Clinical Neuroscience Labmustangs
University of Texas at Austin



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Lab Members:


Andreana Haley, Ph.D.
Director
Curriculum Vita

I received my Ph.D. degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Virginia in 2005 after completing a pre-doctoral internship in Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School.  Before joining the Clinical Psychology faculty at UT Austin, I spent two years as a Dementia Research Fellow at Brown University, and a visiting research fellow at the Center for Neurological Imaging at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. 

My research examines the biological underpinnings of cognitive impairment associated with aging and dementia. As a clinical neuropsychologist, I am interested in studying the neural substrates of memory, language and executive function in clinical populations, in vivo, by utilizing functional neuroimaging (fMRI) and neurospectroscopy (1H MRS). I also conduct work to determine how disturbances in glucose metabolism, hormonal regulation, and cardiovascular functioning contribute to changes in cognition, brain morphology, and energy metabolism. My goal is to bridge knowledge from basic and clinical neuroscience with the aim of improving how we understand, predict, and treat age- and disease-related cognitive impairment.


Mitzi Gonzales, BA, Graduate Student

Mitzi  graduated from Occidental College with a BA in biopsychology in 2006. After graduating, she worked as a research assistant at City of Hope, a cancer research hospital. Mitzi joined the Haley Lab in the fall of 2008. Her research focuses on the consequences of metabolic and vascular diseases on brain function and the development of interventions to target them.


Danielle Eagan, MA, Graduate Student

I completed a B.A. in English Literature at the University of California at Berkeley and an M.A. in Linguistics at Temple University, where I wrote my thesis on the evolution of Broca’s area.  My interest in human behavior began as an interest in the domains of language and working memory, specifically the onset of aphasia after stroke.  Over time I began to focus more on the contribution of inflammatory processes to cognitive decline after acute events, like stroke, and chronic conditions, such as HIV, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus.  My work in Dr. Haley’s lab examines the role of C-reactive protein and pro-inflammatory cytokines in midlife changes in brain activity, and the extent to which these biomarkers can be used in conjunction with fMRI to predict future cognitive decline. 


Sonya Kaur, BA, Graduate Student

I graduated from Monash University in 2008 with a BA(hons) in psychology. After graduation, I worked as a research psychologist at the National University Health System in Singapore, where I ran clinics and conducted research on post stroke patients as well as dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease patients. I am currently interested in examining the relationship between vascular risk factors and cognitive decline, as well as brain function.


Alex Birdsill, BS, Graduate Student

Alex graduated from the University of Arizona with a BS in psychology and molecular and cellular biology. Previously, Alex conducted research in molecular biology at the Banner Sun Health Research Institute and in neuroimaging at the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Alex is primarily interested in understanding the mechanisms underlying modifiable risk factors for dementia.


Kayla Steward, Research Assistant

I graduated from the University of Texas in Spring 2013 with a B.S. in Psychology and minor in Biology. I joined the Haley Lab my freshman year, and most of my research in this lab has focused on how the Herpes Virus affects brain structure and cognition. I am currently applying to Clinical Psychology Ph.D. programs, hoping to focus on brain injury and stroke assessment and cognitive rehabilitation.


Kennon (Kent) Kasischke, Research Assistant

I'm Kennon (Kent) Kasischke, a UT undergrad obtaining a dual degree in Neurobiology and Psychology. I hope to further pursue either Clinical Psychology or Neuroscience in the graduate level to obtain my PhD and start my own research. I have a fascination with the aspects of the CNS and how it can greatly affect ones cognitive functioning when it gets out of whack. The Haley Lab provides me with an experience to develop my interest and learn from people who I hope to be my colleagues one day.


Rachel Skocypec, Research Assistant

I'm Rachel, an undergraduate student at the University of Texas. I was formerly a Mechanical Engineering student, but am now pursuing a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Mathematics. I joined the Haley lab to gain clinical research experience as well as to explore my interest of cognitive impairment. I plan to continue my education through a PhD in either Cognitive Psychology or Neuroscience (clinical or otherwise).


Astrid Villalpando, Research Assistant

I am an international student from México currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Psychology.  I joined the Clinical Neuroscience Lab  not only because of my interest in neuropsychological testing  and MRI but also because of the opportunity to be more engaged with participants and the research. I envision my near future as medical school student striving to become a Neurologist.


William (Jake) Hertzing, Research Assistant

Hey I'm Jake, I'm an undergrad pursuing a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Biology focused in neuroscience. I am fascinated by the brain and how it relates to function - especially cognition, behavior, and social interaction. I joined the Haley Lab to dive deeper into neuroscience while interacting with people in a clinical field. I plan on pursuing an M.D. in emergency or pediatric medicine, and one day volunteer with Doctors Without Borders. 


Nicolas Govea, Research Assistant

I'm an undergraduate pursuing a BS in Psychology with a minor in Spanish and I plan to attend medical school after graduation. My research experience in the past has focused more on Social Psychology but I have always maintained a keen interest in the mechanisms underlying neuropsychological disorders. I sought to join the Clinical Neuroscience Lab as a way to facilitate the growth of my knowledge in brain imaging and the neurochemistry associated with cognitive decline.


Alexander Tan, Research Assistant

I graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy with a Biology minor from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011. I joined the Clinical Neuroscience Lab to increase my research experience and explore my interests in neuropsychological testing and neuroimaging.. I am currently applying to Ph.D. programs in clinical neuropsychology.


Jasmine McNeely, Research Assistant

My name is Jasmine McNeely. I graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from St. Edward's University in December 2012. I joined Dr. Haley's lab to learn more about neuropsychological testing and neuroimaging in clinical populations. I plan on pursuing a graduate degree in clinical psychology with a neuropsychology emphasis.


Ryan Godinez, Research Assistant




Kyle Yen, Research Assistant







Evan Pasha, Graduate student, MS in Exercise Science
Boston native, with research interests of how cardiovascular function relates to cognition. Outside interests include music, soccer, and exercise.


Katy Goudarzi, Research Project Director

I received my M.D. in 2004 in Tehran, Iran- Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences. I worked as a general physician in an economically underserved area in central Iran before I came to the U.S in 2006. I completed my masters in Women’s Studies with a focus in Psychology at UT Austin in 2008. Working in the Clinical Neuroscience Lab is an invaluable experience for me because during my medical education and practice I was always interested in neuroscience research and clinical psychology/psychiatry.


Former Research Assitants:

1. Rachel Reed 

2. Tali Swan-Sternberg

3. Priya Ghelani 

4. Glory Okugo

5. Alyssa Esmail 

6. Ishita Gosh

7. Maria Kobidze 

8. Seema Pandya

9. Bryan Snead

10. Furqan Shah

11. Mandy Kidwell

12. Miral Vaghasia

13. Takashi Tarumi (former PhD student at UT Kinesiology Department)

14. Ryan Ellis

15. Sima Mozdbar

16. Taylor Francis

17. Jessica Rae Hungate

18. Victor Jeongsoek Lee (former graduate student at UT Kinesiology Department)

19. Danh Doan

20. Katy Wheeler


Honor's Thesis Students:

1. Fedora Biney (2007-2008) – Genetic risk for hypertension and cardiovascular reactivity in response to mental stress
2. Erin Pomerantz (2008-2009) – Cardiac output and functional activation to working memory
3. Jared Kilmer (Spring/Fall 2009) – Pain perception in individuals at risk for hypertension
4. Sandra Stautberg (2009-2010) – Cerebral N-acetyl-aspartate concentrations in hypertension






Updated 19 March 2013
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