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Prof. Quentin Huys – PI

Quentin Huys is Professor of Computational Psychiatry in the Division of Psychiatry and the Institute of Neurology at University College London. He is also the deputy director of the Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research, and a consultant psychiatrist with Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust. Quentin did his undergraduate at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University, followed by a MB/PhD at UCL Medical School and the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit with Peter Dayan. After postdoctoral research at the Center for Theoretical Neuroscience at Columbia University, he undertook his psychiatry residency at the Hospital of Psychiatry in Zurich and was as a senior research fellow at the Translational Neuromodeling Unit, which is part of both ETH Zürich and the University of Zürich.

Dr. Tore Erdman – Postdoctoral Researcher

Tore did his PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at SISSA, where he worked on computational characterisations of inference processes in delusional ideation. He is interested in mathematical modelling of cognition, behavior and methods for characterising individual differences of inference processes, and model-based analyses of imaging data. He holds a B.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Groningen and a M.Sc. in Statistics from the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich.

Dr. Roeland Heerema – Postdoctoral Researcher

Roeland did his PhD with Mathias Pessiglione at the Paris Brain Institute, where he studied affective biases in economic choice. During his postdoc at the ACP lab, he will investigate how emotions and thinking patterns interact. In particular, he is interested in applying computational modelling and magnetoencephalography (MEG) to elicit maladaptive thinking in individuals suffering from depression. Before his PhD, Roeland did the ‘Brain and Mind Science’ MSc program at UCL and at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. He holds a BSc in Liberal Arts and Sciences from University College Utrecht and a propaedeutic degree in Aerospace Engineering from the TU Delft.

Dr. Anahit Mkrtchian – Postdoctoral Researcher

Anahit did her PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL, examining the motivational mechanisms driving the antidepressant effect of ketamine in treatment-resistant depression using cognitive, computational and neuroimaging (EEG/fMRI) methods. Prior to this, Anahit completed her MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL, and her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of St Andrew. She is particularly interested in examining the neural representations of internal states, specifically those related to maladaptive cognition in depression and exploring these based on the coding principles of the hippocampal-entorhinal system.

Dr. Agnes Norbury – Postdoctoral Researcher

Agnes did her PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL, before taking up postdoctoral fellowships in the Computational and Biological Learning lab at the University of Cambridge, and the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. Her research uses mathematical models to try and better understand cognitive processes that may act as vulnerability and resilience factors for depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorders. Currently, she is working on applying these techniques to gain insight into the mechanisms underlying effective psychological treatments for these disorders.

Dr. Daisy Crawley – Postdoctoral researcher and DClinPsy student

Daisy is a trainee clinical psychologist at UCL. She did her undergraduate at Robinson College, Cambridge followed by a masters in Child and Adolescent Mental Health at UCL. She then completed her PhD at King’s College London looking at affective and neurocognitive mechanisms associated with restricted, repetitive behaviours (RRB) in autism. Here, she developed an interest in computational modeling and used modeling to examine probabilistic reversal learning across development in relation to RRB and associated symptoms (anxiety, ADHD) in both autistic and neurotypical individuals. Daisy is particularly interested in the use of these methods within clinical psychology research in order to better understand learning and decision-making processes in relation to mental health symptomatology and neurodiversity. Her current project seeks to understand mechanisms of change underpinning behavioural activation and cognitive therapy for depression.

Dr. Isabel Berwian – Affiliate Researcher

Isabel is a postdoctoral researcher with Yael Niv at Princeton University and an affiliated researcher with the Applied Computational Psychiatry Lab. Her goal is to develop computational tools to examine mechanisms of change in psychotherapy and subsequently use these tools to identify predictors of treatment response to specific psychotherapy interventions. To this end, she is building generative computational models and behavioural tasks of learning and decision-making implicated in depression and psychotherapy interventions. In collaborations with researchers running clinical intervention studies, she is testing the predictive power of these tools.

She completed a Bachelor (University of Oxford) and Master (UZH) in Psychology and her training as clinical psychologist. In parallel, she did her PhD at the Translational Neuromodeling Unit in Zurich under the supervision of Quentin Huys focusing on relapse prediction after antidepressant discontinuation.

Dr. Jolanda Malamud – Affiliate Researcher

Jolanda is an affiliated researcher at the Applied Computational Psychiatry Lab, where she recently completed her PhD as part of the IMPRS COMP2PSYCH program. Her thesis focused on investigating emotional and cognitive change processes in depression and anxiety and its treatment, utilizing an novel approach that models the interplay between emotion self-reports and identifies stability and controllability features. Additionally, her research explored the effects of psychotherapeutic intervention and antidepressants on emotional processes and reinforcement learning. Currently, as an affiliated researcher, Jolanda’s work centers on utilizing computational cognitive probes to predict relapse risk. Prior to her PhD, she earned her MSc in Health Science and Technology with a major in neuroscience at ETH Zurich.

