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People

Investigators

Roy H. Hamilton MD, MS LCNS Director
Roy H. Hamilton MD, MS

Associate Professor of Neurology
Department of Neurology and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Director Clinical Neuroscience Training Program,
Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion for the Perelman School of Medicine
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H. Branch Coslett, MD CO-Primary Investigator LCNS
H. Branch Coslett, MD

William N. Kelley Professor of Neurology
Section Chief of Cognitive Neurology
Department of Neurology
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Sudha K. Kessler, MD, MSCE CO-Primary Investigator LCNS
Sudha K. Kessler, MD, MSCE

Assistant Professor of Neurology,
Department of Neurology
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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John D. Medaglia, PhD CO-Primary Investigator LCNS
John D. Medaglia, PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychology, Drexel University
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Neurology, Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
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Kelly Sloane, MD CO-Primary Investigator LCNS
Kelly Sloane, MD

Assistant Professor of Neurology,
Division of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Department of Neurology
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Research Associate

Denise Y. Harvey Denise Y. Harvey

Denise is a Research Associate in Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania. A graduate of Rice university with a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience, her research focuses on how language is organized, and the neuroplastic mechanisms that enable the reorganization of language function following neural injury. Utilizing a variety of methodological approaches to investigate the neural substrates of language, including neuromodulation (i.e., TMS and tDCS), voxel-based lesion symptom mapping (VLSM), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and task-based and resting-state fMRI, Denise's work aims to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the retrieval of concepts and words for language. Her research program is geared towards providing a framework to understand varying clinical presentations of aphasia, and in turn inform the efficacy of both behavioral and neuromodulation treatment protocols.

Post-Doctoral Fellows

Nicole Nissim Nicole Nissim

Nicole is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania (LCNS) and Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute through the NIH T32 fellowship program in translational neuroscience and neurorehabilitation research. Nicole received her PhD in biomedical sciences with a concentration in neuroscience from the University of Florida in 2019. Her graduate work explored the impact of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and cognitive training on functional connectivity of the working memory network in healthy older adults. Nicole joined the LCNS lab to expand her expertise in non-invasive brain stimulation techniques (e.g. transcranial magnetic stimulation – TMS and transcranial alternating current stimulation – tACS) and gain experience in neurorehabilitation research in patient populations. Nicole is interested in neuroimaging and neuropsychological assessments to gain insight into brain-based changes and neurocognitive behavioral changes from brain stimulation interventions. Her research interests include understanding the impact of non-invasive brain stimulation on brain function and network level connectivity to facilitate recovery of cognitive impairments (e.g. language, memory) after brain disease or injury.

Haley Dresang Haley Dresang

Dr. Haley C. Dresang is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania (LCNS, department of neurology) and Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute through the NIH T32 research fellowship in translational neuroscience and neurorehabilitation. Haley received her Ph.D. in communication science and disorders at the University of Pittsburgh with a concentration in neuroscience from the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research examines how language, memory, and actions are organized in the brain and recruited to support communication. Haley investigates impairments in and interactions between these neurocognitive systems, with an aim to elucidate mechanisms that can be leveraged in neurorehabilitation (e.g. adaptive neuroplasticity, compensation or reorganization of functions in undamaged neural networks). Haley's work at LCNS integrates multimodal cues with non-invasive brain stimulation to investigate how activating undamaged semantic neural networks can help stroke patients with aphasia find and produce words more effectively. With LCNS, Haley is also examining neurophysiological and genetic biomarkers of neuroplasticity that promote reorganization of language following neural injury. 

Research Staff

Clinical Coordinators
Olufunsho K. Faseyitan Olufunsho K. Faseyitan

Olu is senior researcher and lab manager for the LCNS'. He provides technical support for TMS and tDCS projects in the lab. He is also responsible for data collection and data analysis of functional neuroimaging studies in the lab. Olu received a Bachelor of Arts from Purdue University and a Masters of Science from Villanova. His research interests are in the cognitive processes that support attention, language, and memory. Olu is particularly interested in the use of neural stimulation techniques (i.e. TMS & tDCS) and neuroimaging techniques (i.e. fMRI & VLSM) to investigate the neural correlates of language, attention, and spatial cognition in both health young adults and patient population.

