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Dr Warda Syeda

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Dr Warda Syeda is an animal neuroimaging Research Fellow at the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre. Her research is focused on developing image processing techniques to analyse and interpret preclinical and clinical MRI data, with a particular interest in developing clinically relevant imaging biomarkers of schizophrenia and related neuropsychiatric disorders. She develops multivariate models to study the relationships between brain structure and cognition, both in rodents and humans.


Dr Syeda has specialist experience in:


  • Structural MRI (including QSM and diffusion)

  • Sodium MRI

  • Multivariate statistical modelling


Prior to her current role at the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, Dr. Syeda worked as a Research Officer at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, where she studied longitudinal changes in brain structure after an episode of focal ischaemic stroke in a rodent model.


Dr. Syeda completed her PhD in 2019, with a focus on developing advanced statistical models and validation strategies for sodium and diffusion MRI signal. She developed the gamma distribution of sodium signal to characterise the transverse relaxation properties of sodium nuclei.



Dr Syeda has been the recipient of the following awards:


  • Dr Syeda was the recipient of a Nikolaos and Dimitra Pantelis Travelling Scholarship in 2020. She is expected to visit the Douglas Institute at McGill University, Canada after the ease in travel restrictions due to COVID19 pandemic.

  • Early Career Researcher Grant, The University of Melbourne (2020) - "Developing Multinuclear MRI Biomarkers of Schizophrenia"

  • ISMRM Magna Cum Laude Award (2018) -  For first-author submission: "A continuum of Components: Robust Parameter Mapping in Sodium MRI", Paris, France

  • ISMRM Magna Cum Laude Award (2020) - For last-author submission: "Multi-contrast Brain Image Registration for Low-contrast Paediatric Magnetic Resonance Imaging", online conference

  • ISMRM Educational Stipends (550 USD) - 2016/2018 - Support for conference attendance in Singapore and France

  • Australian Computer Society (ACS) Foundation Scholarship ($31,725) - 2016-2017 - For Work-Integrated Learning Internship at IBM Research Australia

  • Travel grant from the government of Pakistan (SIBAU) - 2015 - Scholarship for conference attendance in New York

  • Finalist for Best Student Paper Award in ISBI - 2015 - For first-author submission: "Limitations of Two-Component Diffusion Models for Axon Diameter Density Estimation", New York, United States

  • Melbourne University Engineering Foundation Scholarship - 2012-2013 - Stipend for Master of Engineering degree at Melbourne School of Engineering


Current work

Dr. Syeda works across a range of project at the MNC and more broadly with the (inter)national collaborators:


  • Health mouse brain development from adolescence to early adulthood

  • Developing multinuclear MRI biomarkers of schizophrenia

  • Individual-centric ‘fingerprints’ of neuropsychiatric disorders

  • Latent cortico-cognition coupling in treatment-resistant schizophrenia

  • Brain development in autism spectrum disorder (rodent and human)

  • Quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSMART)

  • Structural brain changes in a rodent model of stroke


Extended Multiblock PLS-C:



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