David Blair

David Blair

Postdoctoral Research Associate

TReNDS Center & Georgia State University


In 2017, I completed an M.Sc in biomedical engineering at the ETH Zürich with a focus on bioimaging technologies and image analsys. That work introduced me to the fields of neuroimaging and whole-brain modeling, in which I completed a Ph.D. in 2023 at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) under the supervision of Prof. Gustfvo Deco. At the UPF, I developed a method to transform dynamic functional connectivity data into a low-dimensional state space that allowed efficient calculation of subject-level entropy production rate. Within this state space, I found that patients suffering from a variety of psychiatric disorders display increased entropy rates compared to analogous healthy controls, which suggests that psychiatric disorders decrease the predictability and order of functional connectivity dynamics as a function of time. Training a whole-brain model to replicate patient data in the state space suggested potential interregional connections that should be targeted in future research.

In TReNDS, I plan to continue working on identifying suitable state spaces for tracking functional connectivity dynamics. Areas of particular interest in this field include more precise quantification of how subject connectivity networks move within these state spaces, how connectivity spatial communities change over time, and determining whether a common connectivity state space exists or whether each subjects’ space is unique. I also hope to explore methods of isolating functionally and mechanistically distinct patient subgroups from such state spaces to determine if such groups offer an alternative diagnostic or prognostic framework for psychiatry.

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