Skip to main content

Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

Celebrating 75 Years! Learn More >>

Background image

About the Office of Fellowship Training

OFT Mission

The mission of the Office of Fellowship Training is:

  • To support and promote a productive and fulfilling research training experience in the NIMH Intramural Research Program
  • To encourage career planning and guide career management through trainee use of Individual Development Plans (IDPs)
  • To provide programs and services to assist trainees in discovering and clarifying career choices
  • To provide opportunities and to encourage trainees to build a professional skill set which enables them to become world leaders in academic and non-academic careers

Come visit our booth and speak with an OFT staff member about the fellowship and training opportunities we offer at the NIH/NIMH. We will be at the following scientific meetings: Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students  (ABRCMS), The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics  (ASPET), Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science  (SACNAS), Society of Biological Psychiatry  (SOBP) and Society for Neuroscience  (SfN).

Trainee Successes: Past & Present

Tina Liu, Ph.D.

Tina Liu, Ph.D., is a cognitive neuroscientist studying visual cognition and brain plasticity. She joined Dr. Leslie Ungerleider’s Section on Neural Circuitry at NIMH as a postdoctoral fellow in 2018 and continued her postdoctoral training under Dr. Eli Merriam after the sudden passing of Dr. Ungerleider in late 2020. Prior to that, Tina completed undergraduate and master’s degrees in Dr. William Hayward’s lab at the University of Hong Kong, and her Ph.D. degree in Dr. Marlene Behrmann’s lab at Carnegie Mellon University.

During her postdoctoral training at NIMH, Tina has applied cutting-edge human neuroimaging acquisition and analysis methods, specifically 7T layer fMRI, to address fundamental questions in cognitive and affective neuroscience. This initiative has led to a productive collaboration within the intramural research program and has earned her the OFT NIMH IRP Trainee Travel Award. Furthermore, Tina has spearheaded an independent research direction aimed at understanding the nature and extent of neuroplasticity in humans. Her notable work with patients includes the study of pediatric epilepsy patients to gain insights into the long-term impact of cortical resections and adult stroke patients to understand the recovery of visual functions through training-induced mechanisms.

In 2024, Tina will be joining the faculty at the Georgetown University Medical School in their Department of Neurology and Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery as an assistant professor. The long-term goal of her research program is to reveal core principles of neuroplasticity in healthy and clinical populations across the lifespan. Additionally, she aims to leverage this knowledge to develop better rehabilitation strategies for patients coping with brain lesions, including traumatic brain injury, stroke, brain tumor, and epilepsy surgery.


Ph.D. in Psychology (Cognitive Neuroscience), Carnegie Mellon University

MPhil. in Psychology (Visual Cognition), The University of Hong Kong

BSocSc. (First Class Honors) in Psychology, Politics and Public Administration, The University of Hong Kong

Selected Publications

  1. Bachmann, H.P., Japee, S., Merriam, E.P.#, Liu, T.T.# (accepted). Emotion and anxiety interact to bias spatial attention. Emotion. Preprint DOI:  #Co-senior authors with equal contribution
  2. Liu, T.T., Fu, J.Z., Chai, Y., Japee, S., Gang, C., Ungerleider, L.G., & Merriam, E.P. (2022). Layer-specific, retinotopically-diffuse modulation in human visual cortex in response to viewing emotional facial expressive faces. Nature Communications, 13(1), 6302. DOI: .
  3. Chai, Y., Liu, T.T., Marrett, S., Li, L., Khojandi, A., Handwerker, D. A., Alink, A., Muckli, L., Bandettini, P. A. (2021). Topographical and laminar distribution of audiovisual processing within human planum temporale. Progress in Neurobiology, 205, 102121. DOI: 
  4. Liu, T.T.*, Freud, E.*, Patterson, C., & Behrmann, M. (2019). Perceptual function and category-selective neural organization in children with resections of visual cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 3160-18. DOI:  *Co-first authors with equal contribution
  5. Liu, T.T., Nestor, A., Vida, M., Pyles, J., Patterson, C., Yang, Y., Yang, F.N., Freud, E., & Behrmann, M. (2018). Successful reorganization of category-selective visual cortex following occipito-temporal lobectomy in childhood. Cell Reports, 24(5), 1113-1122.e6. DOI: