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Noninvasive Neuromodulation Unit (NNU) Noninvasive Neuromodulation Unit (NNU)


Sunday Francis

Sunday M. Francis, PhD - Research Fellow

Dr. Sunday M. Francis completed her PhD in Computational Neuroscience from the University of Chicago exploring neuroplasticity, specifically the impact of sensorimotor learning and motor skill acquisition on motor cortex. During her post-doctoral training at the University of Minnesota (UMN), she researched autism spectrum disorder (ASD) utilizing molecular techniques, eye-tracking, imaging, and other methods to investigate brain connectivity and the underlying neural mechanisms of this disorder. Through collaborations in cerebral palsy and other childhood motor impairments, Dr. Francis developed non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques during her time at UMN. Her current research interests include utilizing NIBS to further understand NDDs and the potential use of this tool in the development of treatments that target transdiagnostic symptoms of neurodevelopmental disorders.

Selected Publications

Differential Extrinsic Brain Network Connectivity and Social Cognitive Task-Specific Demands in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Tseng, A, Camchong, J, Francis, SM, Mueller, BA, Lim, KO, Conelea, CA, Jacob, S. 2022. Journal of Psychiatric Research.

Predicting Core Characteristics of ASD Through Facial Emotion Recognition and Eye Tracking in Youth. Jiang, M*, Francis, SM*, Tseng, A, Srishyla, D, DuBois, M, Beard, KL, Conelea, C, Zhao, Q, Jacob, S. 2020. Proceedings of the 2020 42nd International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC).
* denotes equal contribution

Transcranial direct current stimulation for compulsivity in adolescent fraternal twins with neurodevelopmental disorders. Francis, SM, Beard, KL, Tseng, A, Chen, M, Gillick, BT, Jacob, S, Conelea, CA. 2020. Brain Stimulation.

Hypoconnectivity of insular resting-state networks in adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Francis, SM, Camchong, J, Brickman, L, Goelkel-Garcia, L, Mueller, BA, Tseng, A, Lim, KO, Jacob, S. 2019. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging.

Oxytocin and vasopressin systems in genetic syndromes and neurodevelopmental disorders. Francis, SM, Sagar, A, Levin-Decanini, T, Liu, W, Carter, CS, Jacob, S. 2014. Brain Research.

Restricted repetitive behaviors: connections between Autism spectrum and Obsessive-Compulsive spectrum disorders. Francis, S, Kim, S-J, Jacob, S. 2014. In Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Its Spectrum: A Life-Span Approach (book chapter).