NSF officials were counting on.

Not content with talking over lunch, Wong and Brefczynski-Lewis made a date for dinner that night. The West Virginia scientist told the Hopkins researcher about her previous work studying abnormal eye movements in schizophrenics. He told her about his research into dopamine receptors in schizophrenics. Suddenly Brefczynski-Lewis’s wearable PET scanner seemed to have found a new role in the investigation of a serious mental illness.

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