Rajpreet Chahal

Raj received her Ph.D. in Human Development and Designated Emphasis in Translational Research from the University of California, Davis in 2019. Raj was a TL1 Pre-Doctoral Clinical Research Training Scholar and supported by the UC Davis School of Medicine and the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. In her graduate work, Raj assessed how inter-individual differences in key developmental aspects of adolescence (i.e., puberty, psychopathology, and the brain) inform one another to contribute to our understanding of heterogeneous risk mechanisms and opportunities for targeted interventions. Specifically, Raj characterized associations between pubertal timing, structural and functional network properties in the brain, and internalizing symptoms. Raj also examined how topographical signatures in white matter tracts reflect the history of depressive symptoms in adolescent girls, and how patterns of functional connectivity, revealed by neural biotyping, forecast future internalizing symptoms in at-risk adolescents. As a post-doctoral researcher in the SNAP lab, Raj is extending her work by studying the effects of early life stress on the development of large-scale structural and functional brain circuits to understand when and in whom neurobiological alterations arise and confer risk for depression and suicidal ideation. The goal of this research is to guide person-centered approaches to detect vulnerability for, and predict the course of depression.