Meet the blog Team
Nils Muhlert, Blog Team Captain for the OHBM Communication Committee (2016-18), is a lecturer in the Division of Neuroscience & Experimental Psychology at the University of Manchester, UK. He previously worked as a postdoc at the UCL Institute of Neurology in London, and as a Wellcome Trust ISSF fellow and Welsh Government Health Research fellow in CUBRIC, Cardiff University. He's interested in the brain structure correlates of memory and impulsivity, and how these forms of cognition are affected in clinical disorders, such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. Nils has been awarded the Charles Symonds award from the Association of British Neurologists (2011), twice awarded the Alwyn Lishman award from the British Neuropsychiatry Association (2009 and 2016), and is an editorial board member for Neurology. When he's not working, Nils is gardening or tidying-up after his son.
AmanPreet Badhwar holds a PhD from McGill University, where she integrated brain imaging, quantitative proteomics and measures of neurovascular coupling to study the interaction of neuronal and neurovascular damage in Alzheimer’s disease models, and the impact of therapeutics on these two components. She was awarded the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Age+ Prize, which recognizes excellence in research on aging, for one of the publications arising from her thesis work. Aman is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal (IUGM), University of Montreal, where her research focus is to determine how aspects of brain connectivity could be developed as biomarkers of progression in Alzheimer’s disease. Her scientific vision is to cut across intellectual silos and integrate multiple streams of data to answer big questions in Alzheimer’s disease research. She holds a postdoctoral fellowship from the Alzheimer Society of Canada, and is a member of the Biomarker team of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging. Aman is the current Chair of the OHBM Student and Postdoctoral SIG. She is also engaged in public outreach through her artistic works, where the topics of brain organization, plasticity, and memory are recurrent. She has held a number of expositions of her work integrating science and art, and has been a winner in The Neuro Bureau Brain-Art Competition in multiple years.
Nikola Stikov, is Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, researcher at the Montreal Heart Institute, and co-director of NeuroPoly, the Neuroimaging Research Laboratory at École Polytechnique (University of Montreal). His research runs the gamut of quantitative magnetic resonance imaging, from basic issues of standardization and accuracy, to biophysical modeling, microstructural imaging and clinical applications. Nikola is the founder of MRBalkan.org and has organized several international conferences under the auspices of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM). In 2014 he was elected Junior Fellow of the ISMRM, and in 2015 he joined the editorial board of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, spearheading its Highlights initiative. Nikola was the Blog Team's first Captain (2015-16).
Shruti Gopal Vij is a postdoctoral researcher at the Autism Center of Excellence at the University of California San Diego. She continues to pursue characterizing variability in human brain development using multimodal neuroimaging but now focuses on early development in infants. This comes as an extension of her thesis and previous postdoctoral research on analyzing inter-subject variability in fMRI data in spatial and temporal dimensions at Rochester Institute of Technology’s Chester F. Carlson Center of Imaging Science in collaboration with The Mind Research Network in Albuquerque and University of Miami’s Brain Connectivity and Cognition Laboratory. Her current postdoc allows her to extend her understanding of inter-subject variability in functional activation patterns and multivariate analyses techniques to identify neural markers of behavioral variability in children with developmental disorders. She envisions that knowledge of such behavioral variability at the neural level will help discern how developmental changes in autism and associated disorders differ from typical development. She is a budding hiker, and an avid artist attempting to rejuvenate the neuroscientist by igniting creativity through art.
Jean Chen is the director of the Neuroimaging Research Lab at the Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. She holds the Canada Research Chair in Neuroimaging of Aging, and is Assistant Professor in Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. She obtained her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from McGill University (Montreal Neurological Institute), where she investigated the biophysical origins of the blood-oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) fMRI signal. She completed her postdoctoral training at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, where she investigated the cerebrovascular correlates of brain aging using perfusion and diffusion MRI. Her current research program mainly focuses on determining the neurovascular and electrophysiological basis of resting fMRI measures. Her research is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Jean is on the editorial boards for Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism and Frontiers in Neuroscience. Through her work, she is committed to developing neuroimaging measures into sensitive markers to aid the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. She is also committed to creating nurturing training environments that will prepare new researchers to become prolific independent scientists.
