Ph.D., University of Florida, 2000
My research program investigates the interacting biopsychosocial factors that contribute to optimal outcomes following childhood brain injury or health condition. My interest in brain-behavior relationships is broad, spanning a wide range of research methods, domains, and populations. My team and I focus on discovering what happens to the developing brain and to abilities across the lifespan many years after disorder onset (e.g., brain tumor, congenital heart disease). We investigate white matter pathways using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and brain region activations using functional MRI (fMRI) to examine the neural mechanisms underlying both cognitive and social-emotional abilities of individuals. While we employ this comprehensive framework to examine the long-term outcomes of survivors of childhood brain tumors, we also have extended components of this work to other neurodevelopmental disorders by investigating predictors of everyday living skills and neuroimaging studies of cognition.
In 2013, my team and I successfully completed the 6-year Research Scholar Grant awarded by the American Cancer Society (ACS) that has provided an innovative comprehensive foundation for this program of research. Since then, I have developed an ongoing collaboration with Dr. Tobey McDonald that examines the whole genome of individuals. Specifically, we are interested in the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) relationship with cognitive and neuroimaging outcomes of survivors of pediatric brain tumors. Our projects aim to accelerate advancements in individualized precision medicine resulting in prognostic and intervention clinical applications to mitigate neurotoxicities and to enable survivors to thrive. (http://www.news.emory.edu/stories/2019/07/cognitive_differences_pediatric_medulloblastoma/index.html)
To strengthen our exciting clinical research, we have built several multisite multidisciplinary collaborations to validate our findings of an individual’s SNP variations that are associated with cognitive outcomes following treatment for pediatric cerebellar brain tumor. Supported by grant funding from the PLGA Fund at the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation with our colleagues at Children’s National Health System, we are currently examining the SNPs related to individual variability in cognitive outcomes of low grade glioma survivors. We also are collaborating with our colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital to cross validate our initial SNP and longitudinal neuropsychological performance research, apply this approach with medulloblastoma patients treated with either proton or photon radiation, and use this information to develop mechanism-based intervention studies to advance precision medicine for pediatric brain tumor survivors.
Within this program of research, we are also interested in identifying efficient screening batteries that are sensitive to subtle cognitive changes to improve standard quality of care. Developing data driven algorithms for gold standard and computerized performance measures of cognitive skills will assist with early identification of individuals at risk for adverse long-term outcome. These data also will provide direction to the development of interventions to mitigate the severity of late effects and optimize adaptive outcomes across the lifespan.
Many of my students have developed clinical neuropsychological evaluation and intervention skills and innovative research projects while contributing to the larger program of research. Watch the video of our research team (at bottom of the webpage):
All of these rewarding collaborations build upon my interests in optimizing outcomes of individuals with neurodevelopmental conditions across the lifespan.
For a complete list of publications see my bibliography
Recent Representative Peer Reviewed Publications
Student mentee co-authors’ names are italicized.
Siegel, B.I., King, T.Z., Rupji, M., Dwivedi, B., Carter, A.B., Kowalski, J., & MacDonald, T.J. (2019). Host whole genome variations are associated with neurocognitive outcome in survivors of pediatric medulloblastoma. Translational Oncology,12(7), 908-915. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tranon.2019.03.004 http://www.news.emory.edu/stories/2019/07/cognitive_differences_pediatric_medulloblastoma/index.html
Panwala, T.F., Fox, M.E., Tucker, T.D., & King, T.Z. (in press, epub2019). The effects of radiation and sex differences on adaptive functioning in adult survivors of pediatric posterior fossa brain tumors. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. doi: 10.1017/S135561771900033X https://news.gsu.edu/2019/06/24/women-face-more-cognitive-issues-after-brain-tumor-radiation/?utm_source=press-release&utm_medium=media&utm_campaign=radiation
Also check out another article on Tanya here: https://news.gsu.edu/2018/12/06/honors-grad-motivated-to-become-a-doctor-so-she-can-help-others/
Ailion, A.S., Roberts, S., Crosson, B., & King, T.Z. (2019). Multisynaptic Cerebellar- Frontal Pathway Structural Connectivity in Posterior Fossa Tumor Survivors. Neuroimage: Clinical, 23, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2019.101894
Na, S., Li, L., Crosson, B., Dotson, V., MacDonald, T.J., Mao, H., & King, T.Z. (2018). White Matter Topology relates to cognitive flexibility and cumulative neurological risk in adult survivors of pediatric brain tumor. Neuroimage: Clinical, 20,485-497. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2018.08.015
King, T.Z., Ailion, AS., Fox, ME., & Hufstetler, S.M. (2019). Neurodevelopmental model of long-term outcomes of adult survivors of childhood brain tumors. Child Neuropsychology, 25(1), 1-21. DOI 10.1080/09297049.2017.1380178
Kautiainen, R.J., Na, S.D., & King, T.Z. (2019). Neurological Predictor Scale is associated with academic achievement in long-term survivors of childhood brain tumors. Journal of Neuro-Oncology, 142, 193-201. DOI: 10.1007/s11060-018-03084-w
Murdaugh, D., King, T.Z., & O’Toole, K. (2019). The efficacy of a pilot pediatric cognitive remediation summer program to prepare for transition of care. Child Neuropsychology, 25(2), 131-151. DOI:10.1080/09297049.2017.1391949
Semmel, E.S., Dotson, V., Burns, T.G., Mahle, W.T., King, T.Z. (2018). Cerebellar Volume and Executive Function in Congenital Heart Disease. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, Special Edition Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 24(9), 939-948. DOI 10.1017/S1355617718000310
Fox, M.E., & King, T.Z. (2018). Functional connectivity in adult brain tumor patients and survivors: A review. Brain Connectivity, 8(7), 381-397. DOI:10.1089/brain.2018.0623.
Ailion, A.S., Hortman, K., & King T.Z. (2017). Childhood brain tumors: A systematic review of the structural neuroimaging literature. Neuropsychology Review, 27(3), 220-244. DOI:10.1007/s11065-017-9352-6
King T.Z., Na, S., & Mao, H. (2015). Neural underpinnings of working memory in adult survivors of childhood brain tumors. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 21(7), 494-505. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S135561771500051X
King, T.Z., Wang, L., Mao, H. (2015). White Matter Integrity Disruption in Normal Appearing White Matter: Correlates with long-term intellectual outcomes of childhood brain tumor survivors. PLoS One, 10(7): e0131744. journals.plos.org//plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0131744