2020 Outstanding Student Researcher Award

01 Jan 2020 8:23 PM | SSCP Webmaster (Administrator)

Tommy Ho-Yee Ng, M.Phil.

Temple University

Tommy Ho-Yee Ng, M.Phil. is a sixth year Ph.D. student in Clinical Psychology with a Specialization in Neuroscience at Temple University under the supervision of Dr. Lauren Alloy. Tommy earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley and a M.Phil. in Psychiatry from the University of Hong Kong (HKU). He is completing his clinical internship at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital / Weill Cornell Medicine.

Tommy’s research is committed to improving our understanding of bipolar disorder and unipolar depression. His work is funded by grants from the American Psychological Foundation, the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology, the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund. Tommy is the recipient of a number of awards, such as the Early Graduate Student Researcher Award from the American Psychological Association, the President’s Award from the Society Research in Psychopathology, and the Outstanding Student Researcher Award from SSCP.

1. What are your research interests? Bipolar disorder and unipolar depression are two of the most debilitating conditions in the world, according to the World Health Organization. Many patients do not respond to conventional treatments and remain symptomatic after years of treatment. Despite the great public health significance, major unanswered questions exist regarding their underlying mechanisms. Yet, understanding their pathophysiology is crucial for translating foundational knowledge to theoretically coherent interventions designed to prevent or treat these impairing conditions. My area of research is exciting to me because of its potential to lead to targeted prevention and treatment programs for those with or at risk for mood disorders and relieve their burden.

2. Why is this area of research exciting to you? Bipolar disorder and unipolar depression are two of the most debilitating conditions in the world, according to the World Health Organization. Many patients do not respond to conventional treatments and remain symptomatic after years of treatment. Despite the great public health significance, major unanswered questions exist regarding their underlying mechanisms. Yet, understanding their pathophysiology is crucial for translating foundational knowledge to theoretically coherent interventions designed to prevent or treat these impairing conditions. My area of research is exciting to me because of its potential to lead to targeted prevention and treatment programs for those with or at risk for mood disorders and relieve their burden.

3. Who are/have been your mentor(s) or scientific influences? I am fortunate to have received mentorship from a group of inspiring scientists who also happen to be incredible human beings. This includes Dr. Sheri Johnson who helped me to discover my love of research; Dr. Ka Fai Chung who provided me with the freedom and encouragement to rigorously pursue important research questions; Dr. David Smith who has been extraordinarily generous with his time and instrumental in my learning of neuroimaging methods; and Dr. Lauren Alloy who has been unbelievably supportive and deeply invested in my growth in every way.

4. What advice would you give to other students pursuing their graduate degree? Do what you genuinely want to do, not what you think you should do. One of the most wonderful things about our profession is its wide range of career options. Find out what career path is the most suited and exciting to you as quickly as possible during graduate school and plan your time accordingly