Nadia M. Biassou, M.D., Ph.D., has been named chief of The Integrative Neuroscience of Communication Unit (THINC) within the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). Dr. Biassou holds a joint appointment in the Radiology and Imaging Sciences Department at the NIH Clinical Center, where she has served as a board-certified diagnostic clinical neuroradiologist for the past 15 years.
The goals of the newly created unit include the development of a computational framework that combines noninvasive brain imaging techniques, neural networks, and linguistics to investigate areas of the brain that form the basis of language comprehension. The aim is to potentially develop neurocomputational models that can reliably predict a person’s functional abilities following an injury to the brain. The combination of Dr. Biassou’s training in medicine and linguistics places her in a unique position to develop the unit into a strong integrated program of applied linguistics and cognitive science with biomedical imaging and medicine.
“I am delighted to have Dr. Biassou head our new unit,” said Lisa L. Cunningham, Ph.D., scientific director of the NIDCD’s Division of Intramural Research. “She brings an interdisciplinary approach that utilizes computational neuroscience, neuropsychology, applied linguistics, and biomedical imaging. Her background in cognitive science and decades of experience in clinical medicine make her exceptionally qualified to perform this type of cutting-edge research.”
Dr. Biassou obtained her training in clinical general diagnostic radiology from Georgetown University Hospital, with subspecialty fellowship training in diagnostic neuroradiology from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She holds a B.A. in English literature from Amherst College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in applied linguistics and cognitive science from the University of Pennsylvania. She received an M.D. from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.
Dr. Biassou is an avid clinical educator and holds academic positions at Georgetown University School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania Graduate Division School of Arts & Sciences. At the NIH, she has taught nearly 75 neuroradiology fellows who have rotated through the Clinical Center’s neuroradiology department and has mentored nine high school, undergraduate, and medical students through NIH’s internship programs.
Dr. Biassou has collaborated on numerous interdisciplinary research projects with other NIH investigators as well as other federal agencies and universities. She currently serves as the trans-NIH advisor to the Clinical Center’s Chief Scientific Officer on Diversity in Clinical Research, and on the African American Senior Investigator Advisory Group to the NIH Office of Intramural Research.