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Principal Investigator

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Davinia Fernández-Espejo, PhD

I was born in Avilés, Spain. I have a BSc in Speech Therapy and a BSc (Hons) in Psychology, both from the University of Oviedo  (Spain). In 2008 I completed my MSc in Neurosciences at the University of Barcelona (Spain). I obtained my PhD in the neural bases of disorders of consciousness at the University of Barcelona in 2010, under the supervision Dr. Carme Junqué, and after completing two research internships in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Cambridge.

After my PhD, I joined the University of Western Ontario (Canada) as a post-doctoral fellow, and subsequently a research scientist, at Prof. Adrian Owen’s lab in the Brain and Mind Institute.

In September 2015, I joined the University of Birmingham (UK) as a Lecturer in Psychology. In 2018 I was promoted to Senior Lecturer.
Google Scholar profile 

Postdoctoral Fellows and Research staff

Graduate Students
Yidian Gao, PhD

My name is Yidian Gao, and I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Human Brain Health, University of Birmingham. My research focuses on investigating the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying a wide range of human behaviours, using large-scale structural and functional MRI datasets. I have actively participated in a collaborative mega-analysis that explores the structural correlates of conduct disorder and conduct problems in youths. Currently, I am working on the mTBI-PREDICT project with Dr. Davinia Fernandez-Espejo. The overarching aim of this project is to identify reliable, reproducible and clinically practical biomarkers that can accurately predict the long-term health outcomes of individuals following a head injury. Google scholar profile

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Aliza Finch, MSc

I completed my BSc in Psychology with Neuropsychology in 2020, my dissertation focused on analysing electrophysiological changes in bilinguals across lifespan using EEG and ERP. Following this, I completed my master’s degree in Principles of Clinical Neuropsychology, with my research focus on the somatotopic changes to the ipsilateral somatosensory cortex following nerve suture, This project utilised fMRI techniques. Both of my degrees were completed at Bangor University in North Wales. Currently I am working as a research assistant in Birmingham University, supporting MRI and MEG for the mTBI-PREDICT project with Dr Davinia Fernandez-Espejo. 

Alan George, MSc

I earned my B.Sc. in Psychology from Mahatma Gandhi University, India and subsequently obtained dual MSc degrees with distinctions in Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Birmingham and Clinical Psychology from National Forensic Sciences University, India. My MSc BICN research focused on utilizing Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to investigate the precuneus as a potential biomarker for atypical attention in autism spectrum disorder and psychosis. I have also worked as a Research Associate at the Clinical Neuroimaging Lab, Institute for Mental Health, and Applied Memory Lab at the University of Birmingham, and have extensive clinical experience from my time as a consultant psychologist in India.
As a Research Associate in the RAINDROP trial, I utilize EEG and fMRI/MRI techniques to analyse the effects of non-invasive brain stimulation (tDCS) on patients with prolonged disorders of consciousness. Outside the lab, I enjoy playing badminton, hiking, writing poetry, and cooking. Linkedin profile

PhD Students

Graduate Students
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Gugan Sangha, MSc

 completed my BSc in Psychology, and MSc in Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Birmingham. I worked for the neuroimaging company, IXICO, and spent a year there working with MRI and PET data looking at the effectiveness of new brain segmentation algorithms as well as observing structural changes from clinical populations such as Alzheimer’s patients. Recently, I obtained a PhD studentship, supervised by Dr Davinia Fernández-Espejo and Dr Damian Cruse in January 2023. This PhD project is about exploring the effect of transcranial direct current stimulation in patients with Prolonged Disorders of Consciousness to identify a therapeutic intervention as well as developing a predictive model to help capture which structural and functional features of the brain make an individual more likely to respond to transcranial direct current stimulation.

Connor Watkin, MSc

I was born in Leicester. I graduated with a BSc in Psychology from the University of Kent in 2016. I completed an MSc in Rehabilitation Psychology at the University of Nottingham in 2018. Following my MSc, I was involved in research exploring return to work following brain injury and stroke. I am currently completing the Clinical Psychology Doctorate (ClinPsyD) at the University of Birmingham. My thesis is supervised by Dr Davinia Fernández-Espejo and is utilising data collected from the mTBI-PREDICT to explore sex differences in mTBI. My long-term ambition is to work as a Neuropsychologist.


Google scholar account:

LinkedIn page:

Brain Sketch
Georgia Wan, MSc

ClinPsyD student

Brain Sketch
Daniel Torbett-Schofield

MRC AIM DTP student


Davide Aloi - PhD student
Sara Calzolari - PhD student
Anny Maza - visiting PhD student
Yolanda Balboa Bandeira - visiting PhD student

Lucy Faulconbridge - BSc project
Abbie Bull - BSc project
Oluwatosin Bejide - BSc project
Freya Knight - BSc project
Ayesha Farid - BSc project
Ben Golding - BSc project
Rachel Duckham - MSc student
Daniella Stock - BSc project
Elizabeth Cave - BSc project
Joshua Jacob - BSc project
Dawid Marcinek - BSc project
Yumeng Ma - MSc project
Sean Coulborn - PhD
Melanie Lafanechere - Research associate
Claudia Evison - MRes Clinical Psychology
Gugan Sangha - MSc
Patrick Cullen - MSc 

Alice Dichfield - MD (intercalated student)
Luke Andrews, MSc 
Harvey Walsh, MSc 
Roya Jalali - Posdoctoral Fellow
Chris Taylor - Research assistant
Amy Hodgkinson - BSc project
Jake Leonard - BSc project
Jenna Ridley - BSc project
Rebecca Crook - BSc project
Paige Williams - BSc project
Penny Tilsley - MSc by research
Lynette Looi - MSc 
Clara Stafford - MSc 
Claire Thirkettle - Research Assistant
Mette Sieg - BSc project
Megan Webb - BSc project
Ashton Bryan - BSc project
Stevi Fisher-Norton - BSc project
Lara McHale - BSc project
Leanne Calviello - MSc 
Tanya Sinha - BMedSci project
Kathleen Lyons - MSc  
Nick Lant - BSc and MD (SROP)
Finola D'Souza - BSc project
Natalie Osborne -  MSc
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