LEADERSHIP
 

P. Ellen Grant, MD

Director of FNNDSC

Staff Clinician

Professor of Radiology and Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School

Dr Grant is the Director of the Fetal Neonatal Neuroimaging and Developmental Science Center (FNNDSC), holds an endowed chair in Neonatology and serves as a clinical Neuroradiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and leads the Radiology Promotions Committee. She is a Professor of Pediatrics and Radiology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Grant founded the FNNDSC in 2009 to develop and optimize tools and analysis streams for better detecting and understanding both normal and abnormal brain physiology and development. The primary end goal is improving cognitive, behavioral and neurological outcomes in children with a focus on fetuses and neonates. Three modalities being developed in the center are Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Magnetoencephalography (MEG) and Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS). To support the computational needs of complex data analysis, her team has also developed a sophisticated computational infrastructure to facilitate and support deep-learning approaches on large datasets as well as real time data analysis. The FNNDSC currently has over 60 members with 12 faculty and at least 14 postdoctoral students. Dr. Grant is a Senior Fellow of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and sits on the Board of Scientific Counselors for National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and on the Committee on Scientific Affairs for the Radiological Society of North America.

Rudolph Pienaar, PhD

Technical Director of FNNDSC

Staff Scientist

Assistant Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School

Dr Pienaar completed a Bachelors and Masters in Electrical, Electronic, and Computer Engineering at the University of Pretoria in Pretoria, South Africa and holds a Doctorate in Biomedical Engineering from Cleveland State University/Cleveland Clinic Foundation where he conducted research in Reinforcement Learning applied to musculo-skeletal bio-mechanical control systems. He completed postdoctoral work at the Massachusetts General Hospital where he was an Assistant in Medical Imaging and is currently Faculty in Radiology at Boston Children's Hospital and an Assistant Professor in Radiology at Harvard Medical School. Dr Pienaar's research interests include brain surface feature analysis, tractography-from an-informatics perspective, cloud computing, image visualization, and system design. At the FNNDSC, he leads the Advanced Computing Group, responsible for the developing new informatics infrastructure solutions to clinical problems. He is the main technical lead on the ChRIS platform that brings research computing solutions closer to clinical front lines.

FACULTY
 

Yoshio Okada, PhD

Director of Research MEG

Associate Scientific Research Staff

Professor of Pediatrics, Part-Time, at Harvard Medical School

Yoshio Okada received his PhD from the Rockefeller University in New York City in psychology and neuroscience. Dr. Okada was a founder of the Biomedical Research and Integrative Neuroimaging Center (BRaIN Imaging Center) at the University of New Mexico prior to joining Harvard Medical School. He is a pioneer in the study of the physiological basis of magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalography (EEG). Dr. Okada has made contributions to the development of novel biomagnetic instruments that have opened new ways to study the electrophysiology of the brain and is an inventor of new instruments that are either completed and in use or in the process of development. These instruments include a pediatric MEG system called “babySQUID”, a second-generation pediatric MEG system called “babyMEG”, and a whole-head cryogenically cooled Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) system that will provide unique novel methods for studying functional networks of the human brain.


More links to: Website <https://connects.catalyst.harvard.edu/Profiles/display/Person/11838> - ResearchGate <https://www.researchgate.net/profile/yoshio_okada>

Banu Ahtam, DPhil

Director of Clinical MEG

Staff Scientist

Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School

Banu Ahtam is an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and an Associate Scientific Research Staff at Boston Childrens Hospital (BCH). She is also the Manager of the MEG Program at the Fetal-Neonatal Neuroimaging & Developmental Science Center (FNNDSC) in BCH. Dr. Ahtam received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Koc University in Istanbul, Turkey. She received a Master of Science degree from the Experimental Psychology Department of the University of Oxford. She completed her doctoral studies at the Psychiatry Department in the University of Oxford as a Clarendon Scholar. For her doctoral project, she focused on language processing in autism spectrum disorders and typically developing children, using MEG, behavioral, and neuropsychiatric measures. Since 2011, Dr. Ahtam has been leading and working on important projects that will help us understand the brain structure and function of neurodevelopmental disorders using multimodal noninvasive imaging techniques at FNNDSC in BCH/HMS, where she also completed her post-doctoral fellowship. She is experienced in MEG, EEG, DTI, sMRI, and rs-fMRI, including protocol design, data acquisition, and statistical processing. She is also deeply familiar with pediatric neuroimaging research of neurodevelopmental disorders and has a strong background in neuropsychological measures.


