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Miranda Bridgwater Awarded University of Pittsburgh Brackenridge Summer Research Fellowship

Miranda Bridgwater, a former fellow in the 2015 Conte Center for Translational Mental Health Research (CTMHR) Undergraduate Research Program (URP) was awarded a 2016 Brackenridge Summer Research Fellowship. These fellowships are named for Hugh Brackenridge (1748-1816), the founder of the University of Pittsburgh. They support full-time undergraduate students on the Oakland campus while they devote full-effort to conducting an independent research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Brackenridge Fellows receive a stipend of $3,500 for the summer (mid-May through early August) to assure that they can devote themselves full-time to their projects and the associated responsibilities without having to support themselves by means of a summer job.

After being exposed to research in her freshman year through Pitt’s First Experiences in Research Program, in August 2014, Ms. Bridgwater began working with Drs. Gretchen Haas and Leslie Horton on their research studies examining neuropsychological functioning, social stress and social functioning in children and adolescents with a family history of schizophrenia. Last summer, under the continued mentorship of Dr. Gretchen Haas in the CTMHR URP, Miranda studied the facial affect recognition abilities in young offspring of people with schizophrenia.

For her Brackenridge Fellowship research, Miranda is working with data from Dr. Haas’ NARSAD sample of children at familial risk and clinical data collected over the 20 years of our prior Conte Center for the Neuroscience of Mental Disorders to study sustained visual attention deficits as a longitudinal dimension of cognitive dysfunction in familial at-risk children and individuals with a first episode of psychosis.

Ms. Bridgwater’s long-term goal is to pursue graduate training that will enable her to do research on psychopathology and its treatment. We are pleased that she has been able to leverage her experience in the CTMHR URP to secure other research opportunities to continue her progress toward that goal!
Silvio O. Conte Center for Translational Mental Health Research
Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (MH103204)

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