Heather Burrell Ward, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences

VKC Member

Overview of Interests

Dr. Ward's research uses neuroimaging and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to understand and treat the brain circuit pathophysiology driving disorders of thinking, perception, communication, mood and emotion. She uses analyses of resting-state functional connectivity to study the brain networks that are affecting psychiatric disorders and identify relationships between brain and behavior. After identifying these brain-behavior relationships, Dr. Ward uses rTMS to probe these relationships and establish causality - i.e., does rTMS-induced change in this circuitry lead to changes in behavior. Her research then aims to develop and test rTMS therapeutic interventions in clinical trials. Her particular areas of expertise are in substance use disorders and psychotic disorders, but her research methods are directly translatable to other psychiatric disorders and intellectual and developmental disabilities.