David Mehler is a final year MD/PhD student at the Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC) in Wales (UK) and the University of Muenster medical school (Germany). His research focuses on translational applications for rehabilitation. For his MD he has investigated motor learning principles in humans using a robot at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London. His PhD research in Cardiff has focused on clinical applications of fMRI neurofeedback training for depression and motor rehabilitation in stroke and Parkinson’s disease. David is Executive Board member of the European MD/PhD Association (EMPA). He is committed to methods training for ECRs and open science, two passions that sometimes shine through his blog posts, as well as topics around translational applications for neuroimaging. On twitter he is @neuroccino
Tzipi Horowitz-Kraus is an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience in the Faculty of Education in Science and Technology, and Director of the Educational Neuroimaging Center (ENIC) at Technion, the Israeli institute of technology in Haifa, Israel. She is also an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and the Scientific Director of the Reading and Literacy Discovery Center at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, USA. Tzipi trained in Biology and Neurobiology. After completing her PhD, she conducted post-doctoral research at the University of Haifa using behavioral and EEG measures following intervention programs for children with learning disabilities, as well as studies aimed at developing objective measures to assess the effectiveness of interventions for reading difficulties. Tzipi has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship using fMRI, DTI, and EEG to understand the mechanisms underlying reading disabilities in children, in order to develop more effective reading interventions. Now, Tzipi is an Alon scholar, and PI on several Pediatric Neuroimaging Research projects, funded by the NIH and Promobilia foundation, to help advance our understanding of the neural circuits supporting learning and language in the developing brain.
Claude Bajada is a postdoctoral researcher, currently building up a research team at the University of Malta. His work covers three main themes: 1. Establishing a clear, consistent description of the white matter anatomy of the human brain. 2. Investigating the historical insights on white matter anatomy. 3. Using novel computational approaches to explore the human connectome. Claude graduated from medical school in 2010 and had two years experience as a practicing medical doctor. He then completed an MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience from UCL, London under the supervision of Prof. Joseph Devlin. He subsequently carried out his PhD at The University of Manchester under the supervision of Dr. Lauren Cloutman, Prof. Matt Lambon Ralph and Prof. Geoff Parker. His PhD project involved developing mathematical and neuroimaging approaches to understand the connective anatomy of the brain’s temporal lobe. Claude's postdoctoral work has been at Forschungszentrum Jülich under the supervision of Prof Svenja Caspers and at the University of Malta under the supervision of Prof Richard Muscat and Dr Chris Zammit.
Ekaterina Dobryakova, PhD, is a Research Scientist at Kessler Foundation. Ekaterina’s training is in cognitive neuroscience. During her graduate work, she focused on examining the functioning of the basal ganglia during learning in the context of delay and effort. Her current work focuses on examining cognitive mechanisms associated with basal ganglia functioning in individuals with brain injury and multiple sclerosis, such as learning, motivation, depression, and fatigue. The overarching goal of Ekaterina’s research is improvement of rehabilitation strategies. Ekaterina is also a cat person. She has two Siberian cats and is an occasional cat sitter for her family members.
Ilona Lipp is a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig (Germany), where she investigates cortical microstructure using high resolution quantitative MRI and histology. During her previous projects at the University of Graz (Austria) and at the Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC) in Wales, where she completed her PhD, Ilona specialised in the combination of various MRI modalities to study individual differences in healthy and clinical populations. Having a strong interest in analysis methods and the “constant urge to understand everything”, her aspiration in science is to identify reliable and biologically specific in vivo biomarkers, and to bridge the gap between MRI methods development and neuroscientific applications. Outside of work, Ilona is a dedicated basketball player, board gamer and baker.