Zhi-De Deng, PhD

Engineer | Physicist | Brain Stimulation Researcher

Full-Time Awesome Person

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About Zhi

Dr. Deng is a Staff Scientist, Director of the Computational Neurostimulation Research Program, Noninvasive Neuromodulation Unit, at the National Institute of Mental Health. He is also Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine. He received the SB degree in physics, SB and MEng in electrical engineering and computer science, with a minor in economics, from MIT. He received PhD and MPhil in electrical engineering, with a graduate minor in neuroscience, from Columbia University. He completed postdoctoral training at Duke and research fellowship at NIMH.

Zhi's research focuses on computational approaches 1) to understand the physics and biophysics of neurostimulation, 2) to optimize dosing and individualization, and 3) to advance noninvasive brain stimulation technology development via model-informed design. His work on electric field modeling of transcranial magnetic stimulation is widely cited and provided evidence that informed regulatory clearance of TMS therapeutic systems. He has received career development award from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and NARSAD Young Investigator Award to develop the next generation seizure therapy. His vision is to transform psychiatry through engineering innovation.

When not working at one of his three jobs, Zhi performs magic, cooks, and plays with his pets, who have their own Instagram page. Follow for updates. Or, you can do something productive with your life... but Zhi doesn't recommend it.


ECT Modeling

Electric field strength induced by electroconvulsive therapy may be associated with clinical outcome: a pilot study

Fridgeirsson, EA, Deng ZD, Denys D, van Waarde JA, van Wingen GA

Neuroimage Clin, 30: 102581. DOI: 10.1016/j.nicl.2021.102581

TMS Protocol

A generalized method for conducting electric-field optimized, fMRI-guided, transcranial magnetic stimulation

Balderston NL, Roberts C, Beydler EM, Deng ZD, Radman T, Luber B, Lisanby SH, Ernst M, Grillon

Nat Protoc, 15(11): 3595–3614. PMID: 33005039. DOI: 10.1038/s41596-020-0387-4

Cover Art

Blind Researchers and the Pathologic Brain

Deng ZD

National Academy of Neuropsychology Bulletin, Spring 2020. e-digitaleditions.com/i/1241418-spring-issue


Not so fast: recent successes and failures in treating depression

Kadriu B, Deng ZD, Kraus C, Henter ID, Lisanby SH, Zarate CA Jr

J Clin Psychiatry, 81(4): 19ac13138, 2020. PMCID: PMC7681914. DOI: 10.4088/JCP.19ac13138

Clinical Trial

Electroconvulsive therapy pulse amplitude and clinical outcomes

Abbott CC, Quinn D, Miller J, Ye E, Iqbal S, Lloyd M, Jones TR, Upton J, Deng ZD, Erhardt E, McClintock SM

Am J Geriatr Psychiatry, 29(2): 166–178, 2021. PMCID: PMC7744398. DOI: 10.1016/j.jagp.2020.06.008

tDCS Modeling

Association between tDCS computational modeling and clinical outcomes in depression: data from the ELECT-TDCS trial

Suen PJC, Doll S, Batistuzzo MC, Busatto G, Razza LB, Padberg F, Mezger E, Bulubas L, Keeser D, Deng ZD, Brunoni AR

Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci, 271(1): 101–110, 2021. PMID: 32279145. DOI: 10.1007/s00406-020-01127-w


Precision non-implantable neuromodulation therapies: a perspective for the depressed brain

Borrione L, Bellini H, Razza LB, Avila AG, Baeken C, Brem AK, Busatto G, Carvalho AF, Chekroud A, Daskalakis ZJ, Deng ZD, Downar J, Gattaz W, Loo C, Lotufo PA, Martin MDGM, McClintock SM, O'Shea J, Padberg F, Passos IC, Salum GA, Vanderhasselt MA, Fraguas R, Benseñor I, Valiengo L, Brunoni AR

Braz J Psychiatry, 42(4): 403–419, 2020. PMCID: PMC7430385. DOI: 10.1590/1516-4446-2019-0741

