Saba Ishrat

PhD student

Research Area

Saba Ishrat is an SSA-funded DPhil student in Psychiatry at the University of Oxford, supervised by Professor Klaus Ebmeier and Dr. Anya Topiwala, based at the Department of Psychiatry and Big Data Institute.

Her research focuses on the study of substance use and addiction on brain health. In her DPhil, she works on the impact of Cannabis exposure on brain structure and functional connectivity using brain imaging and further exploring its risks related to later life psychiatry and cognitive outcomes. Her research further aims to utilize genetic data to address the causal inference of cannabis use on long-term neurocognitive outcomes.


Prior to starting her DPhil, she completed a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Psychology at Aligarh Muslim University (India) and a second Master’s degree in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Trento (Italy). She worked as a Research Intern at Forschungszentrum Jülich (Germany) investigating the fiber estimation and tractography in diffusion MRI by CSD and NODDI models. She then moved to the University Medical Center Utrecht (Netherlands) where she worked as a Junior Researcher on Medical Image Analysis on the EPISTOP project involving neuroimaging studies, investigating the biomarkers of epilepsy risks and neurodevelopment in infants with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. Her expertise is based on Neuroimaging techniques such as structural, functional, and diffusion MRI, which she further aspires to apply in addiction studies.

In addition to her DPhil studies, Saba holds a Junior Dean position at St Cross College at the University of Oxford, providing welfare support to college students.