Lab Members

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PrincipAL Investigator

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William Jagust MD

Endowed Chair in Geriatric Medicine.

Professor, Public Health and Neuroscience.

The Boss and Our Benevolent Dictator.  

Postdoctoral Fellows

 
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Anne berry

My research focuses on understanding why cognitive flexibility, the ability to dynamically respond to new task demands, declines with age. I am examining factors such as decreases in brain volume, dysregulation of the neurotransmitter dopamine, and changes in brain network activity.

I completed my PhD at the University of Michigan where I worked with Drs. Cindy Lustig and Martin Sarter. Broadly, my doctoral research investigated the contribution of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine to the control of attention.

 

Tessa Harrison

I completed my doctoral work with Dr. Susan Bookheimer at UCLA. My focus was on identifying MRI-based neuroimaging markers of genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease in cognitively healthy adults. In the Jagust lab, I will use PET imaging to examine the progression of tau pathology in healthy older adults and its relationship to functional connectivity measures and memory performance. I am also interested in unusually successful cognitive aging trajectories and the avoidance of normal age-related brain atrophy and pathology.  

Google Scholar

 
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Stephanie Leal

I received my Ph.D. in Psychological & Brain Sciences at Johns Hopkins University in the Translational Neurobiology Lab under the direction of Dr. Michael Yassa. I examined the emotional modulation of episodic memory and translational applications to aging and depression-related cognitive impairment using a novel emotional memory task along with high-resolution fMRI.

My research in the Jagust Lab focuses on the influence of tau pathology on memory consolidation in cognitively normal aging. I utilize high-resolution fMRI methods in combination with tau PET imaging to elucidate tau’s effects on hippocampal subfield functioning.

Google Scholar

 
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samuel lockhart

My research project in the Jagust lab examines neuroimaging biomarkers of preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Preclinical progression along the AD pathological cascade may be inadvertently conflated with the normal aging process in many studies seeking to understand the causes of gradual cognitive decline late in life. Therefore, our goal is to investigate effects of tau and Aβ accumulation (measured using PET) on structural connectivity between these regions (measured using MRI and DTI), and the relative effects of these brain differences on memory performance.I earned my PhD from UC Davis in 2014, working with Dr. Charles DeCarli to investigate the contributions of age and CVD-related white matter injury (white matter hyperintensities or WMH) to attentional control network function and cognitive performance.

Google Scholar

LinkedIn

Website

ResearchGate

AcademiaDOTedu

ORCID

 
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Anne maass

The ability to form memories for novel experiences is supported by regions within the medial temporal lobe (MTL), which are also differentially and early to be affected in aging and age-related diseases. During my PhD in Magdeburg in the lab of Emrah Düzel, I tried to disentangle how new memories are formed within MTL subregions by making use of the very high resolution provided by 7 Tesla fMRI. Moreover, I investigated the effects of exercise training on vascular and structural hippocampal plasticity in older adults. My current research in the Jagust Lab now aims to unravel how age-related tau and Aß deposition contribute to functional changes within MTL memory pathways, using high-resolution fMRI at 3 Tesla.

Publications:

Maass, A., Berron, D., Libby, L., Ranganath, C. & Düzel, E. Functional subregions of the human entorhinal cortex. Elife 4, (2015).

Maass, A. et al. Vascular hippocampal plasticity after aerobic exercise in older adults. Mol. Psychiatry (2014).

Maass, A. et al. Laminar activity in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex related to novelty and episodic encoding. Nat Commun 5, 5547 (2014)

 

Ida Sonni

I am a nuclear medicine physician passionate about the study of the brain. After completing my medical studies at the University of Rome "Sapienza," I started my residency program and learned how to interpret clinical PET and nuclear medicine scans. During my residency I was a visiting researcher at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, where my research focused on the clinical application of a novel PET radiopharmaceutical (18F-FE-PE2I) to image the dopamine transporter in Parkinson's disease patients. After completing my training in Italy I moved to the US to work as a postdoc in the nuclear medicine division at Stanford University, focusing on PET/MRI studies in the field of oncology. In the Jagust Lab, I will be focusing on PET biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease.

