Nazife Ayyildiz
(Ph.D. in Neuroscience, Guest Post-doc)

  • I am generally interested in life-span changes, multi-modal imaging, and numerical functions of the human brain
  • My current project is on investigating the relationships between retina and brain morphometry in humans (in cooperation with LIFE-Adult Project)

Frauke Beyer
(Postdoctoral researcher in cooperation with the University of Bordeaux)

  • Since my PhD, I have been interested in lifestyle and cardiovascular factors that influence brain ageing and cognitive decline and the mechanisms involved. I am particularly interested in cerebral small vessel disease, as it is thought to underlie both stroke and dementia.
  • My current project in collaboration with the SHIVA consortium at the University of Bordeaux investigates spatial patterns of imaging markers of cSVD (white matter hyperintensities) and their link to risk factors and cognitive function in the elderly.
  •  In my work, I make use of large datasets such as the LIFE-Adult study, which include magnetic resonance imaging, cognitive questionnaires and diverse measures of lifestyle. I also contribute to intervention studies that investigate the influence of diet (Mediterranean diet, polyphenols) or combined interventions ( on cognition and brain measures

Mika Dannhauer (MD)

Konrad Jakob Endres

  • Medical student at Leipzig University working on my medical doctoral thesis at OMEGA Lab.

  • Interested in the interaction between psychiatric disorders like depression and obesity.

  • Furthermore I am investigating the role of the hormone ghrelin in the development of depression.

Silke Friedrich

  • Project Coordinator SFB1052 - Mechanisms of Obesity, Project A1: Targeting neurobehavioral determinants of obesity

  • Study assistant in OMEGA Lab - collaboration in the projects:

    • MiFood study: "Effects of microbiome-changing interventions on food decision-making and the gut-brain axis in obesity".

    • Long Covid II study (in cooperation with the LIFE-Adult ambulance)

    • Research into the long-term consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection (in cooperation with the Day Clinic for Cognitive Neurology at the University of Leipzig)

    • MetaSurg-Brain- Bariatric Surgery and Brain (in cooperation with the University Hospital of Leipzig)

Simon M. Hofmann
(M.Sc. Brain and Cognitive Sciences)

  • Explainable artificial intelligence (XAI) for neuroscience

  • Application of deep (recurrent) neural networks as signal processing tool for MRI and EEG (neural decoding), as well as model of cognitive processes in agent-environment interactions (encoding).

  • Development of ecological valid research paradigms that incorporate naturalistic, multi-sensory stimuli (e.g., in VR) to trigger natural responses in behavior and in the brain.

Daria Jensen (PhD)

  • Postdoc in OMEGA lab at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (MPI CBS, Neurology) in collaboration with the University of Leipzig Medical Hospital.

  • My research focuses on the detection of brain connectivity pathways across the lifespan, which are influenced by diet and the microbiome. I am particularly interested in subcortical brain connectivity changes associated with diet and the microbiome, which might be used to explain important pathways related to dementia and/or obesity.

  • I am involved in analysing data of the Gut-Brain-Study and the LIFE cohort.

  • Previously, I have conducted a my doctorate (DPhil) in Psychiatry at the University of Oxford, supervised by Professor  Klaus Ebmeier, Sana Suri and Miriam Klein-Flügge, where I also worked within a short postdoctoral position in Cognitive Neuroscience.

  • Prior to my DPhil, I worked as a Research Assistant  (2018) in the research group of Matthew Rushworth, and completed a MSc  degree in Cognitive Science at Eberhard-Karls University Tübingen  (2017), and a BSc in Biology at Freie Universität Berlin (2013).


Meghedi Vartanian
(M.Sc. Clinical Psychology)

  • I completed my B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Clinical Psychology  at University of Tehran. Currently,  I‘m a PhD student at IMPRS NeuroCom and doing my project in OMEGA lab at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (MPI CBS) in collaboration with Day Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University of Leipzig Medical Center, Leipzig, Germany.

  • In my PhD project (MIFOOD), I focus on the effects of neurocognitive behavioral lifestyle (NCBL) and dietary fiber interventions on food decision-making and the gut-brain axis in obesity with the intention of developing novel preventive and therapeutic options to combat unhealthy weight gain in our society.


Yee Teng Lee (Lilian)

  • I am a PhD student in OMEGA Lab at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany.

  • I am interested in the relationship between obesity and brain aging. My research focuses on the role of the bidirectional gut-brain axis and its underlying microbial mechanism that regulates obesity and affects brain structures and functions.

  • Besides, I am also working on a systematic review on how lifestyle interventions targeting obesity affects gut microbiome.

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