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People

Investigators

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

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

Professor of Neurology
Department of Neurology
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Sudha K. Kessler, MD, MSCE CO-Primary Investigator LCNS
Sudha K. Kessler, MD, MSCE

Associate Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics
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

Elizabetta Ambron Elizabetta Ambron

Elizabetta is a Research Associate in Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience and  Experimental Psychology from the University of Edinburgh.  She is broadly interested in apraxia, attention, executive function, and motor control. At the LCNS, Elizabetta’s current research involves using non-invasive brain stimulation techniques (i.e., TMS- transcranial magnetic stimulation) to investigate body representation and motor function in stroke patients.

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

Tifani Biro Tifani Biro

Dr. Tifani Biro 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. Tif received her Ph.D. in Communication Sciences & Disorders and Language Science from Pennsylvania State University in 2021. Her research program involves applying theory and techniques developed from basic research inquiries, such as how the mental lexicon is accessed and organized, to the treatment and understanding of communication differences and disorders. Tif’s research at the LCNS involves taking a psycholinguistic approach towards understanding how neurodegeneration and neurostimulation (i.e., TMS and tDCS) influences phonological paraphasias among individuals with primary progressive aphasia (i.e., PPA).

Amy Lebkuecher Amy Lebkuecher

Dr. Amy Lebkuecher is a post-doctoral research fellow at the LCNS and Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute through the NIH T32 fellowship program in translational neuroscience and neurorehabilitation research. Amy received her PhD in Psychology and Language Science from The Pennsylvania State University. Her research investigates the relationship between language and nonlinguistic cognitive abilities such as action planning and attention. Amy’s research at the LCNS investigates conflict monitoring in language and action production in individuals with apraxia and aphasia following left-hemisphere stroke.

Research Staff

Research Operations Project Manager
Olufunsho K. Faseyitan Olufunsho K. Faseyitan

Olu is senior researcher and research operations project 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.

Clinical Coordinators
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
Kayla Alznauer Kayla Alznauer

Kayla graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with minors in Cognitive Science and Political Science. Her previous work includes research on individual differences in learning complex tasks, working memory, and optimal feedback. At the LCNS, she investigates the use of transcranial direct stimulation (tDCS) and language therapy for individuals diagnosed with Primary Progressive Aphasia. Her current interests include the cognitive mechanisms of attention, executive function, working memory, emotion, and their subsequent interactions. She is also interested in the neural correlates for language, specifically language acquisition.

Taylor Phillips Taylor Phillips

Taylor graduated from Rice University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience. At the LCNS, she investigates the use of transcranial direct stimulation (tDCS) and language therapy for individuals diagnosed with Primary Progressive Aphasia. Her current interests lie in exploring the neural correlates of language as well as the impact of environmental factors on disease.

Pranav Midhe Ramkumar Pranav Midhe Ramkumar

Pranav graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelors of Science in Neuroscience with minors in Chemistry and Religious Studies. His previous work includes research on how non-invasive brain stimulation effects neurophysiological factors for optimizing military and athletic performance. At the LCNS, Pranav investigates the effectiveness of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)  and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) paired with speech language therapy can help stroke patients improve verbal communication and cognitive function. Pranav’s interests are the use of non-invasive brain stimulation for improving human conditions and integration of non-invasive brain stimulation into standard therapy.

Suravi Sarkar Suravi Sarkar

Suravi graduated from Rice University with a BA in Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, and Psychology. Her previous research project under the mentorship of Dr. Randi Martin investigated the white matter correlates of language-related working memory after acute stroke aphasia. Her current project under Dr. Hamilton examines the use of tDCS in conjunction with speech language therapy to treat patients with primary progressive aphasia. Her current interests are researching the neural correlates of emotion and language.

Peter Twigg Peter Twigg

Peter graduated from Eastern University with Bachelor's degrees in Psychology (BS) and Music Composition (BA), and later earned a Master's in Neuroscience from Temple University studying under Dr. Jamie Reilly. His research interests and prior work include EEG, ERPs, TMS, tACS, conceptual understanding, communication, attention & distraction, music, and language. He currently works on several projects exploring clinical applications of TMS and tDCS to treat communication disorders and investigate cognitive processes

Rishi Vas Rishi Vas

Rishi graduated from Rice University with a Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Science. At the LCNS, he investigates how language therapy and transcranial direct stimulation (tDCS) can benefit individuals with Primary Progressive Aphasia. Along with these projects, his academic interests concern treatment for stroke patients, including transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), speech therapy, occupational therapy, and medication.

Graduate Students Researchers

Shreya Parchure Shreya Parchure

Shreya is an MD-PhD student in the Perelman School of Medicine and Department of Bioengineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, under the mentorship of Dr. Roy Hamilton. Her research focus includes tailoring neuromodulation approaches to better understand and treat cognitive and neuro-psychiatric disorders, especially in the language system. She is interested in applying neuroimaging, network neuroscience, and novel computational methods towards this aim. Prior to joining the MSTP, she completed an MSE and BSE in Bioengineering with concentrations in Neuroengineering and Biomedical devices, from the University of Pennsylvania. Shreya is a former recipient of the Goldwater Scholarship. She is an avid painter, swimmer, community volunteer for glaucoma screenings, and is involved in the health-tech innovation space. She intends to integrate her interests through future career as a physician-scientist.

Alumni

Elizabetta Ambron, PhD

Jacques Beauvais MD

Jennifer Benson, PhD

Samuel Cason

Menvekeh Daramay

Laura DeLoretta

Danial Drebing

Haley Dresang, PhD

Leah Friedman

Gabriella Garcia

Felix Gervits

Jay Gill

Cindy Gooch, PhD

Christopher Haslam

Dasha Kliot

Eric McConathey

Jared Medina, PhD

Nicole Nissim, 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

Jared Zimmerman