 

Graduate Students

 

Jenna Adams

I'm a Neuroscience PhD student interested in using multimodal imaging techniques to study the neural substrates of aging and memory. My research in the Jagust Lab uses tau-PET and fMRI to investigate how tau spreads through the brain, disrupts functional networks, and leads to episodic memory decline in older adults. 

 

Katelyn Arnemann (Begany)

I’m a PhD candidate in the Neuroscience Program at UC Berkeley. Employing multimodal brain imaging of age-/disease-related perturbations, my research aims to uncover (ideally fundamental) links between brain networks, cognition, and pathology.

 
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Shawn Marks

Back for another round of research, stay tuned for exciting findings.

 
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Joe Winer

I’m a Psychology PhD student interested in the role of sleep in changes to the brain and cognitive function that occur with aging. By combining EEG, PET, and fMRI, I hope to better understand the relationship between pathology, sleep physiology, and cognition.

 

Senior Staff

 
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Suzanne Baker

Suzanne Baker's primary focus is on the methodology behind PET quantification of all the Jagust Lab data.  Her contributions include pharmacokinetic modeling, correction for motion between transmission/CT and PET scan for attenuation correction, partial volume correction, and preprocessing programming for in-house data as well as multi-site datasets.  In her free time, she enjoys swimming and abalone diving.

Download NeuroImage - Data In Brief - Partial Volume Correction code

 

Susan Landau

Associate Research Scientist

Publications:

[Landau2015]_Measurement of longitudinal Aβ change with 18F florbetapir PET and standard uptake value ratios

[Landau2014] Amyloid PET imaging in Alzheimer’s disease: a comparison of three radiotracers

[Landau2013] Comparing Positron Emission Tomography Imaging and Cerebrospinal Fluid Measurements of b-Amyloid

[Landau2012] Lifetime cognitive engagement is associated with low beta-amyloid deposition

[Landau2012_2] Amyloid deposition, hypometabolism, and longitudinal cognitive decline

[Landau2012_3] Amyloid-b Imaging with Pittsburgh Compound B and Florbetapir: Comparing Radiotracers and Quantification Methods

[Landau2010] Comparing predictors of conversion and decline in mild cognitive impairment

[Landau2009_2] Associations between cognitive, functional, and FDG-PET measures of decline in AD and MC

 

Kristin Norton

Kris is a radiologist specialist working to collect PET data.

 

Research Associates

 
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Rachel Bell

Rachel graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in Neuroscience. A week later, she moved to the West Coast to become the new Jagust Lab manager! In her free time she loves hiking, camping, running, cooking, and wandering around book stores.

 

Taylor Mellinger

I recently graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior. I’m excited to be here to help out with neuropsychological testing and neuroimaging. When not in the lab, I enjoy traveling, hiking, exploring the city, and spending time with my friends and family.

 

Sharada Narayan

 I studied Public Health and English at Cal, but I’m eager to learn about anything and everything. I’m particularly interested in exploring how computational methods can be used to better understand the brain and the progression of aging. In my free time, I enjoy reading, writing, and giggling at lame puns (the real reason I enjoy Shakespeare so much).

 
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Maia Scarpetta

I studied psychology and neuroscience at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. After graduating, I moved to Berkeley to work in neuroimaging before applying to grad school. My interests (other than neuroscience) include hiking and being outdoors, kickboxing, weightlifting, and music.

 

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 Vyoma Shah

As an undergrad here at Cal, I loved the interdisciplinary nature of Cognitive Science. I am fascinated by the intricacies and complexities of a ~3 pound piece of flesh we call the brain. I aim to better understand how it works, and apply these understandings to come up with meaningful innovations in the field of public health. Outside of the lab, you’re likely to find me playing Scrabble or Chess, enjoying chai tea, chocolate or cheese, traveling, or just exploring new places in the city with friends.

 
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Kaitlin Swinnerton

I recently graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in Cognitive Science and a minor in Society and Genetics. When not in lab, I can be found either chasing after a frisbee or watching other people chase after a football (or basketball, or baseball, or soccer ball). Life goals include winning a USA Ultimate national championship and setting more life goals.