Faculty & Staff


Faculty

Yvette Sheline, MD, M.S.

Yvette Sheline, MD, M.S.

McLure Professor of Psychiatry, Radiology and Neurology Director, Center for Neuromodulation in Depression and Stress Directoy, Section Mood, Anxiety and Trauma

Dr Sheline is the McLure Professor of Psychiatry, Radiology, and Neurology and Director of the Center for Neuromodulation in Depression and Stress (CNDS) at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Sheline has over two decades of experience conducting innovative clinical neuroscience research that bridges the fields of neuroimaging, translational research, and clinical treatment. Recent projects include: how the co-occurrence of particular symptoms, neuropsychological variables and structural and fMRI brain network measures may provide biotypes that cut across‘anxious-misery’disorders; the neural predictors of outcome to computerized cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT); neuromodulation using cloud-based real-time fMRI; and using an accelerated TMS protocol to treat depression 

[Google Scholar][PubMed]  

Desmond Oathes, PhD

Desmond Oathes, PhD

Associate Director CNDS and Co-Director brainSTIM Center, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Oathes is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. He specializes in interleaved TMS/fMRI to probe neural circuits and to generate novel neurotherapeutic targets. He also runs clinical trials for depression and PTSD and collaborates on TMS/behavioral studies on working memory, social cognition and other topics. 

[Google Scholar][PubMed][Oathes Lab]

Nicholas Balderston, PhD

Nicholas Balderston, PhD

Research Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
 nicholas.balderston@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Dr. Balderston has a 15-year background in experimental psychology, psychophysiology, neuroimaging, and neuromodulation. His work features TMS/TBS administration, TMS targeting/e-field modelling, resting state fMRI, working memory performance, working memory-related BOLD activity. He has developed and published on several cognitive paradigms, investigating the relationship between negative affect and cognition, behavior, psychophysiology, fMRI, magnetoencephalography, and most recently with causal manipulations like TMS. As an experimental psychologist with extensive methods experience, he aims to make a unique and impactful contribution to the research program of the department, both through his independent basic-science research program, and through a team science approach aimed at translating his findings to better treat the patient populations served by the department.

[Google Scholar] [PubMed][Balderston Lab]


Post-Doctoral Fellows

Justin Reber

Justin Reber

Post-Doctoral Researcher
 justin.reber@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Justin received his PhD in Psychology and completed a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Iowa before joining Dr. Oathes' lab in 2021. His doctoral and early postdoctoral work focused on investigating how focal lesions to different brain structures and networks affect various cognitive abilities and social behaviors. His previous research examined the outcomes of brain damage on domains ranging from valuation and working memory to empathy and psychopathic personality traits. As a member of the Oathes Lab, Justin hopes to learn how to use TMS and fMRI to modulate targeted brain networks and explore how neuromodulation can affect cognition and behavior.


Staff

Maria Prociuk

Maria Prociuk

Research Administrative Coordinator
 lmari@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Maria works with Dr. Sheline and others to ensure the center runs smoothly. In addition to her administrative duties such as scheduling, shipping, ordering, and organizing, she also assists in multiple research studies. Maria assists in grant submissions, IRB submissions and manuscript and abstract submission. Maria’s research duties include but are not limited to working with study sponsors, phone screens, speaking with participants and collaborators, assisting with participant visits and recruitment. Maria also supervises and closely works with our volunteers.

Romain Duprat, PhD

Romain Duprat, PhD

Clinical Specialist
 rduprat@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Romain examines innovative TMS targeting methods taking into account individual variability. Ultimately, his goal is to better understand the factors involved in rTMS clinical response to optimize treatment protocols in depressive and anxiety disorders. To do so, he is using different tools, from behavioral testing to interleaved TMS/fMRI. Romain received his PhD in Medicine and Health Sciences from Gent University, Belgium. During his doctoral studies, he focused on the use of neuromodulation techniques to treat major depressive disorders. More specifically, he developed and tested a new stimulation protocol (accelerated iTBS) in treatment-resistant depressed patients. Romain also investigated the role of the reward system and anhedonia in the response to stimulation in the healthy and depressed state, at the behavioral and neuroimaging level (fMRI). Thanks to many collaborations and to his background in Molecular and Cellular Biology, Romain acquired a translational knowledge of rTMS neuromechanisms of action in the human brain and in animal models. 

[Google Scholar] [PubMed]


Clinical Research Coordinators

Walid Makhoul

Walid Makhoul

Clinical Research Coordinator B
 Walid.Makhoul@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Walid helps conduct studies of TMS and the effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on neural activity and connectivity using of TMS/fMRI as well as how the addition of a cognitive task organizes and augments this response to induce plasticity. He helps conduct studies of accelerated (iTBS) in bipolar depressed patients. 

[Google Scholar]

Eugene Cha

Eugene Cha

Clinical Research Coordinator A

Eugene graduated from Villanova University with a B.S. in Chemistry. He is a study coordinator for the Computer-Augmented Cognitive behavioral therapy study and helps with the Real-Time fMRI Neurofeedback study. In the future, Eugene plans to apply to medical school and pursue a career as a physician.

Joseph Deluisi

Joseph Deluisi

Clinical Research Coordinator A
 Joseph.Deluisi@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Joe graduated from Northeastern University with a B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience. He is a coordinator for the Network Control TMS fMRI study. In the future, Joe plans to study cognitive neuroscience as a graduate student.

