PhD Graduates

Anne Masi

Anne Masi has completed her PhD in physiological markers of autism. Her research specifically focuses on inflammatory markers and the role of sleep in autism.   

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Gail Alvares


Gail completed a B.Psychology (Hons) with the University Medal in 2008 at the University of Sydney. She  completed her PhD examining the role of stress and anxiety in habit and goal-directed learning in healthy humans and clinically anxious individuals. 

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Nigel Chen

Nigel received a Bachelor of Psychology Honours First Class in 2008 at the University of Sydney. He completed his PhD on eye tracking methods and understanding of the cognitive affective and perception based mechanisms which maintain and exacerbate social anxiety disorder, with a particular emphasis on eye gaze and early attentional processing. 

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Cristina Cacciotti-Saija


Cristina (BA Psych DipEd, M.Clin.Psych MAPS) is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist. She completed her PhD research at the University of Sydney investigating the efficacy of a novel social cognition training program for young people with early psychosis to improve functional outcome. 

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Roy Onouha


Roy is a clinical psychologist and PhD Candidate. His research is investigating alcohol use disorders and social dysfunction. 

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CJ  Yatawara

CJ graduated from Sydney University with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Psychology in 2007. She graduated from Macquarie University in 2008 with a Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology. CJ completedher PhD examining oxytocin treatment in young children with autism. 

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Masters Graduates

Sunali Bannatayne Lewis


Sunali Lewis completed her Masters of Brain and Mind Science, having previously completed her Honours degree in Psychology at the University of New South Wales. Her research is on interoception (awareness of internal bodily states) in autism and social anxiety disorder.

Sara Shahrestani


Sara is currently completed her honours at the BMRI under the Discipline of Anatomy and Histology, after receiving her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Sydney in 2013. Currently examined cardiovascular measures of HRV and its relation to social interaction and behavioral coding.

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Jack Au

Jacky completed his Masters research exploring the relationship between exercise, social cognition, psychophysiology, and social anxiety in human studies. He is a member of the anxiety research group.

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Honours Graduates

Tooba Zaidi


Tooba is an honours graduate with a background in Medical Science from the University of Technology Sydney. She wishes to pursue research in the medical interventions used for mental illnesses such as autism, schizophrenia and social anxiety disorder. Special research interests include the underlying neurological and physiological responses that occur in response to these treatments.

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