More links to: Website <https://connects.catalyst.harvard.edu/Profiles/display/Person/103436> - ResearchGate <https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Banu_Ahtam>

Borjan Gagoski, PhD

Research Associate

Instructor in Radiology at Harvard Medical School

Borjan Gagoski received his PhD in 2011 from the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Lab at the EECS department at MIT. His early research included the implementation of time-efficient encoding schemes for spectroscopic imaging on Siemens MR platforms. After spending one year as a postdoctoral associate in the same MIT lab, he joined Dr. Grant's lab in January 2012. He is currently an Instructor of Radiology at BCH. His main role in the lab as Chief MRI physicist is to help move numerous MRI projects forward by always making sure that the newest MR technical developments are being applied for research and clinical neonatal and fetal scans.


More links to: Website <https://connects.catalyst.harvard.edu/Profiles/display/Person/105811> - ResearchGate <https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Borjan_Gagoski>

Kiho Im, PhD

Associate Scientific Research Staff

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School

Kiho Im is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and a Staff Scientist in the Division of Newborn Medicine, FNNDSC at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Im received his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Hanyang University, South Korea in 2009. He has expertise in quantitative neuroimage analysis using structural and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data. His research goal is to provide unique and biologically relevant imaging biomarkers that not only help us to better understand normal and abnormal brain development, but also aid in the detection and diagnosis of disease. In particular, his team focuses on quantitative analysis of sulcal pits and patterns; gyral based structural brain connectivity/network analysis; genetic and environmental effects on brain development; and advanced fetal brain MRI processing and analysis using deep learning.

Pei-Yi (Ivy) Lin, PhD

Associate Scientific Research Staff

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School

Pei-Yi (Ivy) Lin is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and faculty in the Division of Newborn Medicine, Department of Pediatrics at Boston’s Children’s Hospital. She has a PhD in Biomedical Engineering with expertise in the development and clinical application of near-infrared spectroscopy and diffuse correlation spectroscopy techniques. Her current research focuses on cerebral oxygen metabolism development and its association with neurodevelopmental outcomes in premature infants with intraventricular hemorrhage as well as with infants with neonatal brain infection and post-infectious hydrocephalus in low and middle income countries.


More links to: Website <https://connects.catalyst.harvard.edu/Profiles/display/Person/106031> ResearchGate <https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Pei_Yi_Lin>

Yangming Ou, PhD

Research Associate

Assistant Professor in Radiology at Harvard Medical School

Yangming Ou is an Assistant Professor in Radiology at Harvard Medical School. He holds a PhD degree in Medical Image Analysis and an MS degree in Applied Mathematics, both from the University of Pennsylvania. His BS degree was in Electrical Engineering (Biomedical Engineering Division) from Tsinghua University. His research interest lies in the intersection of big data, machine learning, data science, imaging informatics, and healthcare. His team focuses on improving healthcare by medical image analysis, machine learning and imaging informatics. One pillar is the development of innovative medical image analysis and image machine learning algorithms and software tools. The other pillar in Dr. Ou's team is the clinical applications, with collaborations with experts in neurology, neonatology, pediatrics, psychiatry, radiation oncology, nutrition, radiology, informatics, and other fields.

Jason Sutin, PhD

Research Associate

Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School

Jason Sutin is an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and faculty in the Division of Newborn Medicine, Department of Medicine at Boston’s Children’s Hospital. He has a BS in physics and PhD in Pathology with expertise in the development of optical technology in both academic and commercial settings. His research interest is to translate novel imaging techniques and basic investigations of physiology into broadly available medical devices to help caregivers treat and prevent injuries during critical care.


More links to: Website <https://connects.catalyst.harvard.edu/Profiles/display/Person/155988> - ResearchGate <https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jason_Sutin>

Emi Takahashi, PhD

Associate Scientific Research Staff

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School

Emi Takahashi is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and faculty in the Division of Newborn Medicine, Department of Pediatrics at Boston’s Children’s Hospital. Dr. Takahashi trained as a medical student for five years and then received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Chiba University School of Medicine in Japan. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in brain imaging of long-term memory and underlying white matter structures at the Boston University School of Medicine and in high-resolution diffusion MRI on developing brains at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital, and joined the faculty of Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School in 2010. Her specific interests are concerned with the uniqueness of human brain development, particularly the structural basis underlying normal, unique brain functions in humans. She studies typically developing fetuses, children, and young adults as well as those with or at risk for neurodevelopmental disorders employing diffusion, structural, and functional MRI techniques in her research with combining additional methods.

