Staff Directory Contact Us

The Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research

Zhen Yang, Ph.D.

Zhen Yang, Ph.D.

Research Scientist
Center for Biomedical Imaging and Neuromodulation

Faculty Directory


Zhen Yang, Ph.D., is a Research Scientist at NKI and a Research Assistant Professor at the NYU School of Medicine. She received her Ph.D. with distinction in Behavioral Neuroscience from University of New Mexico. During graduate school, she investigated the enhancement effect of an early life mild stress on cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development in rodents across the life span. Using task-based fMRI techniques, she investigated the brain mechanisms underlying cognitive control deficits commonly observed in various clinical populations. As a post-doctoral fellow at the Child Mind Institute, she used resting-state fMRI techniques to investigate intrinsic brain activity associated with working memory development, prodromal psychosis, and psychostimulant treatment responses in ADHD. Later, she moved to the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania where she obtained a NIH-NRSA postdoctoral fellowship and was then appointed to the faculty as an Instructor after one year. At the University of Pennsylvania, her research focused on identifying transdiagnostic imaging markers of treatment responses to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in MDD and PTSD. At NKI, Dr. Yang is working on integrating novel analytics into psychiatric research and using machine learning techniques to categorize psychiatric disorders based on neural circuits and phenotypic information. The aim of her work is to better capture pathological heterogeneity and refine our understanding of psychiatric disorders, which is critical for developing more personalized treatment.

  • NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA), University of Pennsylvania, 2015
  • Merit Abstract Award, Organization for Human Brain Mapping, 2015
  • Trainee Abstract Travel Award, Organization for Human Brain Mapping, 2013
  • The Graduate Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship, UNM, 2011
  • The Benjamin Franklin Haught Scholarship, UNM, 2011
Select Publications

Yang Z, Gu S, Honnorat N, Linn KA, Shinohara RT, Aselcioglu I, Bruce S, Oathes DJ, Davatzikos C, Satterthwaite TD, Bassett DS, Sheline YI. Network changes associated with transdiagnostic depressive symptom improvement following cognitive behavioral therapy in MDD and PTSD. Mol Psychiatry. 2018 Aug 13.

Yang Z, Oathes DJ, Linn KA, Bruce SE, Satterthwaite TD, Cook PA, Satchell EK, Shou H, Sheline YI. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Is Associated With Enhanced Cognitive Control Network Activity in Major Depression and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2018 Apr;3(4):311-319.

Yang Z, Kelly C, Castellanos FX, Leon T, Milham MP, Adler LA. Neural Correlates of Symptom Improvement Following Stimulant Treatment in Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2016 Aug;26(6):527-36.

Yang Z, Jutagir DR, Koyama MS, Craddock RC, Yan CG, Shehzad Z, Castellanos FX, Di Martino A, Milham MP. Intrinsic brain indices of verbal working memory capacity in children and adolescents. Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2015 Oct;15:67-82.

Yang Z, Craddock RC, Margulies DS, Yan CG, Milham MP. Common intrinsic connectivity states among posteromedial cortex subdivisions: Insights from analysis of temporal dynamics. Neuroimage. 2014 Jun;93 Pt 1:124-37.