Faculty & Staff

Director

Dr. Luna smiles into the camera. She is on a white background. She has black hair and is wearing a green beaded necklace and a black top.

email: lunab@upmc.edu
office: Loeffler Building room 111

Dr. Beatriz Luna, PhD

Staunton professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics
Professor of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh
Founder and Director of the Laboratory of Neurocognitive Development
Founder and President of the Flux Society for Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

Research

Dr. Luna’s research uses multimodal neuroimaging methods including: functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI), Magnetoencephalography (MEG), Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging (MRSI). Her findings have led to influential developmental models emphasizing the implications of specialization of different brain systems with regards to cognitive development.

Faculty

Research Instructor, Staff Scientist
Finnegan Calabro, PhD Research Instructor, Staff Scientist

Finnegan Calabro, PhD

Research Instructor
Co-Director of the LNCD
Director of Undergraduate Education for the LNCD

Postdoctoral Fellows

Ashley poses on a city street. She is wearing a khaki trench coat and her brown hair is pulled back.
Ashley Claire Parr, PhD

email: ashley.clare.parr@gmail.com
office: Loeffler Building room 113

Ashley Claire Parr, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research

Dr. Parr’s research combines functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) to understand how maturation within the brain’s dopamine system contributes to the developmental specialization of reward and cognitive control systems through adolescence.

Laura rests her chin on her hand and smiles at the camera. She is outside, wearing a black sleeveless top and a chain necklace. She has light brown hair parted in the center.
Laura Cabral, PhD

Laura Cabral, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research

Understanding brain network development in relation to psychopathology; white matter; neuroimaging

Graduate Students

Orma Ravindranath

Orma Ravindranath

Graduate Student

Research

Influences of emotion on cognitive abilities; development of systems of emotion and cognitive control through adolescence; effect of puberty and hormonal changes on brain development

Maria Perica
Maria Perica

Maria Perica

Graduate Student

Research

Maria’s research uses Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging (MRSI), functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), and cognitive testing to examine how developmental changes in neurochemistry contributes to specialization of executive functions through adolescence.

Sam Elliott
Sam Elliott

Sam Elliott

Clinical Psychology Graduate Student

Research

Shane McKeon
Shane McKeon

Shane McKeon

Bioengineering Graduate Student Researcher

Research

neurocognitive development, neuroimaging of psychiatric disease, prediction modeling, diagnostic techniques

Research Staff


Nathan Rockcastle
Research Project Coordinator

Jennifer Fedor
Research Specialist

Matthew Missar
Research Specialist

Alyssa Framalette
Research Specialist

Will Foran
Data Coordinator/Analyst

Alumni

Faculty

Maria smiles into the camera. She has brown curly hair to past her shoulders. Behind her is green paneling.Maria Jalbrzikowski, PhD
Assistant Professor, Psychology
Vishnu “Deepu” Murty, PhD
Junior Faculty, now tenure-track Faculty at the Psychiatry Department of Temple University

Postdoctoral Fellows

Bart Larsen, PhD
Cognitive Neuroscience Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Fellow, now Postdoctoral Fellow at The Psychiatric And Developmental Imaging Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania
David Montez, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow and University of Pittsburgh Graduate Student, now Postdoctoral Fellow at the
Dosenbach Lab at the Washington University School of Medicine
Miya Asato, MD
Postdoctoral Fellow, now Program Director, Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Residency Program, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh;
Associate Director, Child Neurology Residency Program, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh;
Professor, Pediatrics and Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Kirsten O’Hearn, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow, now Assistant Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology at Wake Forrest School of Medicine
Michael Hallquist, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, now Assistant Professor of Psychology, Penn State University
David Paulsen, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, now Data Scientist at Prosper
Chuck Geier, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow and University of Pittsburgh Cognitive Psychology Grad Student, now Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Penn State, Director of the Geier Lab for Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
Katerina Velanova, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Science Writer
Suzy Scherf, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychology, Penn State

Graduate Students

Brenden Tervo-Clemmens, PhD
Graduate Student, now Postdoctoral fellow at MIT
Scott Marek, PhD
University of Pittsburgh Neuroscience Graduate Student, now Postdoctoral Fellow at the
Dosenbach Lab at the Washington University School of Medicine
Daniel Simmonds, MD, PhD
University of Pittsburgh Neuroscience Graduate Student, now Pediatric Resident at the University of Maryland Medical Center
Aarthi Padmanabhan
University of Pittsburgh Cognitive Psychology Grad Student, now Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience Laboratory
Kai Hwang
University of Pittsburgh Cognitive Psychology Grad Student, now Lab Director of the Hwang Lab and
Assistant Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the Iowa Neuroscience Institute, The University of Iowa
Sarah Ordaz, PhD
University of Pittsburgh Clinical Psychology Grad Student, now Licensed Psychologist, Assessment Clinic Lead with the Pacific Anxiety Group

Ana Almeida Rojo
CNUP Predoctoral Fellow – Rotation Student, now on rotation with Dr. Yanhua Huang, University of Pittsburgh Psychiatry Department

Kevin Dowling
MD/PhD Student in the MSTP Program, now on second rotation

Jasmine Hect
MD/PhD Student in the MSTP Program, now on second rotation

Amar Ojha
Neuroscience Graduate Rotation Student, now in second rotation

Research Staff

Anna Nelson
former Assistant to the director, now in graduate studies as Pitt

Laurie Thompson
former Research Specialist

Julia Lekht
Research Specialist, now studying to become a physician assistant
Kevin Seelaus Research Assistant, now Graduate Student at Carnegie Mellon University
Michelle Mathew Research Assistant
<Elijah MerriamResearch Assistant, now Staff Scientist in the Section on Neurocircuitry of the NIMH
Melanie Wilds
Lab Manager
Rajpreet Chahal
Research Assistant, now Graduate Student Researcher, University of California, Davis
Melissa Resutko
Research Assistant, now Support/On-Boarding Analyst at Pacsoft
Andrew Lynn
Research Assistant, now Graduate Student Researcher at Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, Brown University
Emily Mente
Assistant to the Director, now Administrative Assistant at Winchester Thurston
Jessica Graves
Research Assistant, now Research Specialist
Catherine Wright, LSW
School-Based Brief Mobile Therapist at Wesley Spectrum Services
Natalie Nawarawong
Research Assistant, now Neuroscience Doctoral Program Graduate Student, Medical College of Wisconsin
Krista Garver
Research Assistant, now Digital Content Manager and Co-Founder at Realize Content
Laryssa Richards
Research Assistant, now in Medical School
Ran Liu, PhD
Research Assistant, now Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University
Theresa Teslovich Woo, PhD
Research Assistant, now Clinical Research Fellow, Washington DC VA Medical Center
Trinity Urban
Research Assistant, now Product Manager for Precision Imaging Metrics at Massachusetts General Hospital