Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Matthew Pescosolido ’07

Clinical research assistant

Warren Alpert School of Medicine

Brown University

I work in the Pediatric Mood, Imaging and Neurodevelopment (PediMIND) Program, which focuses on identifying biological markers for pediatric bipolar disorder using MRI technology. Another study in the PediMIND Program applies these same techniques to the autistic population. I also work for the Developmental Disorders Genetics Research Program (DDGRP), which uses novel genetic testing to identify genes associated with autism and intellectual disabilities.

I gained valuable clinical experience in my “Practicum in Human Services” at Wheaton, where I was under the supervision of trained clinicians at the Groden Center. However, it was Professor Grace Baron’s guidance, support and feedback that enhanced my understanding of autism and formed the foundation for how I conceptualize the disorder. She provided me with the unique opportunity to discuss difficult clinical issues in an empathic atmosphere. I was also fortunate to study clinical psychology with Professor Esther Urdang, who gave me the confidence to competently interact with patients and study participants in clinical settings. Additionally, psychology professors Rolf Nelson, Gail Sahar and David Wulff were important mentors, who encouraged my passion for research and taught me how to think empirically.

It is my hope that the research I am involved with will influence effective treatment methods of these childhood disorders.

About Mary Howard

Mary Howard ’85 is a freelance writer and editor who lives in southeastern Connecticut.