Dr Warda Syeda

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Dr Cassandra Wannan is a Research Fellow at the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre. Her current work focuses on the use of multivariate approaches, incorporating neuroimaging, cognition, early life stress, and sociocultural factors, to understand illness trajectories and outcomes in neurodevelopmental disorders.


Dr Wannan has specialist experience in:

  • structural and diffusion MRI;

  • cognitive development; and

  • cognitive impairment in psychotic disorders.


Prior to her doctoral studies, Dr Wannan worked as a statistician and senior research officer at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (2010-2019), where she gained expertise in designing and leading large-scale research projects relating to best practice in surgical training and assessment.


Dr Wannan completed her PhD in April 2021, conducting a series of studies examining the longitudinal course of episodic memory ability in early psychosis, and the contribution of hippocampal and white matter abnormalities to memory impairment across stages of psychotic illness (see pictures on left).


While completing her PhD she was involved in 15 peer-reviewed publications, including 4 first author publications in journals including the American Journal of Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine. Her novel work examining network-based cortical thickness reductions in schizophrenia is in the top 10% most cited publications worldwide by publication date.