Almaris N. Figueroa-Gonzalez

Almaris N. Figueroa-Gonzalez

Clinical Research Coordinator A

Alma graduated from the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras Campus in 2017 with a B.S. in Molecular Cell Biology. During her post-baccalaureate at the NIH, she studied the neuronal pathways involved in anxiety-related behaviors. Alma is interested in studying the neural architecture of psychiatric illnesses and intends to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology. 

Marta Teferi

Marta Teferi

Clinical Research Coordinator A
 marta.teferi@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Marta graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2019 with a B.A. in Psychology. She is the coordinator for the Effects of rTMS on Anxiety study. In the future, Marta plans to pursue a career as a School Psychologist.

Colleen Bontrager

Colleen Bontrager

Clinical Research Coordinator A
 cbontra1@sas.upenn.edu

Colleen earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Notre Dame and works as a joint research specialist for the Kable Lab and a clinical research coordinator for the Center for Neuromodulation in Depression and Stress. Before joining CNDS, she worked as a research assistant in the psychology department at Penn State. Her current project examines the effect of TMS stimulation on the temporoparietal junction on social decision-making. In the future, Colleen hopes to seek a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. In her free time, Colleen enjoys running, cooking, and reading books. 


Data Analysts

Julie Grier

Julie Grier

Data Analyst
 julie.grier@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Julie graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2022 with a B.S. in Computational Biology and Sociology. Her responsibilities include neuroimaging data processing and analysis. She is interested in leveraging data science methods and machine learning techniques to better understand and analyze TMS-evoked brain network responses. 

Marc Jaskir

Marc Jaskir

Data Analyst
 marc.jaskir@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Marc graduated from Haverford College in 2020 with a B.S. in Mathematics and a minor in Neuroscience. He is particularly interested in leveraging neuroimaging to understand how deficits in cognitive control function relate to psychiatric symptoms. Marc will be pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience starting Fall 2022.

Gregory Bond

Data Analyst

Connor Law

Connor Law

Data Analyst

Connor graduated from Virginia Tech in 2022 with a B.S in Psychology and Computational Modeling & Data Analytics. He primary responsibilities involve data processing and analysis. He is interested in applying machine learning techniques to uncover practical insights on psychiatric disorders.


Graduate Students

Gianna Perez

Gianna Perez

Neuroscience Graduate Student
 gperez97@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Gianna graduated from Villanova University in 2019 with a B.S. in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience. She began her graduate studies in the Neuroscience Graduate Group in the fall of 2019 and joined the Oathes lab in the summer of 2020. Gianna's work in the Oathes lab currently focuses on the impacts of accounting for individualized neurovasculature in interleaved TMS/fMRI data analysis. As a first generation college and graduate student, she aspires to use her career to continue to make Neuroscience a more inclusive place for historically underrepresented groups.


Student Research Assistants

Georgia Moon

Georgia Moon

Research Assistant

Georgia is a senior psychology major with a minor in cognitive neuroscience. Currently, she is in the Psychology Honors Program at Temple University and will be completing her honors thesis in the upcoming year. Her career goal is to work towards a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and ultimately help children and adolescents impacted by trauma heal from that impact. Outside of the classroom she enjoys sewing, painting, and traveling.

Emily Potts

Research Assistant


Volunteers

Joseph Fares

Joseph Fares

Joseph holds an MD degree from the University of Balamand and BA in psychology from the American University of Beirut (AUB). He is a cofounder of a company specialized in providing mental health and personal development services in the Middle East. Joseph is also a postdoctoral research fellow at Jefferson Hospital and a volunteer clinical researcher in VNS and TMS studies where he screens and conducts psychiatric assessment for patients. Joseph aspires to practice psychiatry and continue to champion the topic of mental health. 

Alumni
Staff:

Kathleen Cassidy 

Stephanie Hammerman

Eileen Mergliano

Edita Stanic

Kristin Tederstrom

Clinical Research Coordinators:

Gabriela Bagdon

Cristopher Byrd

Tommaso Girelli

Gabriella Green

Clay Geuits

Victoria Halewicz

Elizabeth Harders

Adna Jaganjac

Hannah Long

Monica (Mengqun) Lyu

Heather Robinson

Morgan Scully

Janet Stock

Rand Williamson

Joyce Wong

Data Analysts: 

Irem Aselcioglu

Matthew Flounders

Ximo Liang

Darsol Seok

Nathan Smyk

T32 Post-Doctoral Fellows:

Geoffrey Adams

Joanne Beer

Maxwell Bertolero

Thomas Brooks

Seda Ozdemir Cavdaroglu

David Connor

Alexandre Filipowicz

Marianna Gabrielyan 

Martina Ly

Melissa Manners

Hema Nawani

Meichen Yu 

Graduate Students:

Nick Cullen

Evan Gallagher

Anne Mennen

Andrew Murphy

Valerie Sydnor

Jared Zimmerman

Student Research Assistants:

Mila Bria-Massaro

Samantha Costello

Christina DiCindio

Tanya Gershman

Varuna Jasodanad

Luis Hernandez Magro

Stepphanie Nekroski

Chihiro Shimomoto

Gabrielle Stravach

Libby Sullivan 

Bridget Yu