Eleonora Tamilia, PhD

Associate Scientific Research Staff

Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School

Eleonora Tamilia received her PhD and MS in Biomedical Engineering (from University Campus Bio-Medico and University Tor Vergata of Rome, respectively) and conducted her post-doctoral training at BCH/HMS (from 2015 to 2019). She is an expert in biomedical signal processing and data analysis with particular focus on neurological disorders. Her research work has been recognized through numerous awards from national and international committees, which include young investigator awards from the American Epilepsy Society, the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology and the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society​. Her current research is dedicated to the advanced analysis of electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) from children with epilepsy to identify new electrophysiological epilepsy biomarkers, test their clinical value for surgical treatment and translate such technological advances to the clinical practice. She also conducts research for the development of new non-invasive methods that facilitates the early diagnosis of brain injury in neonates through the combined monitoring of brain and motor activity.


More links to: Website <https://scholar.harvard.edu/eleonoratamilia> - ResearchGate <https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Eleonora_Tamilia>

Ai Wern Chung, PhD

Associate Scientific Research Staff

Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School

Ai Wern Chung is a computational neuroscientist at FNNDSC with particular interest in MRI connectomics – the study of the brain as an inter-connected network to understand its functional and structural organization in relation to development, ageing or a disease. She is a recipient of a joint American Heart Association and Children’s Heart Foundation Fellowship to identify neuroimaging markers of altered brain structure in adults with congenital heart disease using her novel network theoretical models of energy propagation. After majoring in Computer Science, Dr. Chung went on to obtain a Ph.D. in medical physics in neuroimaging at London’s UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health in the UK. Ever interested in translating advanced brain MRI techniques for the clinic, she has held several research posts in hospital affiliated institutes. These include the Stroke and Dementia Neuroimaging Unit at St. George’s University of London, and the Biostatistics group at the Centre for the Developing Brain at King’s College London. Her research work in previous labs include validation of diffusion MRI models through to their development and application on ageing cohorts, and network theoretical analysis on premature neonates. At FNNDSC, Dr. Chung continues to devise novel methodologies for connectomes to describe system changes in brain organization, and has applied these to MRI studies on children with Autism, concussion, and 16p11.2 Deletion Syndrome. Research aside, she enjoys the outdoors, a good hike and looks forward to the day she can run in the woods with a pet dog.

Lana Vasung, MD, PhD

Associate Scientific Research Staff

Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School

Lana Vasung is a physician-scientist that currently works as a Ralph Schlaeger fellow. She obtained her MD (2007), as well as her Ph.D. in Neuroscience (2013), from the University of Zagreb, Croatia. After her Ph.D. graduation, she worked as a Clinical Research Candidate for Special Programme University Medicine and young clinicians (‘SPUM program’) at the Department of Pediatrics and Neuroradiology, University of Geneva, Switzerland (2013-2016). In 2016, after obtaining her Swiss Medical License, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) awarded her an Advanced Postdoc Mobility Fellowship (among the top 10 in the national research ranking) to conduct post-doctoral research at Boston Children’s Hospital. In 2018 the Ralph Schlaeger Charitable Foundation awarded her fellowship to conduct the research in pediatric neuroradiology. Dr. Vasung established numerous collaborations with highly prestigious clinical and research groups, serves as an ad-hoc reviewer for more than 20 peer-review journals, and is a regular member of more than 10 professional societies. She has authored or co-authored more than 40 peer-reviewed publications covering translational and clinical research in the field of neuroscience, embryology, histology, anatomy, pediatrics, neuroimaging, and neuroradiology. As a physician (ECFMG certified) and a scientist, she has a deep interest in bridging gaps between various disciplines (neuroscience, physiology, histology, anatomy, imaging, clinical medicine) to improve clinical care among most vulnerable pediatric populations.

Esra Abaci Turk, PhD

Associate Scientific Research Staff

Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School

Esra Abaci Turk completed her BS degree in the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Middle East Technical University, Turkey in 2006. She received a full scholarship from The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey for her M.Sc. studies in Bilkent University, Turkey. She received her PhD degree in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Bilkent University, Turkey in June 2013 with an expertise in MRI physics. In July 2013, she joined the Madrid-MIT M+Vision consortium as a postdoctoral fellow and with her colleagues proposed a project on an assessment of placental function by means of MRI under the supervision of Dr. Ellen Grant in early 2014 and funded by Consejeria de Educacion, Juventud y Deporte de la Comunidad de Madrid (Spain). In 2015, Dr. Abaci Turk joined FNNDSC as a research fellow. She is currently working on the assessment of placental function with a growing interest on fetal response to the placental well-being and also fetal MRI safety.

