New York University Abu Dhabi Research

A distinctive element of NYUAD is a robust research environment, one that supports the disciplinary areas of the curriculum, creates collaborations in new and exciting interdisciplinary fields, nurtures the development of graduate programs, and supports research of the highest quality on topics of importance and relevance to Abu Dhabi and to our world today.

Principal Investigator

Dipesh Chaudhury, PhD

Assistant Professor

Dipesh Chaudhury is interested in understanding pathophysiological changes in neural circuit functions that lead to mood disorders and memory loss. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of London (UK) and PhD from the Open University (UK) under the supervision of Prof. Steven Rose. He has held various post-doctoral and associate scientist positions at UCLA (USA), CNRS in Marseille (France), Cornell University (USA) and Mount Sinai School of Medicine (USA). In Spring 2015 he joined the Biology faculty of NYU Abu Dhabi. 

Dipesh was born in Malaysia and lived there till the age of 10 after which he spent the rest of his formative years in the UK. Dipesh (has been told he is happily) married to Keya, a talented graphic designer and unofficial lab creative director. Together, they have a budding scientist/artist daughter Sarika, who has to deal with the majority of her dad’s terrible jokes.

Post Doctoral Fellows


He Liu, MD/PhD

Post-Doctoral Fellow

He Liu received his medical degree, specializing in Anesthesiology in 2006. After graduating, He Liu undertook the anesthesiology residency program from 2006-2008. He completed his M.M. training in the Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Anesthesiology & Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Anesthesia and Analgesia Application Technology at Xuzhou Medical College, under the instruction of Professor Jun-li Cao (2011). He received his PhD in Anesthesiology from China Medical University under the instruction of Professor Li-Cai Zhang (2014). He subsequently worked as an anesthesiology residency in the Affiliated Hospital of Xuzhou Medical College (2014-2015). During training for his M.M. and PhD, he performed a series of studies investigating Regulation of Pain Signal Transduction. In 2015, he joined the team of Prof. Chaudhury in NYUAD as a Postdoctoral Associate investigating functional changes in neural circuits connecting the circadian clock of the brain to regions associated with mood disorders such as depression.

Basma Radwan-Ibrahim, PhD

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Basma Radwan-Ibrahim is interested in understanding the neurobiological underpinnings of neurological disorders with a focus on investigating the functional neural circuitry of behaviour. She received her bachelors degree in neural science from New York University, her masters of science in biomedical engineering from Boston University and her Ph.D. from New York University in 2015 under the tutelage of Dr André Fenton, where she investigated the neural correlates of cognitive impairment in a mouse model of Fragile X Syndrome. Under the mentorship of Dr Dipesh Chaudhury, she will be investigating the role of sleep on modulating depression-like behaviours. She is excited about combining different research techniques ranging from rodent behaviours, in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology, cellular imaging and optogenetic methodologies. Basma is originally from Egypt and she enjoys learning about history and ancient world civilizations. On her days off, Basma is busy running around and laughing with her two little daughters: Heidi and Deanna.

New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Capstone Students


Gloria Jansen

NYUAD Undergraduate Capstone Student

Gloria Jansen is an undergraduate Biology student at NYU Abu Dhabi, specializing in Brain & Cognitive Science. As part of her undergraduate research at NYU Abu Dhabi, Gloria will be spearheading the use of transcriptomics to determine neuronal sub-populations in mice that are resilient or susceptible to chronic social defeat stress. 


Merima Sabanovic

NYUAD Undergraduate Capstone Student

Merima Sabanovic is an undergraduate student at NYUAD majoring in Biology with a specialization in Brain and Cognitive Science and a minor in Psychology. Merima is pioneering the winner-loser behavioural paradigm in the lab, which she will subsequently use to investigate the effects of social stress exposure on expression of social dominance in rodents.

Junior Undergraduate Students


Alvaro Yanez

NYUAD Undergraduate Student

Alvaro is an undergraduate student of Biology and Pre-Medical Studies at NYU Abu Dhabi, specializing in Brain and Cognitive Science. Alvaro aspires to be a neurosurgeon-scientist in the future, and serve in missions with Médecins Sans Frontières International and the Peruvian American Medical Association. He was born in Peru, and lived in both Chile and Peru prior to joining NYU Abu Dhabi. Alvaro's interest lies in the crossroads of neural biophysics and behavior emergence.


Hala Aqel

NYUAD Undergraduate Student

Hala is an undergraduate student of Biology


Vongai Mlambo

NYUAD Undergraduate Student

Vongai is a Zimbabwean undergraduate student majoring in Biology with a minor in Psychology at NYU Abu Dhabi. In tandem, she is pursuing a Pre-Medical Track that will put her on the path to becoming a pediatrician. Vongai’s research interests lie in the bidirectional relationship between early social environments and neurophysiology as well as the evolution of this relationship with age and experience.

Past Members


Christina “Misya” Erwin

NYUAD Undergraduate Student

Christina is currently a fourth year undergraduate student at New York University Shanghai (NYUSH). She volunteered in the lab during her third year studies at NYUAD and was enormously helpful in setting up the lab.