Skip navigation

Research Group


Joaquin Goni


Joaquín Goñi
Assistant Professor, August 2015 – Present
School of Industrial Engineering & Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering
Member of the Purdue Institute for Integrative Neuroscience (PIIN)
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN, USA




Associate Research Scientist, August 2014 – August 2015, Indiana University Network Science Institute (IUNI), Indianapolis, Indiana

Assistant Research Scientist, July 2014 – July 2014, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

Research Associate, June 2011 – June 2014, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

Postdoctoral Researcher, December 2008 – June 2011, Center for Applied Medical Research, Pamplona, Spain

PhD, 2008, University of Navarra, Spain

Visiting Fellow, January 2007 – June 2007, Harvard University, Boston, MA

Visiting Fellow, April 2006 – August 2006, Boston, MA

MS, Computer Science, 2005, University of the Basque Country, Spain

BS, Computer Engineering, 2003, University of the Basque Country, Spain

Postdoctoral Researchers

Photo of Kausar Abbas

Kausar Abbas, Ph.D
Postdoctoral Researcher
I earned my Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan. I earned my PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue University, where as part of the Purdue Neurotrauma Group I explored the short- and long-term effects of subconcussive brain injury in high school football athletes. Toward the end of my PhD program, I discovered the utility and elegance of tools developed by network science in studying brain networks, and I changed my focus from brain injury to general network science. Currently I am interested in brain networks based on structural and functional MRI connectivity, characterization and stability of metrics based on these networks, and applications of network science tools to study changes in these networks due to injury or disease. I am also interested in the use of multilayer networks to model multimodal brain imaging data and to develop more comprehensive and robust network science tools for exploratory and diagnostic purposes. To that end, I’m very excited to join the CONNplexity Lab and I hope to learn and contribute as much as humanly possible (and also have fun while doing it). 

Graduate Students

Uttara Tipnis

Uttara Tipnis
PhD Student & Graduate Teaching Assistant
I completed my Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering from Pune University, India, in 2013, after which I worked as an assistant with an employability and soft skills training consultancy for six months. I started my Master's in Industrial Engineering and Management at Oklahoma State University in 2014, where I worked as a teaching and research assistant for two years. As a research assistant, I worked on my thesis, "Analysis of Demographic and Clinical Data of Patients to Determine the Effective Markers of Bipolar Disorder", under Dr. Sunderesh Heragu. After earning my PhD, I would like to secure a position in academia for teaching and research.

Photo of Duy Anh Duong-Tran

Duy Anh Duong-Tran
PhD Student
Before coming to Purdue University, I earned Bachelor's degrees in Mathematics and Industrial/Entrepreneurial Engineering, and a Master's degree in Industrial Engineering, at Western Michigan University. At WMU, I became greatly interested in theoretical frameworks such as Spectral Graph Theory, Random Graph, Random Matrix Theory, Combinatorics, Stochastic Processes, and their applications to various complex networks. As I begin my research career, I would like to contribute to both the theoretical foundations of complex networks and their applications in structural/functional human brain connectomics. I find that my research passions align well with Dr. Joaquín Goñi’s research interests. Recently I’ve also become very interested in neuroplasticity and its relationship to time-dependent (online) network models such as the Preferential Attachment Model. I am also very fascinated about theoretical/applied community detection approaches in network science. I received a Ross Fellowship for the academic year 2017-18.

Mintao Liu

Mintao Liu
PhD Student
I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics at Xi'an Jiaotong University, China. I enjoyed implementing mathematical methods in practical problems when I was introduced to statistics, probability and operations research, so I chose operations research as my Master's major at University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. While earning my Master's I became interested in network science, and my intellectual curiosity and admiration for this motivated me to pursue a PhD. I am very excited to work with Prof. Joaquín Goñi and Prof. Mario Ventresca, and I hope we will do great research.

