Homan Lab Zurich

Mental health research

Guest Seminar: Ellen Ji, PhD


We are very happy to host Ellen Ji as a speaker in our guest seminar series. Ellen is an expert in brain imaging of psychosis and bipolar disorder and has recently published an exciting paper on dysconnectivity in psychosis. The seminar will take place on January 24, 2019, at 3:30 pm at the PUK Zurich, Z105.


Mounting evidence suggests that sex steroid hormones are implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and clinical trials of adjunctive hormone-based treatments have been relatively successful. Moreover, grey matter deficits and abnormal brain function are integral components of disease neuropathology. Using a multidisciplinary approach integrating structural neuroimaging, functional neuroimaging and molecular biology, Ellen Ji will discuss how sex hormones and neurosteroids (estrogen, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone) may be relevant to a number of core deficits and brain abnormalities routinely described in schizophrenia. She proposes that circulating hormones in the periphery that cross the blood-brain barrier could be informative of brain pathology and supports the idea that stratifying patients into more homogeneous subgroups may be a promising approach to better understanding the pathophysiology of psychosis.

About the speaker

Ellen Ji is dedicated to understanding the pathophysiology of psychosis and earned her PhD in the Schizophrenia Research Laboratory of Tom and Cyndi Weickert at Neuroscience Research Australia. She did a postdoctoral fellowship from 2017-2019 at NeuroSpin in France with Josselin Houenou. Ellen has investigated the effects of adjunctive treatments for schizophrenia and how brain-based and blood-based biomarkers may characterise a subgroup of patients with schizophrenia. Most recently she has been working on the Bipolar-Schizophrenia Network on Intermediate Phenotypes (B-SNIP) study to understand how short-range connectivity in superficial white matter may be altered in psychosis.


  • Date: 1/24/20
  • Time: 3:30 PM CET
  • Location: PUK Zurich, Z105
  • Host: Philipp Homan