TMS Anxiety

Low-frequency parietal repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation reduces fear and anxiety

Balderston NL, Beydler EM, Goodwin M, Deng ZD, Radman T, Luber B, Lisanby SH, Ernst M, Grillon C

Transl Psychiatry, 10(1): 68, 2020. PMCID: PMC7026136. DOI: 10.1038/s41398-020-0751-8

TMS Anxiety

Mechanistic link between right prefrontal cortical activity and anxious arousal revealed using transcranial magnetic stimulation in healthy subjects

Balderston NL, Beydler EM, Roberts C, Deng ZD, Radman T, Lago T, Luber B, Lisanby SH, Ernst M, Grillon C

Neuropsychopharmacology, 45(4): 694–702, 2020. PMCID: PMC7021903. DOI: 10.1038/s41386-019-0583-5


Device-based modulation of neurocircuits as a therapeutic for psychiatric disorders

Deng ZD, Luber B, Balderston NL, Velez Afanador M, Noh MM, Thomas J, Altekruse WC, Exley SL, Awasthi S, Lisanby SH

Ann Rev Pharmacol Tox, 60: 591–614, 2020. PMID: 31914895 . DOI: 10.1146/annurev-pharmtox-010919-023253


Transcranial direct current stimulation applied to the dorsolateral and ventromedial prefrontal cortices in smokers modifies cognitive circuits implicated in the nicotine withdrawal syndrome

Aronson Fischell S, Ross TJ, Deng ZD, Salmeron BJ, Stein EA

Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging, 5(4): 448–460, 2020. PMCID: PMC7150637. DOI: 10.1016/j.bpsc.2019.12.020


Neural circuit repair by low-intensity magnetic stimulation requires cellular magnetoreceptors and specific stimulation patterns

Dufor T, Grehl S, Tang AD, Doulazmi M, Traoré M, Debray N, Dubacq C, Deng ZD, Mariani J, Lohof AM, Sherrard RM

Sci Adv, 5(10): eaav9847, 2019. PMCID: PMC6821463. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aav9847

ECT Modeling

Electric field causes volumetric changes in the human brain

Argyelan M, Oltedal L, Deng ZD, Wade B, Bikson M, Joanlanne A, Sanghani S, Bartsch H, Cano M, Dale AM, Dannlowski U, Dols A, Enneking V, Espinoza R, Kessler U, Narr KL, Oedagaard KJ, Oudega ML, Redlich R, Stek ML, Takamiya A, Emsell L, Bouckaert F, Sienaert P, Pugol J, Tendolkar I, van Eijndhoven P, Petrides G, Malhotra AK, and Abbott C

eLife, 8: e49115, 2019. PMCID: PMC6874416. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.49115


The kynurenine pathway and bipolar disorder: intersection of the monoaminergic and glutamatergic systems and immune response

Kadriu B, Farmer CA, Yuan P, Park LT, Deng ZD, Henter ID, Shovestul B, Ballard ED, Kraus C, Machado-Vieira R, Zarate CA Jr, Moaddel R, Gold PW

Mol Psychiatry, in press. PMCID: PMC7225078. DOI: 10.1038/s41380-019-0589-8

Clinical Trial

Neurocognitive effects of combined electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and venlafaxine in geriatric depression: Phase 1 of the PRIDE study

Lisanby SH, McClintock SM, Alexopoulos G, Bailine SH, Bernhardt E, Briggs MC, Cullum M, Deng ZD, Dooley M, Geduldig ET, Greenberg RM, Husain MM, Kaliora S, Knapp RG, Latoussakis V, Liebman LS, McCall WV, Mueller M, Petrides G, Prudic J, Rosenquist PB, Rudorfer MV, Sampson S, Teklehaimanot AA, Tobias KG, Weiner RD, Young RC, Kellner CH

Am J Geriatr Psychiatry, 28(3): 304–316, 2020. PMCID: PMC7050408. DOI: 10.1016/j.jagp.2019.10.003


Effects of online repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on cognitive processing: a meta-analysis and recommendations for future studies

