Zhiru Jia, PhD Brings New Expertise to the Department’s Psychiatric Epidemiology Division

Zhiru Jia, PhD, a research psychologist with expertise in neurobiology, joined the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science in February as a Research Assistant Professor of Psychiatry.

Dr. Jia will work with Drs. Roman Kotov and Evelyn Bromet as a member of the Psychiatric Epidemiology Division performing data analyses, writing manuscripts and grants, and helping the group incorporate neuroimaging into its protocols. She will be a member of the Suffolk County Mental Health Project team and assist with the study of health and mental health problems among 9/11 responders, which the Department conducts in collaboration with the World Trade Center Health Program.

Dr. Jia spent the past two years working as a NIMH T32 Fellow in Geriatric Depression with George Alexopoulos, MD at the Weill Cornell Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry where she performed functional MRI studies investigating reward processing dysfunction in people with late-life depression. Before that, she spent two years as a postdoctoral associate at Yale University School of Medicine using fMRI to study stress and addiction, gender differences in the reward circuitry of substance abusers, and correlation of reward processing with treatment outcome in cocaine dependence. She earned her doctoral degree in Biopsychology at Stony Brook University, where Nancy Squires, PhD was her advisor and mentor on ERP studies of cognitive processes of the human brain.  Dr. Jia has published neuroimaging articles in journals such as Biological Psychiatry, Human Brain Mapping and Journal of Neuroscience and has extensive experience in image data acquisition, pre-processing and analysis, and statistical analysis.

Roman Kotov PhD, who recruited Dr. Jia to her new position at Stony Brook, said that she “will bring valuable knowledge of neuroscience methods to our program as we continue to strengthen our translational neuroscience research. Her technical expertise and understanding of neurobiology will enable us to investigate critical questions in this field. We are pleased to have her as part of our group.”