Principal Investigator

Dr. Zhang

Nanyin Zhang Ph.D
Hartz Family Professor
Department of Biomedical Engineering
The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences
The Pennsylvania State University
W-341 Millenium Science Complex, University Park, PA 16802
Tel: (814) 867-4791

Postdoctor Fellows


Pablo Perez: I obtained a BS/Master degree in Physics at the University of Buenos Aires. After completing my studies in Argentina, I moved to the University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville FL where I obtained a Physics PhD with focus on experimental biophysics. I later spent two years as a postdoc at the UF McKnight Brain Institute where I worked in preclinical neuroimaging research at the AMRIS MRI facility. I am interested in using neuroimaging techniques to answer questions about the brain function. My research with Dr Zhang centers on the study of stress disorders using functional MRI and behavior methods.


Graduate Students


Zhiwei Ma is currently a Ph.D. student in Dr. Nanyin Zhang's lab in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Penn State University. He earned his Bachelor of Science at Jilin University and his Master of Science at The Ohio State University. His research interest is to model brain networks through multimodal neuroimaging approaches.



Christina Hamilton: I am a PhD student in the Neuroscience program at Penn State. I earned my B.Sc. with Honor’s in Neuroscience from Ursinus College and my M.Sc. in Experimental Psychology at Saint Joseph’s University. In the past, my research focused on understanding aspects of human perception using psychophysical and behavioral paradigms. Currently, I am interested in exploring the dynamics of neural circuits using animal models and a variety of methods including neuroimaging, optogenetics, and behavior. Additionally, I hope to better understand the relationship between neural activity and the BOLD signal.



Zilu Ma: I am currently a PhD student in Biomedical Engineering department at Penn State University. I earned my bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering at University of Washington, Seattle Washington. My past research was focused on evaluating scattered data reconstruction quality for fMRI subjects undergoing large motion using TSNR.



Yuncong Ma: I am a PhD student major in Bioengineering. I got my bachelor degree in EE and master degree in BME from University of Science and Technology of China. I am a fan of Mathematica, and like mathematical modelling. My past works focused on gesture recognition, molecular transportation and cryopreservation. Now I am studying mathematical models that predict human brains' functional connectivities by using their structural networks, and looking forward to construct one for rat’s brain.



Yikang Liu: I am a PhD student in Department of Biomedical Engineering at Penn State. I received my BS degree in electrical engineering from University of Science and Technology of China. My undergraduate research focused on mathematical modeling and data processing in perfusion MRI. I hope to better understand brain function and neural circuitry during my PhD program. I love playing music in my leisure time.



David Dopfel: I am PhD student in the Biomedical Engineering department. I earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degrees in Biomedical Engineering at Stony Brook University. My research is focused on studying translational models of stress disorders. I am interested in developing an understanding of functional changes that occur in response to varied stressors and searching for differences related to disorder susceptibility.
Email: DXD5322@PSU.EDU


Lilith Antinori: I am a PhD student in the Biomedical Engineering department. I received a BS from Penn State in Mathematics with a minor in Neuroscience and a BA in French from The University of Texas at Austin. My research focuses on developing a translational model of clinical depression that can be used in conjunction with rsfMRI techniques to investigate disorder-related functional connectivity. It is my hope to expand this research to explore functional connectivity differences in depression models related to stressor chronicity, and across critical developmental periods.


Hayreddin Said ÜNSAL: I am a M.S. student in Dr. Nanyin Zhang's lab at the Department of Biomedical Engineering of Penn State University. I received my bachelor's degree in Electrical-Electronics Engineering at Istanbul University. My research interest is focused on neuroimaging and understanding brain function.


Undergraduate Students


Samuel Cramer: I am a junior at The Pennsylvania State University. I am currently studying Biomedical Engineering with a Material Sciences option. I joined Dr. Zhang’s research team in the fall of 2013 eager to begin any sort of research on the brain. I look forward to better understanding the mechanistic details of neural circuitry through this opportunity.



Alison Roby: I am a junior studying biomedical engineering in the biochemical option. I am fascinated by the brain and am excited to begin to delve more into this subject in Dr. Zhang's lab. I hope to learn more about neuroimaging models and behavioral tests of animal models to analyze brain disorders, particularly addiction disorders.



Jake Ruddy: I am currently a junior studying biomedical engineering in the chemical option. I am excited to use the novel research methods available in Dr. Zhang's lab and about the possible clinical applications of this research. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn about and study the brain.


Visiting Scholar

Yi Li

Yi Li (李轶): I'm a teacher came from Hangzhou Dianzi University, China. I joined Dr.Zhang's lab as a visiting scholar from June 25, 2013. I received my PhD in Biomedical Engineering Zhejiang University. My research has focused on the assessment of patients with chronic disorders of consciousness using resting-state fMRI image and EEG signals. My primary interest now is the research on Default network connectivity reflects the level of consciousness in vegetative state and minimally conscious state patients.


Chengcheng Zhang

Chengcheng Zhang: I'm a second-year PhD student from Sichuan University, China, majored in psychiatry. I joined Dr. Zhang's lab as a visiting scholar from July 1, 2016. My research has focused on data analysis of patients with schizophrenia using structure MRI and cognitive tests. My research interest also includes studies on neuroanatomical deficits and behavior abnormalities in ERBB4 knockout mouse model of schizophrenia.