Ph.D./M.D. Students


Fang Ji

As a PhD student in Dr. Zhou's group, I am mainly responsible for performing neurological data analysis. I currently focus on the stroke project in the lab.

I finished my Bachelor and Master study at the Department of Neuroscience in Nanjing medical University. My research interests focus on electrophysiology signal on stroke model. My Master thesis was mainly about the electrophysiological function of glycine receptor in hippocampus during ischemic injury.

As we know, there are plenty of neural diseases without effective treatments. I expect my research work can help people who suffer from these diseases to get better lives.



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

Joint Ph.D / Master Students


Cheng Hsiao-Ju

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.









Lee Sze Chi

I graduated from the National University of Singapore (NUS) with a B.Soc.Sci (Psychology) (Hons). For my bachelor’s thesis, I investigated how neuroticism affects depressive symptoms through spontaneous thoughts under situations of self-discrepancies. Coming from a psychology background of personality and psychopathology, I have always been interested in exploring clinical populations. Currently as a masters student in NUS under the supervision of Dr Helen Zhou and Dr O’Dhaniel Mullette-Gillman, I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to explore the structural differences of ADHD children using neuroimaging techniques.

Outside of research, I enjoy rock climbing and engaging in spontaneous thoughts, aka daydreaming.


Luo Xiao

I graduated with a bachelor of medicine (2013) before I started a five-year successive postgraduate and doctoral program (medical imaging) in Zhejiang University Medicine School. Currently, I pursue my study in Dr Zhou’s lab as a joint training PhD student. With my clinical medicine background, I prefer to conduct research on the basis of clinical problems; specifically, I believe the exploration of neuropathological mechanism in individuals with preclinical stages of AD could help improve the trajectory of symptoms. In the coming year, I hope to learn more about multi-modal imaging analysis techniques and further explore the effect of AD-related risk factors on imaging measures.

In my free time, I enjoy photography, tea tasting and listening classical music. When I feel faint and back pain, I’d like to swim for an hour

Hu Mengjiao

I obtained my Bachelor's degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Nanyang Technological University. Currently, I am a PhD candidate studying with Dr. Jiang Xudong, Dr. Guan Cuntai and Dr. Helen Zhou. My research topic is Machine Learning on Neuroimaging Data in Neuropsychiatric Disorders. Thus it is an interdisciplinary study which combines engineering and neuroscience. I work on computational algorithms which extract the feature of the MRI/fMRI/DTI data and perform further analysis on them.

I enjoy learning languages and painting. I learned Japanese, Korean and German. Though I forget most of the previous one when I start to learn a new language. I like both traditional Chinese painting and pencil drawing.