Tom Earnest

Tom Earnest

Psychological & Brain Sciences

Aristeidis Sotiras, Todd Braver 

I have a background in wet lab and clinical neuroscience research. I studied biology and neuroscience at Grinnell College, as well as psychiatric research at King’s College London. I have also held research assistant positions at Washington University and the National Institutes of Health.

I grew up in Racine, Wisconsin. Outside of lab, I enjoy making and listening to music, working on Python projects, playing games of all sorts, and spending time with my cat and dog.                     

Research interests and current project:
In DCDS, I am interested in applying machine learning and data-driven approaches to study neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. I just finished a first-year rotation in the lab of Aristeidis Sotiras, where I worked on using non-negative matrix factorization (NMF) to learn patterns of brain pathology in Alzheimer’s Disease neuroimaging.  In my next rotation with Todd Braver, I will evaluate the utility of the lab’s dynamic brain modeling method (MINDy) for predicting behavioral and psychological outcomes.           

Why did you decide to pursue your PhD at WashU?
I really like that through DCDS, I can continue to study neuroscience while also developing broadly applicable technical skills and knowledge (e.g. programming, statistics, data science).  I think the experience gained through the program will open doors to many different, interesting careers. I also appreciate the academic environment at WashU; the majority of professors and mentors I’ve met value collaboration and are eager to work with students.