POSTDOCS & FELLOWS

Filiz Yetisir, PhD

Research Fellow

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Filiz Yetisir obtained her BS degree in 2011 from Bilkent University in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and her MS & PhD degrees in 2014 & 2017 from MIT in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. During her graduate studies she focused on the design and optimization of radiofrequency (RF) waveforms to reduce image shading and tissue heating, two of the main challenges associated with high field MRI, for 3 Tesla and 7 Tesla MRI using the parallel RF transmission technology. She also worked extensively on RF safety for brain imaging at 7 Tesla and pregnant body imaging at 3 Tesla to enable safe operation of parallel RF transmission at high and ultra high field MRI. She is an expert in electromagnetic modelling and experimental validation of RF coils, parallel transmit RF pulse design and turbo/fast spin echo imaging. Her current interests include RF pulse design to reduce motion sensitivity and increase resolution in fetal imaging and ultra high field pediatric tumor imaging using parallel RF transmission.

Alpen Ortug, PhD

Research Fellow

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Alpen Ortug received her Bacholars degree in Genetics and Bioengineering in 2011 from Yeditepe University, Istanbul, Turkey. Then, she pursued two different M.Sc. degrees of Human Anatomy and Forensic Sciences from Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa in 2015 and 2017 respectively. She completed her PhD in Clinical Anatomy in Istanbul Medipol University/Turkey. During her PhD, she studied methodology of her PhD thesis which is diffusion tractography of cerebellar pathways and their clinical correlations of posterior fossa tumors pre and postoperatively in the Takahashi Lab in Boston Children’s Hospital. She also worked as a Lecturer in human anatomy at the Istanbul Medipol University-Turkey. She was responsible for giving gross anatomy lectures for Health Sciences Faculty departments and related programs of Vocational School. Then, she started her postdoctoral studies with Dr. Emi Takahashi in Boston Children’s Hospital Division of Newborn Medicine, Harvard Medical School at beginning of 2020. Her postdoctoral research studies involve fetal and newborn MRI evaluation of autism spectrum disorder. She is a member of Anatomische Gesellschaft, Turkish Anatomy and Clinical Anatomy Society, American Association for Anatomy and American Association of Clinical Anatomists.

HyukJin Yun, PhD

Research Fellow

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Hyuk Jin Yun is a postdoctoral research fellow in FNNDSC. His expertise is in neuroimage analysis using structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). He obtained his PhD (2016) in Biomedical Engineering from Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea. During his PhD, he has developed several methods to quantify structural/functional brain ​measures from MRI and investigated their differences between normal and patient cohorts. Based on the quantitative brain measures, he also developed early diagnosis procedure using machine learning technique. In FNNDSC, he is focusing on analyzing spatiotemporal folding pattern in human fetal brains, developing methods for automatic fetal brain MRI processing pipeline, and applying deep learning networks to evaluate fetal brain health.​​

Jeffrey Stout, PhD

Research Fellow

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Jeff Stout received his PhD from the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program, before starting as a Research Fellow at the FNNDSC. His research interests are to improve the clinical utility of quantitative MRI, specifically relaxometry as it relates to blood oxygenation, blood flow quantification and end organ oxygen consumption. He is interested in both the developing brain and placenta. Diseases such as congenital heart disease, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and intrauterine growth restriction might be better diagnosed and monitored with the techniques he is developing. Ultimately, his work might lead to measures of brain health in the fetal and neonatal period that predict longer term cognitive outcomes.

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Sheng He, PhD

Research Fellow

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Sheng He is a Research Fellow in FNNDSC. His research focuses on using machine learning/deep learning on medical image analysis and pattern recognition. He holds a PhD degree (cum laude) in artificial intelligence from University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

Georgios Ntolkeras, MD

Research Fellow

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Georgios Ntolkeras is a Postdoctoral Clinical Research Fellow at the Fetal-Neonatal Neuroimaging & Developmental Science Center in Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He is an ECFMG certified Medical Doctor who graduated in the Medical School of University of Thessaly in Greece and did his clinical rotations in Neurology, Pediatrics, and Psychiatry at the University Hospitals of University of Paris-East Creteil. Since the spring of 2019, Dr. Ntolkeras has been working for several projects in the fields of neuroimaging and neurophysiology. These projects involve the analysis of the brain activity using non-invasive techniques such as the High-Density Electroencephalogram and the Magnetoencepaholgram. He performs acquisition, processing, interpretation, and statistical analysis of electrophysiological data of patients with Epilepsy, SSADH deficiency, and Angelman Syndrome. He is also developing a high resolution whole-body pediatric numerical model used for numerical simulations.

