Kranz Group

Dr. Georg S. Kranz
Principal Investigator and Team Leader

Qualifications:
· Dr.med.sci., Priv.-Doz., Mag.rer.nat.

Positions:
· Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Comprehensive Center for Clinical Neurosciences and Mental Health (C3NMH), Medical University of Vienna, Austria
· Assistant Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong

Research interests/areas of interest:
· Therapeutic and diagnostic use of non-invasive brain stimulation in psychiatric disorders
· Psychopathology and neuroimaging

Biography:
Georg has dedicated his career to the field of human neuroscience and biological psychology/psychiatry. His research concept is experimental in nature; he has utilized various research strategies, including classical RCTs, correlational and epidemiological research, as well as single-case designs. His research interests cover the neurobiology of mood disorders; non-invasive brain stimulation (including TMS and TPS); steroid hormones and serotonergic neurotransmission; and neuroimaging using cutting-edge technology. He has conducted several studies using EEG, PET, and MRI, including 7-Tesla Ultrahigh-field MRI. His team’s current research is focused on the application of non-invasive brain stimulation. In several ongoing projects, his team investigates dose-response relationships of behavioural and cognitive effects of the stimulation; protocol optimizations for therapeutic stimulation; and they apply simultaneous brain stimulation and neuroimaging to evaluate prefrontal excitability as a predictor for disease relapse and treatment response.

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Dr. Jack Jiaqi Zhang
Principal Investigator

Qualifications:
· PhD in Neuroscience and Neurorehabilitation, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2022)
· MSc in Neurological Sciences, Division of Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (2017)
· BSc in Occupational Therapy, West China School of Medicine, Sichuan University (2016)

Position 
Research Assistant Professor

Research interests/areas of interest:
· Clinical Neurophysiology
· Experimental brain stimulation in behavioral learning and rehabilitation
· Closed-loop brain-computer interface and neurofeedback

Biography:
Jack is a research assistant professor at the department of rehabilitation sciences, PolyU. Jack's research interests revolve around poststroke neurophysiology, noninvasive brain stimulation (TMS and TES), and the integration of neural technologies in rehabilitation. Dr Zhang's representative works involve the utility of metaplasticity-elicited priming theta burst stimulation (BMJ Open, PMID: 32152174; Stroke, PMID: 35317611; Gen Psychiatr, under minor revisions) and novel neurophysiological biomarkers, e.g., transcranial magnetic stimulation-evoked potentials (JNER, PMID: 37533093; IEEE TNSRE, PMID: 37276099) and mirror visual feedback-induced sensorimotor oscillations (RNN, PMID: 31424421; Front Hum Neurosci, PMID: 33584232), in human neuroscience research and clinical trials with poststroke patients. In addition, he has been collaborating with Dr. David Mehler from RWTH Aachen to investigate the effectiveness of a real-time neuroimaging-driven neurofeedback interface as a form of brain priming.

Currently, Jack provides research support to Dr Georg Kranz and his research team. He has co-authored several research articles with Georg and his students in the past (e.g., World J Biol Psychiatry, PMID: 30381986; Addiction, PMID: 31328353; Transl Psychiatry, PMC7256039). 

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Ms. Bella B.B. Zhang
PhD Student

Qualifications:
· M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
· B.Sc. in Natural Science in Rehabilitation Therapy, Sichuan University

Research interests/areas of interest:
· Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
· Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS)
· Sub-clinical depression major depressive disorder (MDD).

Biography:
Bella received her Bachelor of Natural Science in Rehabilitation Therapy from Sichuan University in 2016 and her Master of Science with Distinction from the Department of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2018. TMS is an FDA-approved treatment for people with MDD. However, the response rate to TMS is limited. Her study focuses on the neuromodulation effects of theta-burst stimulation (TBS), especially the effects of priming TBS on people with subthreshold depression.

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Ms. Rebecca L.D. Kan
PhD Student

Qualifications:
· M.Sc. in Occupational Therapy, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
· B.Sc. in Occupational Therapy, Sichuan University

Research interests/areas of interest:
· Therapeutic effects of TMS in psychiatric disorders
· Predicting the treatment efficacy of repetitive TMS on MDD
· Neuroimaging, concurrent TMS/fNIRS

Biography:
Rebecca is interested in treatments with TMS in psychiatric disorders (e.g., MDD and addiction) together with neuroimaging (e.g., fNIRS) to investigate the neurobiology of these disorders and to optimize the TMS treatment protocol. She is currently working on optimizing the antidepressant efficacy of therapeutic repetitive TMS using concurrent TMS/fNIRS. In this project, iTBS-induced prefrontal excitability is used as a predictor of treatment response of four weeks iTBS on MDD. iTBS-induced prefrontal excitability may have great potential for individualized treatment of MDD.

