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Mary Kathryn (Kate) DAHLGREN, Ph.D.

Instructor in Psychiatry

Kate began working for the McLean Hospital Brain Imaging Center in 2006, after graduating from Smith College with a double major in Psychology and Neuroscience. She recently completed her PhD in Experimental Clinical Psychology from Tufts University, and returned to the CCNC as a Post Doctoral Fellow. During her tenure with the CCNC, she has specialized in the creation and implementation of neurocognitive paradigms for use during MR imaging and in the advanced application of MR imaging techniques to various subject populations. Her specific interests include researching vulnerability factors for developing psychological disorders, identifying predictors of treatment response, and advanced statistical analyses, particularly regression modeling to assess the impact of recreational and medical cannabis use. Dr. Dahlgren was awarded the 2017 McLean Hospital Rossano Mind, Brain, and Behavior Pre-Doctoral Fellowship and the 2020 McLean Hospital Jonathan Edward Brooking Mental Health Post-Doctoral Fellowship to examine the impact of recreational and medical cannabis use on driving. Results from this research garnered international attention with coverage in The Boston Globe, Discovery Magazine, Forbes, CNN, and other news outlets.

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Deniz Kosereisoglu, B.S.

Senior Clinical Research Assistant

Prior to graduating from William and Mary in 2020 with a B.S. in Neuroscience, Deniz was involved in various research projects while managing a lab investigating the effects of nicotine on anxiety. Throughout her three and a half years in the lab she explored different behavioral paradigms using rodent models while leading lab administration and training other research assistants. Deniz also completed a field research trip to the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska to aid in the study of migration patterns and immunology of spawning sockeye salmon. Her current interests range from psychopharmacology and the impact of substance use on psychological disorders, to the exploration of mental illness and alternative medicine through a public health lens. As a member of the CCNC, Deniz plays an integral role in study and data management, recruitment efforts, and public outreach. In the future, she hopes to pursue an advanced degree in neuroscience.

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Grace Neale, B.A.

Clinical Research Assistant

Grace graduated from Connecticut College in 2022 with a B.A. in Neuroscience. As an undergraduate she interned with several labs on and off campus and was involved in various research projects ranging from exploring the effect of music-based intervention in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease to investigating the effects of early life stress on adulthood anxiety in rodent models. After learning fundamental skills of clinical and animal-based research, Grace designed and executed a project assessing the effect of developmental lead exposure on adolescent learning and social behavior in rodent models. Her current interests lie in understanding how substance use effects mental health conditions and symptoms, particularly anxiety. Grace is excited to receive training in clinical scale administration, neuroimaging, and neuropsychological assessments during her time at the CCNC. In the future she plans to pursue an advanced degree in neuroscience or medicine.

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Instructor in Psychiatry


Kelly has been a member of the Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Core (CCNC) since 2009 after graduating from Boston College, magna cum laude and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. While working in the CCNC, she has gained experience in the field of neuroimaging, assisting with studies that utilize various techniques including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). She has played an integral role in the lab, co-authoring several papers on recreational and medical cannabis use as well as bipolar disorder. Kelly is especially interested in the administration of neuropsychological assessments, which led her to earn an advanced degree in School Psychology from Northeastern University in 2015. While working as a school psychologist, Kelly also continued working in the CCNC and MIND program, and due to her continued interest in research, she decided to pursue additional education. In 2020, Dr. Sagar graduated from Boston University School of Medicine with a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience. She recently received two awards, the 2021 Eleanor and Miles Shore Harvard Medical School Fellowship and the 2021 Charles Robert Broderick III Phytocannabinoid Research Fellowship, which each provide funding to examine cognitive performance pre- and post-treatment with full-spectrum high-CBD products in individuals with moderate-to-severe anxiety, or those diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

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Senior Research Project Manager

Rosie graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University in 2010 with a B.S. in Biopsychology. Prior to joining the Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Core (CCNC), she worked in several clinical and pre-clinical research labs, exploring interests in oncology, vision, and neuroscience research; while working with animal models of drug use and cognition, she developed an interest in the neurobiological basis of these processes. Since joining the CCNC in 2014, she has gained extensive experience with clinical scale administration, neuropsychological evaluation, and neuroimaging, along with overseeing the implementation of a variety of observational studies and clinical trials. Rosie manages the regulatory and compliance-related activities for the group, such as interfacing with the FDA and IRB, and assists with the development of novel research studies. Rosie recently obtained her Masters in Regulatory Affairs and Health Policy from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS).

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Alexa Taghian, B.A.

Clinical Research Assistant

Alexa graduated from Boston College in 2023 with a B.A. in Applied Psychology and Human Development, complemented by a minor in Management and Leadership. Throughout her undergraduate years, she dedicated her time to volunteering at the Samaritans suicide hotline and contributing to breast cancer research at Mass General Hospital. Her academic journey sparked a keen interest in studying the effects of childhood trauma on psychological disorders, stress-related conditions, and substance use disorders. As an active member of CCNC, Alexa is eager to further hone her skills in neuropsychological examination, clinical assessment, and neuroimaging. Looking ahead, she aspires to pursue an advanced degree in clinical psychology, driven by her passion for understanding and addressing mental health challenges.

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