Icahn School of Medicine at Mout Sinai (ISMMS)
Department of Neuroscience, Department of Neurosurgery, Department of Neurology, Friedman Brain Institute
Director, Laboratory for Human Neurophysiology
Ayaka Kato is a postdoctoral fellow at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, under the mentorship of Dr. Ignacio Saez and Dr. Xiaosi Gu. She attained her Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo in March 2023 and holds a Master of Science in Neuroscience from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor and a Master of Biological Science from the University of Tokyo. Ayaka's research focus encompasses computational psychiatry, dopamine, motivation, and addiction. She employs computational modeling, intracranial recording, and neuroimaging techniques to investigate these areas of study.
Salman is interested in discovering how our experiences, choices and feelings dictate how we remember the past. He uses computational models to untangle these complex aspects of human cognition, and direct-brain recordings in humans to tap into the specific neural circuits involved. Salman's ultimate goal is to translate the neural and computational findings from this research into new therapeutic strategies for neurological and psychiatric disorders that result in impaired or dysregulated memory.
Born in Xi'an, China, Lu Jin completed her undergrad at Zhejiang University and pursued a Neurobiology Ph.D. at Yale, researching working memory circuits in primates' prefrontal cortex. She later earned an M.D. from Cornell. Now, as a research track resident in the Mount Sinai Psychiatry Residency Program and the Saez Lab, she studies motivational levels through behavioral tasks and examines neural representations of motivation in human brains. Her ultimate goal is to develop circuitry-based treatments for psychiatric conditions. Outside academia, she enjoys rock climbing, exploring history, and learning about political issues.
Arianna has always been fascinated by how neurochemical and molecular interactions in the brain can give rise to the mind that creates such complex higher-order cognitive states -- such as mood, emotion, and learning. She uses intracranial neural recording techniques and computational modeling to elucidate the mechanisms underlying these cognitive processes. Specifically, she studies the neurocomputational signatures of the interplay between social learning and mood. She is an MD/PhD candidate at ISMMS in the Gu and Saez labs.
Alexandra is a Neuroscience PhD Candidate in the labs of Ignacio Saez, PhD and Xiaosi Gu, PhD. Alexandra specializes in integrating human intracranial electrophysiology with computational psychiatry to investigate decision-making and reward encoding. Her thesis work will elucidate the neurophysiological and behavioral correlates of aberrant counterfactual processing in depression. In 2020, she obtained a B.S. in Neuroscience from Duke University, where she studied under Kafui Dzirasa, MD, PhD. Alexandra will bring her expertise in neurophysiology and computational modeling to the biotechnology sector after completing her PhD.
Alexandra is a PhD candidate in the Saez and Gu labs, where she uses intracranial computational psychiatry to study aberrant counterfactual processing in depression. She received her B.S. in Neuroscience from Duke University in 2020. Alexandra is an avid reader, hiker, and Rangers hockey fan.
Qixiu Fu obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honors in Psychology from New York University in 2020. Generally speaking, Qixiu is interested in understanding the computational mechanisms of psychological experiences in both healthy and pathological contexts. Right now, she is studying value-based decision making in treatment resistant depression patients who undergo deep brain stimulation. When Qixiu gets frustrated with whatever she is doing, she likes to watch anime.
Christina Maher (she/her) is a PhD student in the Saez Lab. Her research combines intracranial recording and computational modeling of behavior to investigate how people learn in dynamic environments. Christina is co-mentored by Dr. Angela Radulescu, PhD. Prior to beginning her Ph.D., Christina completed her MSc at University College London under the supervision of Dr. Tali Sharot, PhD.
Lizbeth Nuñez is a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Nash Family Department of Neuroscience, working in the Human Neurophysiology Laboratory at Mount Sinai West.
She completed her undergraduate degrees in Molecular & Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Molecular Environmental Biology at UC Berkeley in 2020. She has been involved in electrophysiological studies at UC Berkeley and neurosurgical research at UC San Francisco and joined the team in 2021 from UC Davis. Her interests lie in neurosurgery, psychopathology, and neuroanatomy.
Current: Postdoctoral Scholar, ISMMS
Current: Clinical Research Coordinator, ISMMS