Our Team

David Irwin

David Irwin

Primary Investigator

David is a cognitive neurologist, clinical core leader at the Penn FTDC, co-PI of the Lewy Body Dementia Association Research Center of Excellence at Penn, and PI of the Penn Digital Neuropathology Laboratory. He previously trained as a postdoctoral fellow at both the Penn FTDC under Dr. Murray Grossman and the Penn Center for Neurodegenerative Disease research under Dr. John Trojanowski where he had dual training in cognitive neurology and neuropathology/biomarkers in neurodegenerative disease. This blend of experiences in cognitive neurology and neuropathology led to the unique translational approach of the Penn DNPL. David continues to evaluate and treat patients at the Penn FTDC. David enjoys time with his wife and two small children who have taught him birding and gardening. He also enjoys fishing at the Schuylkill River each spring.

Daniel Ohm

Daniel Ohm

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dan recently completed his PhD in Neuroscience at Northwestern University and trained under Dr. Emily Rogalski and Dr. Changiz Geula. In an effort to better understand mechanisms of disease and improving diagnoses and treatments for patients, Dan is interested in investigating the vulnerability of select regions and cell types to tau or TDP proteinopathies, and how patterns of disease in the brain relate to in vivo biomarkers that can be obtained during life, such as MRI and cognitive measures. When not in lab, Dan enjoys being outdoors and finding new mountains to hike with his friends and family.

Sanaz Arezoumandan

Postdoctoral Fellow

Lucia Giannini

Lucia Giannini

Collaborator

Lucia was a visiting scholar at Penn and is now a collaborator of the Penn Digital Neuropathology Laboratory. Lucia is a medical doctor and is currently pursuing her PhD at the Erasmus University Medical Center, The Netherlands. Her research focuses on obtaining better diagnostic markers and measures of disease progression in FTD by combining digital brain tissue analyses, looking at different neuropathological substrates of FTD postmortem, as well as clinical studies investigating disease biomarkers in blood and/or CSF and with neuroimaging. In her free time, Lucia loves playing the violin and visiting art galleries, and is passionate about sustainability.

Winifred Trotman

Lab Manager

Emily Xie

Emily Xie

Research Specialist

Emily joined the lab in July 2020 after graduating from Bucknell University with a B.S. in Biology. As an undergraduate, she spent two summers working under Lee Eiden at the NIMH lab of molecular neuroscience, investigating the intra- and intercellular components of stress signaling and the manifestation of stress behavior. In joining this team, Emily looks forward to developing a wide variety of skill sets and collaborating in projects with diverse interests. During her free time, Emily loves playing volleyball, finding the best places to eat around the city, and napping.   

Noah Capp

Noah Capp

Software Engineer

Noah joined the lab in December 2020; he has spent his career as an engineer solving complex problems relating to various public health challenges. Noah graduated from Temple University with a B.S. in Computer Engineering in 2019. During this time, he worked at the NEDC lab at Temple, developing autonomous seizure detection systems. Noah is working to improve the lab’s data processing capabilities, creating algorithms and methods to measure various characteristics in our IHC slides. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer and running and is a supporter of Arsenal Football Club.
 

MaKayla Lowe

Research Specialist

MaKayla joined the lab in September 2021 after she completed her M.H.S from Johns Hopkins. She earned her B.S. in Psychology, at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) where she studied the relationship between mental health and the aging brain under Dr. Howard Aizenstein.  After Hopkins, MaKayla returned to Pitt as an intern where she examined the distribution of amyloid-beta precursor protein and calcium in silent cerebral infarction in Sickle Cell Disease. Outside of the lab, MaKayla enjoys trying new foods, listening to music, and doing anything adventurous. 

 

Alejandra Bahena

Alejandra Bahena

Research Specialist

Alejandra joined our lab as a student in summer 2019. After graduating from Penn in 2022, she transitioned to a research specialist.  Alejandra designs tools for digital histology image analysis. She also contributed to our investigation into the selective vulnerability of the Locus Coeruleus in proteinopathies. Her career goal is to become a neurologist, so she is grateful to be part of the lab and drives her future career interests. She also enjoys directly interacting with renowned experts in the field of neuropathology.

Bridget Loja Patino

Bridget Loja Patino

Bridget is a second-year premedical undergraduate student majoring in neuroscience at Penn. She joined our lab as an intern in the Imaging Neurodegeneration Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (IN-SURE) program in 2021 and has continued to work in our lab during the school year. Bridget has contributed to organizing thousands of specimens in our wet lab. Her current focus combines machine learning and digital histology to identify glial morphometric differences. Bridget has learned diverse analytic techniques and aspires to understand the biological basis of the variety of FTLD phenotypes. Her interactions with experts in their field have reaffirmed her passion for medicine, driving a future career as a physician.

Lab Alumni

Postdoctoral Fellows
G. Michael Baer, MD - Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania

David Coughlin, MD, MSTR - Assistant Professor of Neurology at University California, San Diego

Research Specialists

Claire Goucher - SUNY College of Optometry, Class of 2026

Claire Peterson - UAB MD-PhD Graduate Student Trainee, Class of 2030

Rebecca Lobrovich

Felicia Cooper - Pennsylvania State Medical School Student

Mendy Liang - Drexel University Masters in Computer Science

Andrew Williams - Drexel University Masters in Computer Science

Undergraduate Scholars

Eusha Hasan - Hofstra Medical School, Class of 2026

Emily Kopp - Medical student

Emma Goodman - Rochester Institute of Technology 

Simon Miller - Graduated from UPenn, Class of 2020

Meera Kholi - Graduated from UPenn Class of 2019

Cecilia Zhou - University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine Student

Jackson Kwok - University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine Student