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Zenna Tavares

United Kingdom
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Brain and Cognitive Sciences
2011 Fulbright S&T Fellow


Zenna Tavares is a Ph.D candidate in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Like many natural systems, the connections of the brain are not random, but instead form hierarchies, communities and vast complexity. Zenna's research focuses on understanding these networks to gain insight into how function is embedded within structure.

Zenna is a native of London and an engineer by training, having studied electronic engineering and Japanese at the University of Nottingham and Osaka University.  In Japan, he became increasingly intrigued by the brain, and began to think about engineering approaches to furthering our understanding of it.  After graduating with a first class degree and Farnell award for the most outstanding project student, he transitioned towards this new interest by achieving an M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering and Neurotechnology at Imperial College London.   He then remained at Imperial College, researching in network science and its relevance in elucidating brain disorders.

Prior to his undergraduate degree, Zenna travelled throughout Asia and South America for six months. In contrast to his current research, he spent a summer engrossed in art and design in Korea University of Seoul, South Korea.  Whether it be cooking or coding, he takes most joy in tasks which lie at the intersection of art, science, design and engineering.