Undergraduate Students


External Members

Photo of Brad FitzgerladBrad Fitzgerald
PhD Student, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University
I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Engineering with an Electrical Concentration at Olivet Nazarene University in 2018, where I completed an undergraduate research project on vocal processing with spectral analysis. Following this I came to Purdue University to pursue my PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering with an interest in medical applications of signal/image processing. I am a part of the Purdue Neurotrauma group under Dr. Thomas Talavage and am currently studying the effects of participation in youth contact sports on resting-state functional connectome identifiability. In addition I am collaborating with Dr. Joaquín Goñi to explore multi-site subject identifiability based on T1-weighted MRI. 



Photo of Miji Um

Miji Um
PhD student in Clinical Psychology with Dr. Melissa Cyders, Associate Professor, Dept. of Psychology, School of Science, IUPUI
My research focuses on the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying impulsivity and risk-taking behaviors. I received an NIAAA F31 fellowship to support my dissertation project examining the relationship between positive urgency (i.e., a tendency to act rashly under extreme positive emotions) and alcohol-related risk-taking using oral alcohol administration and emotion induction methods as well as complex whole-brain connectomic analyses using resting-state fMRI data. I am excited to work with Dr. Goñi and his group to learn more about brain network science.




Benjamin Chiem
PhD student in Université catholique de Louvain

Visiting scholar, March 2020

I graduated in Applied Mathematics Engineering at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain, Belgium). Since then, I started a PhD program under the co-supervision of Pr. Jean-Charles Delvenne and Dr. Frédéric Crevecoeur, and thanks to the funding of a FRIA grant (F.R.S.-FNRS, Belgium). My research interests include complex networks, data science, dynamical systems, machine learning and information theory, with the motivation of applying these fields to the analysis of neural data. For instance, I investigated during my master thesis the supervised classification of brain networks, with application to the identification of stable biomarkers in schizophrenia. My current project revisits the structure-function relationship in the human connectome from a system-theoretic viewpoint, by using concepts of network controllability and uncovering task-specific driver regions. With the CONNplexity Lab, I would like to investigate the potential of the 'Differential Identifiability' framework in my research, especially for the subject-level analysis. I am really excited to visit the CONNplexity Lab and I am looking forward to collaborating with the whole team!


Federico Ramírez Toraño
PhD Student in Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Visiting scholar, March 2020 - August 2020
I completed my Bachelor's in Telecommunication Engineering from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid in 2015 and I completed my Master's in Biomedical Engineering also from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid in 2016. After a few collaborations with hospitals as an external biostatistical analyst, but overall, after I  met Fernando Maestu, I decided to pursue a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. My research project is focused on the characterization of Alzheimer's disease, especially, the early detection of the disease. My area of expertise is signal processing and magnetoencephalography technique. In 2020, I'm honoured to do my research stay working with Prof. Joaquín Goñi and his team in the CONNplexity Lab. We will apply theirs novelty methods to joint functional connectivity (obtained from magnetoencephalography signals) and structural connectivity (obtained from DWI). My aim is to study how structural connectivity modulates functional connectivity and how this mutual information can be used to characterize better the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.
Ángeles Tepper
PhD student at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Visiting Scholar, October 2020 - July 2021
I am a Bioengineer from Universidad Nacional de Entre Ríos (Argentina). After I graduated there, I moved to Chile to pursue my PhD in Neuroscience at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, where I am currently a PhD candidate. My research is focused on functional connectivity analysis of fMRI data for the study of psychosis. In general, I am passionate about the human brain and enjoy facing the challenges of math and computational problems. I’m visiting CONNplexity Lab to further learn about data science as well as complex networks analysis, and to apply that into the description of how brain connectivity is affected in psychotic disorders.

