COVID-19 Updates

Visit UC San Diego's Coronavirus portal for the latest information for the campus community.

About Our Team

 

Dr.Fiza Singh, image Fiza Singh, M.D. 

Director, Functional Neuroscience Laboratory 

Associate Clinical Professor, Psychiatry

Dr. Singh is an Associate Professor in the Psychiatry Department at UCSD and a Staff Psychiatrist at the VA San Diego Healthcare System for 6 years. She received her MD from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 2004 and completed her psychiatry residency at University of California at San Diego (UCSD) in 2009. She also completed an advanced fellowship in mental health research from 2009-2012. Dr. Singh became interested in a neural network based approach to psychiatric disorders. In this approach, fundamental neural networks that underlie normal function, are studied in patients in a transdiagnostic manner. For example, fronto-temporal neural networks known to support cognition are expected to be impaired in disorders of cognition, regardless of the DSM diagnostic criteria. This approach allows a more biological, neural network level definition of disease, which can be leveraged to identify biomarkers of treatment response as well as new treatments. In the laboratory, she is leading an effort to develop treatments to improve information processing in local networks in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortical area of the brain, by capturing EEG neurosignatures of network function. Her team is studying the effects of neurofeedback informed self-modulation of DLPFC function in individuals with schizophrenia. A similar approach is also being developed for individuals with mild cognitive impairment. Dr. Singh has enjoyed living in the San Diego area since her residency in 2006. She enjoys time at the beach, nature walks, snowboarding, traveling and learning new languages.


I-Wei Shu, image

I-Wei Shu, M.D. 

Co-Director/ Analytics Head, Functional Neuroscience Laboratory 

Associate Clinical Professor, Psychiatry 

Dr. Shu is a tech psychiatrist specializing in novel neurophysiologic methods for assessing and modulating brain activity.  With over 10 years of clinical and EEG research experience, he is currently an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at UCSD and, since 2018, has led FNL's analytics team.  Dr. Shu's expertise also includes clinical trial design and stress/trauma-related disorders.  He has served as Lead Psychiatrist for a multi-site Department of Defense clinical trial of the blood pressure medication losartan for PTSD, and as PTSD Medical Director for VA San Diego's south county clinics.  Dr. Shu received his PhD in Neuroscience from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York in 2004 and his MD from UC Davis in Sacramento in 2006. 



Jaime Pineda, Ph.D. 

Consultant/Advisor, Functional Neuroscience Laboratory 

Professor, Cognitive Science and Neuroscience

Dr. Pineda received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 1987 from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).  He was Professor in the Departments of Cognitive Science and Neuroscience at UCSD, and Director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory for 28 years until his retirement in 2018.  He serves as consultant/advisor on the neurofeedback component of the schizophrenia project. 





POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER: 

                                                

Shawn Hsu, Ph.D. 

Collaborator, Functional Neuroscience Laboratory 

Postdoctoral Researcher, Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience

Sheng-Hsiou (Shawn) Hsu was a postdoc in the lab at UCSD. His research focuses on developing signal processing algorithms and machine learning techniques and exploring their applications to biosignals intersecting the fields of computational neuroscience, brain-computer interfaces, and brain health. He received a PhD in Bioengineering from UCSD and a BS in Electrical Engineering from National Taiwan University. During his time in the lab, he participated in studying the changes in resting-state EEG and working-memory ERP during neurofeedback treatment in Schizophrenia patients and also developed a real-time EEG signal processing system for neurofeedback.



GRADUATE STUDENTS:

Yayu Lin, image

Yayu Lin, M.Sc.

Graduate Student, Functional Neuroscience Laboratory 

Yayu Lin grew up in Taiwan and received her B.S. and M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from National Yang Ming University. Currently a PhD student in Electrical and Computer Engineering at UCSD, her research interests include analysis of neural activity and interpretation of brain mechanism. She joined the Functional Neuroscience Lab in 2020 where she works with a focus on Neurofeedback system development and EEG data analysis.


 




STAFF:

Veronica Gandara, image

Veronica Gandara, B.Sc. 

Research Coordinator, Functional Neuroscience Laboratory 

Veronica Gandara was born in Stockholm, Sweden and moved to San Diego in 2008. After receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology at California State University, San Marcos, Veronica joined the functional neuroscience laboratory in June 2018. As a research associate, she is administering neurofeedback and neurophysiological testing. In her free time, Veronica loves to spend time with her husband, Mark, their son, Oliver, and the family’s four dogs.





Beverly Castillo, image

Beverly Castillo, B.Sc. 

Research Assistant, Functional Neuroscience Laboratory 

Beverly Castillo was born in Torrance, CA and moved to San Diego to attend UCSD in 2016. In September 2018, Beverly joined the Functional Neuroscience Lab as a volunteer. In 2020, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physiology and Neuroscience. Beverly continues her involvement in our lab, administering neuropsychological tests/ interviews to our participants. In addition, Beverly works as a Behavioral Interventionist for children with Autism. Beverly enjoys reading at the beach, discovering new cooking recipes and painting. In the near future, Beverly plans to attend graduate school and become a physician assistant.




Rohini Sen, image

Rohini Sen, B.Sc. 

Research Assistant, Functional Neuroscience Laboratory 

Rohini is from Mumbai, India, and moved to San Diego in 2016 for her undergraduate studies. She joined the Functional Neuroscience Lab as an undergraduate research volunteer in 2018.  She recently graudated with a Bachelor's degree in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience and is currently working as a research assistant in the lab. Her duties include administering EEG-neurofeedback, neurophysiological testing, pupillometry to the subjects and assisting on data analyisis, literature reviews, website building among other tasks. She is passionate about deeply exploring the complex mechanisms underlying human cognition, thoughts and behavior and aspires to work in the field of mental health. She is a self-confessed coffee enthusiast and in her free time, enjoys spending time with friends and family, dancing, art and nature trails.




  ALUMNI: 

Amanda Smith, image

Amanda Smith, B.A. 

Research Assistant, Functional Neuroscience Laboratory 

Amanda was born in Philadelphia and moved to San Diego to complete their BA in Cognitive Science at UCSD. After graduating, they began working for the Cognitive Science department at UCSD as a Research Assistant investigating the effects of neurofeedback on working memory in schizophrenia. They then went on to receive an MA in Biomedical Sciences at Midwestern University and is currently enrolled at the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine. They plan to apply to general surgery residency and eventually open their own practice with a focus on providing services to underserved populations. When not preparing for exams, they can be found getting lost in nature and experimenting with different forms of art and self-expression.



Eduardo Herreira, image

Eduardo Herreira, B.A. 

Research Assistant, Functional Neuroscience Laboratory 

Eduardo completed undergraduate studies at UC Merced in Northern California earning a BA in Psychology. Combining his curiosity in neuroscience, his background in psychology, and questions about societal needs, he joined the Psychology and Cognitive Science Departments at UC San Diego as a Research Assistant. He gained invaluable research experience including data acquisition of EEG, fMRI, behavioral, and data analysis. He helped launch schizophrenia research by configuring neurofeedback systems, analyzing EEG data, experiment design. He is a prospective PhD student and seeks matriculated training in brain research to inform societal needs. Eduardo is a father and lives in San Diego, CA with his family.