Nataliia Fedorchenko awarded place in prestigious Max Planck School of Cognition

Portrait picture of Nataliia Fedorchenko

Ukrainian brain researcher Nataliia Fedorchenko has been accepted as an associated PhD candidate at the Max Planck School of Cognition (MPSCog). She will carry out her PhD under the supervision of MPSCog faculty member Katrin Amunts at the Cécile and Oskar Vogt Institute of Brain Research at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf.

Fedorchenko joined Amunts’ team earlier this year after fleeing Kyiv, where she had recently started a PhD focused on stroke after Covid-19 infections. The trained neurologist has a special interest in stroke, speech deficits and language cognition.

In Jülich and Düsseldorf, Fedorchenko currently works within the scientific coordination team of the Human Brain Project, where she is mainly responsible for the position paper The coming decade of digital brain research – A vision for neuroscience at the interaction of technology and computing. She is also involved in the digitalization of the Vogt brain collection at the Cecile & Oskar Vogt Institute.

In January 2023, Fedorchenko will commence her new PhD project studying the Broca's region of the human brain, which is involved in language processing and plays a major role in the clinical context, e.g., in aphasia.

To unveil the connectivity of different areas within the brain region, Fedorchenko will employ an advanced imaging technique called 3D Polarized Light Imaging, which has been developed by Amunts’ team. Her aim is to achieve novel insights into the region’s organization that will eventually advance clinical applications.

Fedorchenko is one of four associated candidates who have been accepted this year to the highly competitive programme of the Max Planck School of Cognition. PhD students of the graduate school conduct research at world-renowned research institutions in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. As an associated PhD candidate, Fedorchenko will join the Max Planck School for three years.

Fedorchenko is particularly excited about the interdisciplinary approach and the international network of brilliant scientists that the Max Planck School is offering. “Being part of the Max Planck School of Cognition is a unique opportunity to have access to high-level researchers and receive valuable feedback from other international students,” she says.