Graduate school: University of Iowa, Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience
Postdoctoral Fellowship: The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada
Track: Scientist, Tenure
Dr. van der Plas is interested in the developing brain, which is our most dynamic organ. The brain changes throughout our lifetime, but some of the most drastic post-natal changes occur in early childhood. Dr. van der Plas’ research is focused on the impact of chronic illness on the developing brain, such as childhood cancer, or sickle cell disease.
Dr. van der Plas leads a federally-funded program of research aimed at characterizing brain development in young children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Her research is interdisciplinary and includes neuroimaging, cognitive neuroscience, and neurochemical markers of brain injury. Dr. van der Plas’ goal is to implement a developmental neurocognitive research hub that fosters research on brain development. Collecting reliable data on young children is challenging, and her vision is to fully integrate Child Life into her research endeavors.
Silo Leader, Children’s Oncology Group Long Term Follow-up Neurocognitive/Psychosocial Task Force
Working Group Leader, the International Late Effects of Childhood Cancer Guideline Harmonization Group
R37 funding from the National Cancer Institute