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Ms. Penny P.I. Qin
PhD Student

Qualifications:
· M.Sc. in Musculoskeletal Medicine and Rehabilitation, Chinese University of Hong Kong
· B.Sc. in Occupational Therapy, Sichuan University

Research interests/areas of interest:
· Non-invasive brain stimulation in psychiatric and neurological disorders
· Transcranial pulse stimulation (TPS) in depression
· Precision rehabilitation

Biography:
Penny's research focuses on precision rehabilitation in mental health. She is investigating the effectiveness of transcranial pulse stimulation (TPS) on depression and developing an individualized treatment strategy to benefit patients with depression.

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Ms. Jimmy M.X. Jin
PhD Student

Qualifications:
· M.Sc. in Occupational Therapy, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
· B.Sc. in Rehabilitation Therapy, Nanjing Medical University

Research interests/areas of interest:
· Predicting the illness trajectories in Major Depression
· Neuroimaging, concurrent TMS/fNIRS

Biography:
Jimmy is interested in investigating vulnerability to repeated episodes of MDD and predicting illness progression using neuroimaging data. She is currently working on a cross-sectional study to determine whether the TMS-induced instantaneous brain activity change in DLPFC is associated with vulnerability to MDD. Then, the main finding will be used in her study to predict illness trajectories in MDD based on a 2-year follow-up longitudinal study.

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Mr. Adam W.L. Xia
PhD Student

Qualifications:
· M.Sc. in Occupational Therapy, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
· B.Sc. in Occupational Therapy, Sichuan University

Research interests/areas of interest:
· Therapeutic effects of TMS in psychiatric disorders
· Precision rehabilitation in mental health
· Neuroimaging, concurrent TMS/fNIRS

Biography:
Adam is interested in the precision treatments with TMS in psychiatric disorders (e.g., MDD). He is currently working on developing concurrent TMS/fNIRS protocols that guide treatment individualization for patients suffering from MDD. He aims to move away from categorically-defined psychopathology and adopt a transdiagnostic approach by focusing on individualized treatment strategies on symptoms (e.g., depressive symptoms) shared across neuropsychiatric diagnoses.

Ms. Wanda M.W. Chau
Research Associate

Qualifications:
· M.Sc. in Psychology, Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom
· B.A. in Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong

Research interests/areas of interest:
· Positive Psychology in parenting
· Non-invasive brain stimulation in autism spectrum disorders

Biography:
Wanda is passionate about finding innovative ways to improve the wellbeing of depression patients. Currently Wanda is involved in studies that investigate the intensity-response relationship of intermittent theta-burst stimulation in major depressive disorder. Her previous experience involved enhancing primary healthcare for older adults in Hong Kong with the use of gerontechnology and telecare.

Mr. Tim T.Z. Lin
Research Assistant

Qualifications:
· M.Sc. in Translational Neuroscience, Imperial College London
· B.Sc. in Applied Biology with Biotechnology, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Research interests/areas of interest:
· Neuroimaging and behavioural task markers of the effects of non-invasive brain stimulation
· Markers for psychiatric disorders based on neuroimaging combined with non-invasive brain stimulation

Biography:
Tim is experienced in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) analysis and coding for computerized tasks, proficient in biochemical techniques, and acquainted with animal experiments. He is currently working on a project attempting to improve the relearning of associative memory using functional MRI-guided transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). His future plans include using concurrent functional MRI/TMS to search for depression and addiction.

Mr. Alvin H.P. Tang
Research Assistant

Qualifications:
· B.S. in Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle

Research interests/areas of interest:
· Mood disorders
· Non-invasive brain stimulation

Biography:
Alvin is a graduate of the University of Washington, Seattle. While earning his Bachelor of Science in Psychology, his research work primarily focused on mood disorders and abnormal animal behaviors. After graduating, he joined the Kranz lab working as a research assistant. Currently, he is involved in research focusing on the influence of noninvasive brain stimulation (e.g., TMS) on MDD. His research interests broadly span the intersections between neuroscience and clinical psychology.

Ms. Sharie X. Wang
Research Assistant

Qualifications:
· M.Sc. in Occupational Therapy, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
· B.Sc. in Rehabilitation Therapy, Southern Medical University

Research interests/areas of interest:
· Non-invasive brain stimulation
· Psychiatric and neurological disorders

Biography:
Sharie is pursuing a master’s degree in occupational therapy at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She is working as a part-time research assistant in Dr. Kranz's team. Her research interest lies in the application of non-invasive brain stimulation in psychiatric disorders. Currently, Sharie is actively involved in a study using functional NIRS to investigate the changes in prefrontal cortex activity in individuals with remitted major depressive disorder (rMDD).

Student Assistants

SHI Manxinyu
SUN Yating
TSO Yung Hin
WANG Young

Alumni

Ms. Ami Li

Research Associate

Mr. Liu Teng

Research Assistant

Mr. Cristian G. Giron

Research Associate