External Collaborators


Enrico Amico

Enrico Amico, Ph.D
SNSF Ambizione Fellow and Principal Investigator at EPFL. Geneva, Switzerland.
I'm a physicist who graduated from the University Federico II of Naples, Italy. After earning my Master's in 2012, I decided to follow my passion for the scientific study of consciousness. I enrolled in a joint PhD program between the Coma Science Group, University of Liège, and the Marinazzo Lab at the University of Ghent, Belgium. During my four years there as a PhD student I mainly focused on implementing new methods for brain connectivity assessment across levels of consciousness.  I joined the CONNplexity Lab  (headed by Prof. Joaquín Goñi) as a Postdoctoral researcher from October 2016 until November 2019, where I made contributions on proposing new network science models for functional and structural brain connectomics.


Photo of Sumra BariSumra Bari, Ph.D
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Northwestern University.
I earned my Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan, and my Master's from Purdue University in Electrical and Computer Engineering. As a research assistant, I am a part of the Purdue Neurotrauma Group and have explored the relationship between metabolic changes and head acceleration event characteristics in youth contact sports athletes, using Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy. Currently, I am analyzing multi-site reproducibility of brain fingerprints in resting-state functional connectomes and structural connectomes based on DWI. I am excited to explore new methods which would help in combining data for larger multi-site studies.


Diana Svaldi

Diana Otero Svaldi, Ph.D
Research Scientist at Elli Lilly

My research focuses on the development and validation of neuroimaging biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases. I earned a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue University (2016) where I worked on developing functional MRI cerebrovascular and connectivity based biomarkers for mild traumatic brain injury, as part of the Purdue Neurotrauma Group. I am currently focused on the development of structural and functional connectivity biomarkers for neurodegenerative disorders, on studying the mechanisms of cognitive reserve, and on the development of methodologies for integration of multimodal data. As I pursue research projects in these areas,


Vibha Viswanathan

Vibha Viswanathan
PhD Student, Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering
I received a BE degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Anna University, India in 2006, then completed a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 2007, specializing in Signal Processing. Following this, I worked at The MathWorks for seven years, developing, testing and providing application support for mathematical software (MATLAB and Simulink). In 2015, I joined the Center for Computational Neuroscience and Neural Technology at Boston University, where I studied the neural mechanisms of speech-in-noise perception using electroencephalography (EEG) and techniques from network science. During the Fall 2016 semester, I joined Prof. Joaquín Goñi's lab at Purdue University as a graduate student. I am interested in studying complex systems in nature which exhibit a degree of orderly emergent behavior, despite being composed of parts that seemingly interact with each other in a disorderly manner. In particular, I am interested in using techniques from network science, nonlinear dynamics, signal processing, and statistics to characterize complex systems that occur in a variety of disciplines including neuroscience. For my PhD work, I use functional neuroimaging data to study patterns of brain connectivity in health and disease. I received a Lynn Fellowship from the Purdue Graduate School for the academic year 2016-17.


Photo of Meenusree Rajapandian

Meenusree Rajapandian
MSIE, Purdue University 2020

I completed my Bachelor's in Electrical and Electronics Engineering at PSG College of Technology, India, after which I worked as a Product Development Engineer. In February 2020, I completed my Master's thesis in Industrial Engineering at the CONNplexity Lab (Purdue IE). I currently work as a Data Analyst at Gecko Robotics in Pittsburgh, PA. My role focuses on building statistical models that facilitate making data-driven decisions to maintain critical infrastructure in various industries. I also contribute towards building data pipelines that processes the data and ensure its quality.


Photo of Michael wangMichael Wang
MSIE, Purdue University 2020

I completed my Bachelor of Science degrees in Neuroscience and Biology at Indiana University Bloomington in 2016, where I studied topics including the neurobiology of addiction and electroencephalography (EEG). In July 2020, I completed my Master's thesis in Industrial Engineering at the CONNplexity Lab (Purdue IE). Currently, I am working as a Data Scientist at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, Ohio where I am working on Programmatic Marketing. I am developing machine learning models to create smart audiences and improve upon P&G’s marketing strategy. I'm very excited to leverage the power of big data to help make informed and impactful decisions in the consumer packaged goods industry.