LAB MEMBERS

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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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namrata das, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Namrata completed her medical training in India and a Master's in public health from Missouri State University. Her previous clinical experience underscored the large gap in knowledge and treatment regimens of Alzheimer's disease due to multifactorial physiological changes in the brain, which led to her decision to enroll in the Cognition and Neuroscience PhD program at the University of Texas at Dallas, School of Brain and Behavioral Science. At UT Dallas, Dr. Das’s work focused on exploring the relationship between sleep, cognitive behavior, and neurometabolic changes in brain energy metabolism which she examined using 31 phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 7-Tesla in cognitively normal adults, those with amnestic mild cognitive impairment or mild Alzheimer's disease. Currently, Dr. Das is a NIDA T32 postdoctoral research fellow in the Drug Abuse and Brain Imaging Training Program. Under the mentorship of Dr. Gruber, Dr. Das’s work at McLean will be focused on utilizing multimodal imaging techniques to improve our understanding of the neural correlates of drug abuse and its association with cognitive performance.

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CELINE EL-ABBOUD, B.A.

Research Data Analyst

Celine graduated from Colby College in 2018 with a B.A. in Psychology with a concentration in Neuroscience. During her undergraduate career, Celine worked in various clinical labs, including the Colby College Emotion and Mood lab and the University of Massachusetts Infant Cognition lab. Additionally, she interned with a pediatric neuropsychologist at Maine General Medical Center and completed an independent study examining the relationship between prenatal nicotine exposure and neurocognitive disorders. After graduating from Colby, Celine worked as a neuropsychological testing assistant at a psychology practice, administering cognitive assessments and clinical scales to patients with various neurocognitive disorders. As a member of the CCNC, she will receive further training in neuropsychological testing, neuroimaging, and clinical research methodology. Currently, Celine is pursuing a Masters in Health Informatics at Northeastern University. 

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ATILLA GONENC, PH.D.

Assistant Physicist

Dr. Gonenc is a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and a multimodal neuroimaging physicist at McLean Imaging Center in the Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Core. His area of research has centered around the utility of neuroimaging techniques and innovative data analytical strategies to enhance our understanding of the underlying biology of mental disorders in a wide range of patient populations (child, adult, geriatric). He is the recipient of the 2010 NARSAD Young Investigator Award, 2011 Rappaport Mental Health Research Scholar Award, 2013 ICGP International Junior Investigator Award and 2015 NIMH SRI in Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Award.

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deniz kosereisoglu, b.S.

Research Data Analyst

Deniz graduated from William and Mary in 2020 with a B.S. in Neuroscience. As an undergraduate student she was involved in various research projects and managed 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. Her current interests range from psychopharmacology and the impact of substance use on psychological disorders, to the exploration of mental illness as a public health issue. As a member of the CCNC, Deniz plays an integral role in data management, recruitment efforts, and public outreach. In the future, she hopes to pursue an advanced degree in neuroscience.

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ASHLEY LAMBROS, B.S.

Research Lab Manager

After receiving her B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of Vermont in May of 2015, Ashley joined the CCNC the following June. During her time as an undergraduate she worked as a research assistant for two and a half years in the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit at the UVM College of Medicine. She explored topics such as how variations in treatment methodology for breast cancer affect cognition and how hormone exposure throughout a woman’s lifetime affects cognition after menopause. Her main interests include how the neuroanatomy and physiology of the brain interacts with the body in response to disease states, psychological disorders, and pharmacological interventions. She intends to receive more extensive training in clinical scale administration, neuroimaging, and neuropsychological assessments during her time at the CCNC. Ashley is currently enrolled in a Doctor of Nursing program at Boston College. 

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.

Elizabeth Owen, B.A.

Clinical Research Assistant

Elizabeth graduated from Assumption University in 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies. During her undergraduate career, she served as a research assistant for Dr. Gary Senecal, PhD, in his research exploring the onset of depression and PTSD symptoms in elite athletes post-retirement. Elizabeth joined the McLean community in January 2022 as a mental health specialist in the Community Reintegration Unit and joined the CCNC the following May. Her primary research interests include alternative therapeutic modalities and the relationship between psychoactive plants and human wellness. As a member of the CCNC, Elizabeth looks forward to receiving further training in clinical research methods, including clinical interviewing, neuropsychological assessment and neuroimaging. In the future, she hopes to pursue an advanced degree in clinical psychology.

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KELLY SAGAR, Ph.D.

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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ROSIE SMITH, B.S.

Senior Research Lab 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 is currently obtaining her Masters in Regulatory Affairs and Health Policy from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS).

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