Daniela Sacchetti Daniela Sacchetti

Daniela earned a Master’s degree in Experimental Psychology at Seton Hall University and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Rider University. Her graduate school training focused on behavioral neuroscience and her thesis work addressed the anatomical and behavioral correlates of spatial neglect, a post-stroke disorder which effects attention. Daniela’s research interests include neurorehabilitation and neurodegenerative disorders of aging; she is also interested in executive functions specifically attention and processing speed. At the LCNS, Daniela is responsible for the regulatory documentation and correspondence for all study protocols under the direction of Dr. Hamilton.  She is also involved in studies which explore the use of tDCS and TMS in patients suffering from Aphasia.

Speech Language Pathologist
Leslie Vnenchak, MA, CCC-SLP Leslie Vnenchak, MA, CCC-SLP

Leslie earned her bachelor's degree in Communication Disorders at Penn State University followed by her Master's degree in Speech Language Pathology at The College of New Jersey. She joined the University of Pennsylvania Health System in 2006. She has extensive experience as a therapist working with patients with post-stroke aphasia and has is highly experienced in the administration of therapies relevant to ongoing patient-related projects in the LCNS.

Research Specialist
Samuel Cason Samuel Cason

Sam graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science and a Master’s degree in Linguistics. His responsibilities as a research specialist include managing regulatory documentation and correspondence for all study protocols under Dr. Coslett, He is involved in studies that use non-invasive brain stimulation to explore cognition, and a study that investigates the use of Virtual Reality as a treatment for Phantom Limb Pain. His research interests include the neural basis of cognition, specifically perception and language.

Patrycja Puzio Patrycja Puzio

Patrycja graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and earned her Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology from Montclair State University. Her graduate capstone project explored language treatments for individuals diagnosed with post-stroke fluent aphasia, as well as the process of selecting an appropriate treatment framework. Her clinical and research interests include rehabilitation of neurogenic communication disorders, as well as investigating neural correlates of language. At the LCNS, Patrycja investigates the use of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and language therapy for individuals diagnosed with Primary Progressive Aphasia.  

Christopher Haslam Christopher Haslam

Chris graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience. His responsibilities as a research specialist at the LCNS include investigating the effects of HD-tDCS and language therapy on individuals with Primary Progressive Aphasia. He also works on a study involving the effects of TMS on cognitive control and another involving the use of VR technology as a diagnostic tool for neglect. Chris’s research interests include investigating the cognitive basis of language through the scope of neurodegenerative disease.

Yuchao Wang Yuchao Wang

Yuchao graduated from Haverford College with a Bachelor's degree in Cognitive Science. At the LCNS, he works on a clinical trial of the effects of TMS and language therapy for people with Alzheimer's disease. He is also involved in projects investigating multisensory integration in individuals with mild cognitive impairments. Previously, Yuchao studied beauty in literature using fMRI and beauty in peacock feathers using biophysics. His current interests lie in combining neuroimaging and neuromodulation with physical therapy to ultimately develop more effective treatments for injuries.

Graduate Students Researchers

Jared Zimmerman Jared Zimmerman

Jared is a graduate student in the Neuroscience Graduate Group at the University of Pennsylvania working under to co-mentorship of Drs. Roy Hamilton and John Medaglia.  Broadly, his research interests focus around novel methods in neuroimaging analysis and network neuroscience for precision mapping of functional brain systems in individual subjects.  He aims to combine these approaches with non-invasive brain stimulation to build towards a framework for leveraging neuroimaging data to guide brain-based interventions for disorders in neurology and psychiatry.  Towards this end, he also thinks it’s essential to develop a better understanding of how dynamic patterns of brain activity underlie the cognitive and affective processes that become dysfunctional in these disorders.  Prior to coming to Penn, he received a BSc in Neuroscience from Trinity College before working as a data analyst at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging.

Alumni

Elizabetta Ambron, PhD

Jacques Beauvais MD

Jennifer Benson, PhD

Menvekeh Daramay

Laura DeLoretta

Danial Drebing

Leah Friedman

Gabriella Garcia

Felix Gervits

Jay Gill

Cindy Gooch, PhD

Christopher Haslam

Dasha Kliot

Eric McConathey

Jared Medina, PhD

Catherine Norise

Jullian Purcell

Dorian Pustina, PhD

Linda Sanders, MD

Vanja Saric

Jill Sorcher

Priyanka P. Shah, PhD

Peter Turkeltaub, MD, PhD

Yuchao Wang

Quan Wan

Elaine Wencil, PhD

Nicole White

Martin Wiener, PhD

Rachel Wurzman, PhD