Jiazhou Chen – PhD student

Jiazhou is a PhD student in the UCL-NIMH Joint Doctoral Training Program in Neuroscience, jointly supervised by Dr. Quentin Huys and Dr. Argyris Stringaris. He completed his undergraduate training at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining the lab, he worked as a research programmer at the Decision Neuroscience and Psychopathology
Lab at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He is interested in using computational modeling and brain imaging techniques to investigate the role of mood during decision making and learning in the context of understanding maladaptive behaviors related to depression, such as anhedonia. His current project focuses on modeling momentary mood in different reward and effort conditions.

Quentin Dercon – PhD Student

Quentin is a student on the UCL-Wellcome mental health science PhD programme. Prior to joining UCL, he completed a BA in neuroscience at the University of Oxford, and an MSc in medical statistics at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. He then worked as a research assistant at the Department of Psychiatry in Oxford, contributing to electronic health records studies of long COVID, and at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge in the Nord lab, investigating the effect of a psychotherapeutic intervention (“cognitive distancing”) on reinforcement learning (RL) and momentary affect in a large online study. He is particularly interested in the computational mechanisms of psychiatric treatment (non-)response, and while in the lab will be developing and piloting online tasks to assay the effect of different antidepressant classes on various RL domains. 

Anne Hall – PhD student

Anna is a PhD student on the UCL-Wellcome Mental Health Science and the IMPRS PhD programmes. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Bath, with a clinical placement year at the Evelina Children’s Hospital, followed by an MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of York. She then worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Oxford, examining the longitudinal development of executive functions in infants to allow earlier identification of neurodevelopmental and mental health difficulties, before starting her PhD at UCL.
Anna is interested in how computational methods can be used to understand the cognitive mechanisms underlying transdiagnostic symptoms and current treatments for mood disorders to ultimately inform future interventions. Her current project is exploring mechanisms of anhedonia.

Jakub Onysk – PhD student

Jakub is a PhD student on the IMPRS COMP2PSYCH programme. He’s interested in finding out which neuro-computational mechanisms are engaged throughout the process of psychotherapy as well as how self-report is generated with the goal of extracting clinically relevant measures. Jakub’s journey began with the study of Mathematics and Philosophy at Exeter, which led him to pursue an MSc in Cognitive Science at the University of Edinburgh, where he focused on computational psychiatry of eating disorders. Before joining the PhD, he worked as Research Assistant at the Computational and Biological Learning lab at the University of Cambridge looking into mechanisms underlying pain perception, in particular temporal statistical learning and its significance for chronic pain.

Jade Serfaty – PhD Student

Jade is a PhD student in the LiDo programme. She completed an MSci in Neuroscience at UCL, during which she worked on whole-brain neural population dynamics in the zebrafish at the Bianco lab. She then completed an MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at ENS Paris, during which she worked on spontaneous approach-avoidance choices in a social context at the LNC2 in the Social Cognition team before starting her PhD at UCL. Her rotation project in the lab focuses on novel approaches to study introspective self-reports of emotions.

Lana Tymchyk – Research Assistant

Lana completed an MSc in Behavioural and Economic Science at Warwick and her research project investigated which statistical models produce higher rates of false positives in cognitive psychology experiments. She then worked as a software developed in Deutsche Bank for two years, before joining UCL for MSc Clinical Mental Health Sciences. Her research project with the lab focused on the effects of brief mindfulness intervention on self-esteem. Within her current role she is supporting a psychotherapy study and is looking to extend her knowledge of computational modelling.

Alumni

Postdocs

Dr. Evan Russek – now postdoctoral researcher at Princeton University

Prof. Daniel Schad – now professor at the Health and Medical University of Potsdam

PhD

Dr. Anahita Talwar – now research scientist at GSK

Dr. Isabel Berwian – now postdoctoral researcher at Princeton University

Dr. Daniel Renz – now Expert Data Scientist at Ada Health

Ismail Guennouni

MSc

Ann Chu

Subati Abulikemu

Natalia Lopez Chemas

Ryo Segawa – now PhD student at the German Primate Centre in Göttingen

Dr. Falk Lieder – now Group Leader at the MPI for Intelligent Systems in Tübingen

Xueqing Ma

Zaihirah Quddus

Yuki Shimura

Zsofia Sophansay

Marius Tröndle

Valance Wang

Anastasios Ziogas