José Luis Alatorre Warren, PhD

Research Fellow

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José Luis is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Fetal Neonatal Neuroimaging and Developmental Science Center (FNNDSC) of Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. At Takahashi Lab, he investigates the link between the spatiotemporal patterns of growth and development of neural pathways and those of gyral/sulcal formation, both in typically developing children as well as in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. He completed a structured PhD program in Evolutionary Biology at Life Science Zurich Graduate School, jointly run by the ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich, receiving his doctoral degree from the latter in 2019. He also holds a Master’s degree in Applied Physics from TU Delft, a Master’s degree in Robotics and Photonics Engineering from Warsaw University of Technology, and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechatronics with a focus on Computer Vision from CETI University of Technology, in Guadalajara, Mexico. During his doctoral studies, he used neuroimaging data of humans, chimpanzees, and gorillas to quantify the patterns of structural variation and covariation in cortical surface and cranial morphology that operate within and between species, as well as during postnatal development. In 2017 and 2018, he also worked at the Neural Circuit Dynamics Lab, Brain Research Institute Zurich, where he contributed with the automation of experimental setups and analysis of fluorescence microscopy data for neuroscience research.

STAFF
 
 

Rutvi Vyas

Research Data Manager

Rutvi received her Master of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Drexel University in Philadelphia with a focus in neuroimaging. After her graduate work on functional near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), she gained valuable experience in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) through her work at Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. At FNNDSC she works primarily on management and analysis of clinical and neuroimaging data for NIRS projects aimed at understanding neonatal brain health and development. Her involvement at the center is also in validation and implementation of novel image processing pipelines. Rutvi has an interest in multi-modal image processing and data analysis and will be expanding her role in MRI studies.​

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Chuan-heng Hsiao

Computational Biologist

Chuan-Heng Hsiao received Master Degree in Cognitive and Neural Systems from Boston University and Master Degree in Computer Science from Harvard University. He has helped a startup company (Appier) deploying a big-data cluster. Hsiao is currently focusing on deploying a big-data cluster for data collection, analysis, and visualization.

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Arushi Vyas

Research Software Developer

Arushi received her Master of Information Systems Management from Carnegie Mellon University. At the FNNDSC, she is part of the Advanced Computing Group, where she utilizes her software engineering and data science skills to develop plug-ins for the ChRIS platform.

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Gideon Pinto

Research Software Developer

Gideon Pinto received his Master's Degree in Digital Media and Design from Northeastern University in Boston with a focus on Web Development. At the FNNDSC, he is part of the Advanced Computing Group, where he focuses on building the Web UI for ChRIS.

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Sandip Samal

Research Software Developer

Sandip Samal received his Master's Degree in Computer Science from Northeastern University in Boston with a focus on Artificial Intelligence. At the FNNDSC, he is a part of the Advanced Computing Group, utilizing his previous Back-end and AI/ML skills in the field of Cloud Computing.

ADMINISTRATION
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Guaravi Pradu

Program Coordinator II and Assistant to the Director

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Guaravi graduated Northeastern University with a B.S. in Biology. Her background includes working several years in Quality Assurance with a focus on quality improvement and document management. She is now working as a program coordinator at the FNNDSC, coordinating activities and daily operations as well as serving as an assistant to the Director.

Tina Giella

Research Administrator II

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Tina received her BS in Health Policy and Management, with a concentration of Business Studies from Providence College. In 2011, she started at Boston Children's Hospital in the Clinical Translational and Study Unit as an Administrative Associate before switching over to her current position as a Research Administrator in FNNDSC in 2018. She is involved in pre and post grant management. Her primary responsibilities in the Center are (1) to aid our investigators with research grant submissions (2) to manage the center’s research finances. In her spare time, she loves running and spending time with her husband and daughter.

 
RESEARCH ASSISTANTS & INTERNS
 

Jessica Sims

Clinical Research Assistant I

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Jessica graduated from the University of California Los Angeles in 2019 with a B.S in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology. She previously worked as a Summer Student Intern in Newborn Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, and is now working again in the Division of Newborn Medicine with the FNNDSC. Jessica works as a Clinical Research Assistant with the NIRS team, looking at the clinical application of FDNIRS to study infant brain health and developmental outcomes. In the future, she hopes to pursue an MD and specialize in neonatology.

