Ph.D./M.D. Students


Joanna Su Xian Chong

I graduated from National University of Singapore with a B.Eng (Chemical Engineering) (Hons), and subsequently from the University of Western Australia with a B.Sci (Psychology).

As a PhD student under Dr. Helen Zhou, I am interested in the use of multimodal neuroimaging techniques to study functional and structural connectivity changes in neuropsychiatric disorders.

Given the increasing prevalence of dementia in our aging society, I am particularly interested in understanding and characterizing the aberrant changes in people with dementia, and in the identification of potential biomarkers for the early diagnosis of dementia.

In my free time, I enjoy drinking tea and planning my next travel destination.

Ashwati Vipin

I graduated with a B.Sc.(Hons) in Life Sciences (Biomedical Sciences) and a minor in Psychology from the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2012. Following this I worked as a Research Assistant at the SINAPSE Institute, NUS in the field of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) and its therapeutic interventions using rodent models.

I am currently a Duke-NUS PhD student under Dr. Helen Zhou and am interested in understanding the functional and structural connectivity changes that occur in ageing disorders such as Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias. In particular I am interested in the early diagnosis and biomarker development of neurodegenerative disorders.

In my spare time I enjoy writing, reading, nature, traveling and photography. I run a photography blog on Flickr as well as on National Geographic

Yu (Caly) Xiao

I graduated with a Bachelor degree from Sun Yat-sen University in National Information Management in 2017. I did my undergraduate thesis in Computational Affective Neuroscience Lab of Sun Yat-sen University, and continued as a Research Assistant.

Currently, I am a Duke-NUS IBB (Integrated Biostatistics and Bioinformatics) PhD student under Dr. Helen Zhou, and I am interested in using multimodal neuroimaging and machine learning analysis to develop effective diagnostic/prognostic biomarkers in neuropsychiatric disorders.

In my spare time, I enjoy listening to various genres of music and traveling.





Wan Lin Yue

I graduated with a B.Sc. (Hons) in Biological Sciences under the multidisciplinary research-oriented CN Yang Scholars' Programme in Nanyang Technological University. Currently, I am a NGS PhD student under Dr Thomas Yeo and Dr Helen Zhou.

I am interested in combining the knowledge from neurobiology and neuroimaging to gain a more holistic perspective of the human brain. I am particularly interested in memory, thoughts and dreams and their representations in our brains, and how these can differ in aging and in disease.

My hobbies include reading, watching psychological thrillers and listening to music. Currently, I am also learning Japanese.

Joint Ph.D / Master Students


Hsiao-Ju (Rita) Cheng

I obtained my bachelor and master degree in Occupational Therapy from the National Taiwan University in 2012 and 2014, respectively. Currently, I am working with Dr. Yu Haoyong and Dr. Helen Zhou. My research interests are the effects and mechanisms of stroke neurorehabilitation; thus, I am involved in investigating the relationship between task-free fMRI and task-based fMRI in stroke patients after rehabilitation in Helen's lab.

I enjoy running, watching movies, and traveling as leisure. Oh, I am a foodie as well.