Beynel L, Appelbaum LG, Luber B, Crowell CA, Hilbig SA, Lim W, Nguyen D, Chrapliwy NA, Davis SW, Cabeza R, Lisanby SH, Deng ZD

Neurosci Biobehav Rev, 107: 47–58, 2019. PMCID: PMC7654714. DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.08.018


Magnetic seizure therapy: towards personalized seizure therapy for major depression

Kallioniemi E, McClintock SM, Deng ZD, Husain MM, Lisanby SH

Personalized Med Psych, 17–18: 37–42, 2019. PMCID: PMC7442165. DOI: 10.1016/j.pmip.2019.04.003


Neural and psychological predictors of cognitive enhancement and impairment due to neurostimulation

Yang LZ, Zhang W, Wang W, Yang Z, Wang H, Deng ZD, Li C, Qiu B, Zhang DR, Cohen Kadosh R, Li H, Zhang X

Adv Sci, 7(4): 1902863, 2020. PMCID: PMC7029648. DOI: 10.1002/advs.201902863

Clinical Trial

A double-blind pilot dosing study of low field magnetic stimulation (LFMS) for treatment-resistant depression (TRD)

Dubin MJ, Ilieva I, Deng ZD, Thomas J, Cochran A, Kravets K, Brody BD, Christos PJ, Kocsis JH, Liston C, Gunning FM

J Affect Disord, 249: 286–293, 2019. PMCID: PMC6486658. DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2019.02.039

Clinical Trial

Utilizing transcranial direct current stimulation to enhance laparoscopic technical skills training: a randomized controlled trial

Cox ML, Deng ZD, Palmer H, Watts A, Beynel L, Young JR, Lisanby SH, Migaly J, Appelbaum LG

Brain Stimul, 13(3): 863–872, 2020. PMID: 32289719. DOI: 10.1016/j.brs.2020.03.009


Rapid-acting antidepressants

Kadriu B, Subramanian S, Deng ZD, Henter ID, Park LT, Zarate CA Jr

Primer on Depression, MH Trivedi Ed., Oxford University Press, 2019, ch. 13: 218–240. PsyArXiv DOI: 10.31234/osf.io/xwk57


Modulation of resting connectivity between the mesial frontal cortex and basal ganglia

Popa T*, Morris LS*, Hunt R, Deng ZD, Horovitz S, Mente K, Shitara H, Baek K, Hallett M, Voon V

Front Neurol, 10: 587, 2019. PMCID: PMC6593304. DOI: 10.3389/fneur.2019.00587


Statistical model of motor evoked potentials

Goetz SM, Madhi Alavi SM, Deng ZD, Peterchev AV

IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng, 27(8): 1539–1545, 2019. PMCID: PMC6719775. DOI: 10.1109/TNSRE.2019.2926543



ECBSP, Virtual

Zhi presented at the 4th European Conference on Brain Stimulation in Psychiatry, panel on What can we learn from ECT: Insights from the GEMRIC consortium.



VA Boston

Zhi presented at the VA Boston-BU School of Medicine-Harvard Neuropsychiatry Translational Research Fellowship Seminar, on Precision Neurostimulation: History, Physics, Computational Modeling, and Engineering.



ACNP, Orlando

Zhi presented at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology annual meeting, on Precision Neurostimulation for Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders.



CINP, Athens

Zhi presented at the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology meeting, on Neurobiological and Clinical Characterization, and Treatment Development for Depression.



University of Minnesota

Zhi presented at the Computational Modeling in Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation (NIBS) Workshop.

Youtube videos: here



Medical University of Vienna

Zhi presented at the MUV Neuroimaging Lab on Precision Seizure Therapy.



Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre

Zhi presented at the 2nd international symposium on Advancing Stimulation Precision Medicine of Brain Disorders.



Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine

Zhi presented at the Depression and Anxiety Center Seminar, on Rational Design of Individualized Noninvasive Brain Stimulation.


Keep in Touch

+1 301 594 0387

10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892


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