Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Grand Rounds

Using Graph Theory to Inform Heterogeneity in Typical and Atypical Development

Damien Fair, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience
Director, President's Fellowship for Diversity
Oregon Health & Science University


Research in psychiatry often relies on the assumption that the diagnostic categories identified in the DSM represent homogeneous syndromes. However, the mechanistic heterogeneity that potentially underlies the existing classification scheme might limit discovery of etiology. In our current work we expand on previous brain imaging methods and use graph theory, specifically community detection, to clarifying behavioral and functional heterogeneity in children with ADHD and Autism. We have been able to identify several unique subgroups of children within these disorders, and importantly, in some cases, in control populations as well. Just as notably, we also show in these longitudinal samples that this refined nosology is capable of improving our predictive capacity of long-term outcomes relative to current DSM-based nosology. We argue that illumination of such phenomena will have significant practical importance for understanding typical development and to identifying the etiologic underpinnings of atypical developmental trajectories.


About the speaker:
Dr. Fair obtained his BA degree in 1998 from Augustana College, S.D. In 2001, he graduated with a master of medical science degree from the physician associate program at the Yale University School of Medicine. From 2001–2003 he joined the neurology department at Yale-New Haven Hospital and practiced as a physician assistant under the direction of Lawrence Brass, M.D. Subsequently, he entered the neuroscience graduate program at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis under the primary guidance of Bradley Schlaggar, M.D., Ph.D. and Steven Petersen, Ph.D. He continued on to do his postdoctoral fellowship at Oregon Health and Science University with Joel Nigg Ph.D., and Bonnie Nagel, Ph.D. He’s now an Associate Professor in the Behavioral Neuroscience Department at OHSU.

Dr. Fair's laboratory focuses on mechanisms and principles that underlie the developing brain. The majority of this work uses functional MRI and resting state functional connectivity MRI to assess typical and atypical populations. His work cuts across both human and animal models (rodent and monkey) using these non-invasive tools as a bridge between species.

Dr. Fair also is strongly committed to both teaching and public outreach. He serves as Director of OHSU President’s Fellowship for Diversity and Inclusion in Research, a new OHSU initiative started out of his lab that aims to increase the number of underrepresented postdocs and junior faculty at OHSU. He also organizes the Youth Engaged in Science (YES) Initiative - a multi-faceted program aimed at exposing underrepresented middle and high school students to scientific research and related careers.


Remote live streaming locations:

  • Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland - OPC Boardroom
  • ZSFG - Building 5, Room 7E12


Grand Rounds presentations are for educational purposes and intended for a professional audience only.

To qualify for CME credit for this event, participants must (1) attend in-person or at one of the approved live streaming locations listed above; and (2) sign in at their location.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

LP-190 Auditorium
401 Parnassus Ave., San Francisco, CA 94143

Event Type

Grand Rounds, Lecture/Seminar, Academic


School of Medicine


Students, Postdocs, Faculty






Department of Psychiatry

Contact Info

Will Silberman, (415) 476-7198,