Kajsa Igelström, PhD
Please see these pages for more information on my background
I do research because I'm insatiably hungry for knowledge, and I just can't stop. It's true (ask my husband!). I've recently transitioned from a decade of somewhat isolated in-depth experiments, to incorporating an outreach-oriented approach and becoming an active member of the autistic community. A combination of intense focus and productive interactions is now paving the path forward.
As a student in New Zealand, I did cellular- and circuit-level experiments to look at brain activity during learning, during seizures and during treatment with antidepressant drugs. After moving to the high-paced environment of Princeton University, I began using magnetic resonance imaging to view the entire brain at work, in the lab of Prof. Michael Graziano at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute.
I spent a few years focusing on a fascinating area of the brain cortex, just above our ears: the inferior parietal and temporoparietal regions. These regions are particularly difficult to characterize due to their involvement in really complex functions. They also appear to work differently in some autistic people, so of course the next natural experiment was to look at its function in autism.
Now I'm increasingly focusing on autism and other neurodevelopmental differences (e.g. ADHD). I'm currently studying sex differences in the brain in autism as a postdoc with Prof. Graziano, while my independent online-based work focuses mainly on autism in adult women and transgender individuals.
In 2018, I'll start up my new lab at Linköping University, Sweden, to dig even deeper into the mysteries of autism/ADHD and into the experiences of special and extraordinary children and adults.