Ph.D., University of Florida, 2000
Internship - Brown University Medical School APA approved Clinical Psychology Training Consortium, Clinical Neuropsychology Specialization
Postdoctoral Fellowship - Brown University Medical School, Clinical Neuropsychology Specialization, NIH F32 NRSA postdoctoral fellow
Developmental neuropsychology across the lifespan,
Optimizing long-term outcomes across different forms of brain injury or medical conditions
My research program investigates the interacting biopsychosocial factors that contribute to optimal outcomes following neurodevelopmental disruption. My team and I focus on what happens to the developing brain many years after brain injury/medical condition and how those events affect cognitive abilities across the lifespan. To understand the neural mechanisms underlying both cognitive and social-emotional abilities of individuals, we employ clinical neuropsychological testing as well as neuroimaging such as diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to investigate white matter pathways and functional MRI (fMRI) to examine brain activation. The breadth of our research within this framework is demonstrated by our investigations into many neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., congenital heart disease, childhood traumatic brain injury). The depth of our contribution to science is evidenced by our clinical research examining longitudinal cognitive performance and innovative structural and functional neuroimaging with long-term survivors of pediatric brain tumors, funded by a Research Scholar Grant awarded by the American Cancer Society. I have extended this comprehensive program of research in many exciting ways by building strong multisite, collaborative teams.
One extension of this research focuses on identifying genetic diatheses that may predispose some survivors to experience more severe impairments following lifesaving neurotoxic treatments (e.g., radiation and/or chemotherapy), while others with similar disease characteristics (e.g., molecular subtype of tumor, radiation dose, age at treatment) are thriving. In an ongoing collaboration with Dr. Tobey McDonald, we examine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with chemoradiation-induced cognitive toxicities in childhood survivors of medulloblastoma. This study was funded by AFLAC Center and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA)’s Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Center of Excellence and also by CHOA’s Center for Neurosciences Research. We have leveraged this pilot research to support multisite collaborations to cross-validate our findings of host whole-genome variations that are associated with cognitive outcomes. In addition, there is a significant need to identify socioeconomic contextual factors that are contributing to survivorship cognitive difficulties. We have planned a multisite project at National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers in GA, AL, and OH that will examine multifactorial socioeconomic context, clinical factors, and clinically relevant candidate SNPs using gene and RNA sequencing. Our team has expanded our program of research to examine socioeconomic and clinical contextual factors simultaneously with candidate SNPs in survivors of pediatric low-grade glioma, the most common childhood brain cancer. We currently lead this multisite collaboration with Children’s National Health System in DC that is funded by the PLGA Fund at the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.
Within this program of research, we are interested in identifying efficient screening batteries that are sensitive to subtle cognitive changes and may be used improve the standard quality of care. Early identification of individuals at risk for adverse long-term outcomes is critical. We are examining both traditional gold-standard clinical measures as well as computerized performance measures of core cognitive skills. These data also will guide the development of interventions to mitigate the severity of late effects and to optimize adaptive outcomes across the lifespan.
By integrating these unique and complementary data, our team science will accelerate advancements in individualized precision medicine of the future, resulting in greater prognostic abilities and enhanced interventions to mitigate neurotoxicities and enable survivors to thrive. Consistent with the STAR Act of 2018 and the Precision Medicine Initiative, our research will allow for early identification of individuals at risk for cognitive impairment, inform the development of risk-adapted chemotherapy and radiation regimens, and reduce cognitive impairment. Furthermore, it will provide individualized targets for cognitive and lifestyle interventions and help to mechanistically develop drugs designed to prevent, mitigate, and manage the severity of late effects. Such progress will optimize childhood brain tumor survivors’ cognitive abilities and adaptive outcomes and improve their overall health-related quality of life.
All of these rewarding collaborations build upon my interests of optimizing outcomes of individuals with neurodevelopmental conditions across the lifespan.
Professor King has been a faculty member at GSU since completing her postdoctoral fellowship at Brown University Medical School in 2002. She is a Fellow of the Society of Clinical Neuropsychology of the American Psychological Association (APA, Division 40). She also serves as the faculty advisor on GSU’s chapter of the Association of Neuropsychology Students in Training (ANST). In 2019, Dr. King was the invited speaker for GSU Provost’s Women Inspire Series. In 2020, she was awarded GSU’s Outstanding Undergraduate Mentoring Award.
Many of my students have developed clinical neuropsychological evaluation skills and research projects while contributing to these projects.
Developmental Neuropsychology Across the Lifespan (DNP-ATL); at the GSU/GA Tech Center for Advanced Brain Imaging, where we conduct our research.
See also the current student projects and accomplishments and where alumni are currently located at the DNP-ATL Research Team Website: DNP-ATL Research Team Website
Recent Representative Peer Reviewed Publications
Student mentee co-authors’ names are italicized.
Clark, S., Semmel, E., Aleksonis, H., Steinberg, S., & King, T.Z. (in press, epub 2020). Cerebellar-subcortical-cortical systems as modulators of cognitive functions. An invited article in a special issue on subcortical contributors and topics emphasizing subcortical-cortical relationships in Neuropsychology Review.
Semmel, E., Quadri,T. & King, T.Z. (in press). Oral processing speed as a key mediator of the relationship between neurological risk and adaptive functioning in survivors of pediatric brain tumors. Pediatric Blood and Cancer. https://DOI.org/10.1002/pbc.28575
Kautiainen, R.J., Fox, M.E., & King, T.Z. (in press, epub 2020) The Neurological Predictor Scale predicts adaptive functioning via executive dysfunction in young adult survivors of childhood brain tumor. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1355617720000624
Ailion, A.S., King, T.Z., Roberts, S.R, Tang, B., Turner, J., Conway, C., Crosson, B. (in press, epub 2020). Double Dissociation of Auditory and Visual Attention in Survivors of Childhood Cerebellar Tumor: A Tractography Study of the Cerebellar-Frontal and the Superior Longitudinal Fasciculus Pathways. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, https://doi.org/10.1017/S1355617720000417
Hendrix, C.L., King, T.Z., Wise, J., & Haarbauer-Krupa, J. (2020). Early brain injury and later childhood adaptive functioning: The mediating role of pragmatic language. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 26(9), 835-850. https://doi:10.1017/S1355617720000399
Kautiainen, R.J., Dwivedi, B., MacDonald, T., & King, T.Z. (2020) GSTP1 Polymorphisms Sex-specific association with verbal intelligence in survivors of pediatric medulloblastoma. Child Neuropsychology, 26 (6), 739-753. https://doi.org/10.1080/09297049.2020.1726886
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. doi: 10.1016/j.tranon.2019.03.004
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
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
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. DOI:10.1016/j.nicl.2018.08.015
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.
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
For a complete list of publications see my bibliography