People

 

Dr. Ana Daugherty directs the Healthy Brain Aging Lab. She is an Assistant Professor, joint appointed to the Department of Psychology, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, and the Institute of Gerontology. She is affiliate faculty with the Translational Neuroscience Program, Integrative Biosciences, and the Research Design and Analysis Consultation Group.

 

 

 


Ashley Harris is the current Lab Manager of the Healthy Brain Aging Lab. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (Honors) with a minor in Biology from Oakland University in April 2019. She joined the lab in June 2019 to gain research experience for graduate programs in developmental neuroscience. Her prior research at OU examined the role of synthetic hormones in contraceptives on symptoms of depression and premenstrual distress. Now, she is interested in maternal mental health and its potential effects on the child’s brain and future cognitive performance, as well as normal and abnormal functional neuroanatomy in pediatric populations.

In our lab, Ashley is exploring spatial cognition in adults by analyzing performance in a virtual Morris Water Maze and exploring the relationship between white matter hyperintensities and aspects of the Rorschach inkblot test. She has also been trained in administering cognitive assessments, identifying and tracing cerebral microbleeds on MRI scans, and tracing basal ganglia structures using susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI). As Lab Manager, Ashley hopes to promote efficiency and organization in the lab, develop skills necessary for graduate programs, and become more involved with the community. She is especially passionate about learning neuroimaging techniques and helping the general community better understand brain anatomy, learning and memory, and cognition.


 

Zahraa Mougnieh is an Administrative Assistant in the Healthy Brain Aging Lab. She graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in April 2019. She is interested in learning more about learning and memory, changes in brain structure, and human cognition to associate it with her passion in becoming a dentist. In the lab, Zahraa has mastered administering cognitive assessment and is working on tracing cerebral microbleeds on MRI scans. She helps with training and lab organization, and has taken on a leadership role in the lab by helping Ashley create training videos for new lab members. She intends to gain experience with older adults by administering cognitive assessments. Zahraa also anticipates to lead projects and presentations on relative topics to further educate people.

 


Samaah Saifullah is an undergraduate Research Technician in the Healthy Brain Aging Lab and joined at the end of April 2019. She is currently majoring in Psychology and minoring in Photography as a sophomore at Wayne State University. She joined the lab to gain research experience where she would have the opportunity to interact directly with human subjects. Her research interests broadly span across the fields of neuroscience, oncology, and human psychology among other areas. In the lab, Samaah’s primary focus is on studying hippocampal subfields. She has been trained in administering cognitive assessments and measuring intracranial volume, and is currently training to gain certification in hippocampal subfield volume tracing. In the future, Samaah hopes to attend medical school with the intention of following a career path into either oncology or psychiatry.


Shruti Tirumala is an undergraduate Research Technician in the Healthy Brain Aging Lab. She is a sophomore in the process of earning her Bachelor of Science in Public Health with a minor in Health Psychology from Wayne State University. Shruti joined the lab in April 2019 to gain research experience in neuroscience. She is specifically interested in pediatric neurological health disorders and their impact on a child’s behavior and development, physical health, cognitive performance, and susceptibility to more severe neurological conditions in adulthood. Shruti is beginning to study the effects of aMCI (amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment) and Alzheimer’s Disease on cognitive performance and the overall course of healthy aging in adults. She has been certified in administering cognitive assessments and identifying and tracing cerebral microbleeds on MRI scans, and is currently working toward certification in intracranial volume tracing. Shruti hopes to gain valuable research experience and develop a strong set of organizational and leadership skills that will assist her as she follows the pre-medical pathway.


Ushna Khan is an undergraduate Research Technician in the Healthy Brain Aging Lab. She is a pre-medical student in her third year at Wayne State and is working towards earning her Bachelor of Science in Public Health. She joined the lab in April 2019 in an effort to gain experience in research, learn new techniques, and learn more about brain structure and function. Ushna is especially interested in learning about how aging can affect thinking and memory function. She has been trained in administering cognitive assessments and identifying and tracing cerebral microbleeds on MRI scans. Ushna hopes to further develop her research skills and opportunities while working with a goal-oriented team of like-minded individuals dedicated to helping others.

 


 

Amar Sandhu is an undergraduate Research Technician in the Healthy Brain Aging Lab. He is a third-year pre-medical student at Wayne State University in the progress of obtaining a Bachelor’s of Science in Education in Kinesiology. Amar joined the lab in October 2019 to learn more about how the brain functions differ across the human lifespan. More specifically, he is interested in the emphasis on how lifestyle behaviors can shape aging trajectories throughout an individual’s life. He has been trained in cognitive assessment. In the future, Amar plans to utilize the various skills he will learn in the lab through research as a physician.


 

Roshitha Thakur is an undergraduate Research Technician in the Healthy Brain Aging Lab. She is a Junior earning a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is on the pre-med track. She joined the lab in April 2019 to gain research experience and to see how psychology plays a role outside of the classroom setting. She is specifically interested is in how decision-making and memory are affected throughout the life span. In addition, she is very curious about how modern technology is affecting cognitive skills in young adults, especially related to the aging process. Roshitha has been trained in cognitive assessment. During her time in the lab, she hopes to learn new skills and information that will help her in the future.