Dr. Shulamite Green named the Friends of Semel Endowed Term Chair in Translational Mental Health Research

Dr. Shulamite Green

April 2023

Dr. Shulamite Green, UCLA CART assistant professor, is the recent recipient of the Friends of Semel Endowed Term Chair in Translational Mental Health Research. The chair was established to support early career faculty who are conducting groundbreaking research to understand mental health challenges and create innovative treatments. This appointment recognizes Dr. Green’s work in identifying the brain mechanisms of sensory over-responsivity, which is often a serious challenge to quality of life for individuals with autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions. Dr. Green’s current research studies are designed to bridge the gap between neuroscience research and treatment, with the aim of improving research-based intervention options for individuals for sensory over-responsivity. These studies include:

  • Sensory Regulation Development (Typically developing and autistic children, ages 8-15): A longitudinal study examining how sensory regulation, or the ability to cope with aversive sensory sensations, changes across development. This study also looks at whether teaching children adapted emotion regulation techniques can reduce their brain responses to sensory stimulation.
  • Propranolol and Sensory Over-Responsivity (Autistic children, ages 8-17): In this study, we are examining the potential use of a medication, propranolol, for sensory over-responsivity (SOR). Currently, intervention for SOR is limited, and there are no medications that have been specifically studied to treat it. This study will help us gain a better understanding of how propranolol affects brain and body responses during sensory processing, which is an important first step to determine if it can treat SOR symptoms. Propranolol, a beta-blocker, is a widely used daily preventative medication for individuals ranging from infants to adolescents/adults, and is used to treat conditions such as headache, stage fright, and tremor.
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Sensory Over-Responsivity (Autistic adults, ages 18-35): This study examines whether transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can be used to reduce sensory over-responsivity in adults with autism. TMS is a noninvasive brain treatment that uses magnetic waves that pass through the skull to stimulate the outer layer of the brain.

All of these studies are currently welcoming new participants! Scheduling is very flexible including weekends and school holidays, and the lab works hard to make these visits fun and interesting for kids (see what your brain looks like and play sensory games!)

More information about these studies and how to participate can be found here (scanlab.dgsom.ucla.edu), or contact the Sensory, Cognitive and Affective Development (SCAN) lab here: