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The Department was pleased to welcome Han Zhang, PhD, in February 2017 as its newest Basic Science faculty member. This position allows Zhang to continue his work (2015-present) as a Post-doctoral Research Fellow under the direction of Dr. Dinggang Shen at UNC’s Biomedical Research Imaging Center (BRIC). Alongside Dr. Shen, Zhang’s funded research focuses on developing new functional image analysis methods of large longitudinal data for early brain development (birth to age 6).

Dr. Zhang received his BS in Information Science and Electronic Engineering at Zhejiang University in China in 2005. Six years later, he obtained his PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at Beijing Normal University in China. From 2011 to 2015, Zhang was a Faculty Investigator at the Institutes of Psychological Sciences in Zhejiang Key Laboratory for Research in Assessment of Cognitive Impairments and Center for Cognition and Brain Disorders at Hangzhou Normal University in Zhejiang, China. During this time, he also worked in the U.S. as a Visiting Scholar at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine’s Center for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Research in Hershey, PA. Additionally, he advanced his research as a part-time Principal Investigator (2014-2015) in the Hand Surgery Department at Huashan Hospital in Fudan University in Shanghai, China.

Regarding how recent faculty appointment extends his post-doctoral work with Dr. Shen, Zhang noted: “It’s a great opportunity to work at UNC’s Department of Radiology on this unprecedented Baby Connectome Project. I hope in future we can unveil neonatal brain functional developing trajectory at such a pivotal period, which is important for early detection and prevention of neurodevelopmental diseases.”

The Department’s Vascular and Interventional Radiology (VIR) Division was pleased to welcome Jessica Martissa, MMSc, PA-C, in March 2017 as its Physician Assistant. Along with eight VIR faculty members, Jessica also works closely with Director of Clinical and Ancillary Services (VIR/NeuroInterventional Radiology) Arvilla Johnson; Patient Services Managers Crissy Wells and Ekaete Ikpeinyang; VIR Radiology Manager Chris Burgess; and VIR Imaging Supervisor Elizabeth Meyer.

Jessica graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2010. After receiving her BS in Biology, she worked at Duke University Medical Center as a Clinical Trials Specialist in Pulmonary Transplantation specific to Acute and Chronic Allograft Dysfunction from 2010-2014. Following her time at Duke, she received her Master of Medical Science from Emory University School of Medicine and graduated as a member of the Pi Alpha National Honor Society from their Physician Assistant Program in 2016.

Regarding her time at UNC, Jessica notes: “I am excited to join the division of Vascular Inverventional Radiology. I look forward to taking care of the complex medical issues facing UNC’s diverse patient population, and the opportunity to receive continued mentorship from the esteemed faculty.”