Matthew Pesce

Clinical Research Assistant I

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Matthew graduated the University of Pittsburgh with a B.S. in Bioengineering in May of 2016. His background includes working as a global health engineer with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa as well as serving as a pediatric EMT in his hometown of Philadelphia. He is now serving as an RA for the Baby Meg Lab where he is responsible for data pre-processing and analysis as well as scheduling and assisting with patient testing. In the future, he hopes to pursue a career in pediatric medicine.

Taylor Vadset

Clinical Research Assistant I

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Taylor graduated from the University of Washington in 2019 with a B.S. in Neuroscience. She currently works as a Clinical Research Assistant on the NIRS team, investigating the use of FDNIRS-DCS as a bedside diagnostic tool for analyzing cerebral hemodynamics in infants. In the future, she hopes to pursue an MD/MPH degree and work in pediatric medicine.

Shoshana Freeman

Clinical Research Assistant I

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Shoshana graduated from Franklin and Marshall College with honors in Biology and a minor in Psychology in 2018. During her time there, she began her research career through assisting in projects related to neuroscience and developmental psychology. This culminated in her thesis investigating the neurodevelopmental basis for the emotion of disgust. During the summers of 2016-2017, Shoshana spent her time assisting the research of the Department of Neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Shoshana currently works as a research assistant in the NIRS team, investigating the use of FDNIRS-DCS as a bedside diagnostic tool for analyzing cerebral hemodynamics in infants and children. In the future, she hopes to continue clinical research in pediatric neurology and care for pediatric patients.

Katharine Playter

Clinical Research Assistant II

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Kat graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2018 with a B.S.E in Biomedical Engineering. She had previous internships at Boston Dynamics and a small sensor design and manufacturing company in Connecticut. For the past two years she has worked as a Systems Engineer at Medtronic working in their Surgical Robotics group. In May, she started working with the Division of Newborn Medicine with the FNNDSC as a Research Assistant for the NIRS team. She will be working on NIRS probe design optimization and modification for different applications. She hopes to pursue an MD in the future.

Yurui Guo

Clinical Research Assistant II

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Yurui graduated from Northeastern University in 2019 with a M.S. in Bioinformatics and a minor in Data Analytics. Yurui previously, before graduation, has an internship at the FNNDSC as a Research Technician. She now works at the FNNDSC as a Clinical Research Assistant. Her current work is in the Takahashi Lab focusing on how to analyze data from MRI, with a goal of investigating the relationship between brain developmental disorders and various diseases.

Elizabeth Holland

Clinical Research Assistant II

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Elizabeth graduated from Colby College in 2019 with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in German. Her undergraduate research interests include the neurodevelopment of child cognition and health behavior. She currently works as a Clinical Research Assistant on both the fetal and pediatric MRI teams, investigating novel imaging techniques for the placenta and fetal/infant brain. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in advance practice nursing.

Cindy Zhou

Clinical Research Assistant II

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Cindy graduated from Wellesley College in 2020 with a B.A. in Neuroscience and a minor in Health & Society. Her role at the FNNDSC is as a Clinical Research Assistant with the MRI Team, which involves the development and implementation of novel in vivo imaging techniques of the placenta and developing fetus using MRI. She has previously worked on research teams at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ivan Legorreta Gonzalez

Student Intern

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Ivan has a B.S. in Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering at Monterrey Institute of Technology in Mexico City. During his time at FNNDSC he has been working on fetal brain MRI digital processing automation. He is currently developing a deep learning model to automatically assess the quality classification of fetal brain MRIs, based on convolutional neural networks.

Jose Caldas de la Vega

Student Intern

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Jose Caldas is a student intern majoring in Mechanical Engineering at the Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico. During his research internship at the FNNDSC he has carried out various activities within the center's Magnetoencephalography (MEG) team, such as automation of preprocessing, processing and data analysis in Brainstrom through the generation of scripts in MATLAB for clinical diagnoses of epilepsy and research studies. Currently, he is working on the development of a script that allows the MEG team to perform functional connectivity analysis.

Briana Valli

Student Intern

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Briana Valli is currently perusing her B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience at Northeastern University. She is working as a co-op student within the Takahashi Laboratory for developmental imaging and neuroscience. She has experience participating in neuropsychological research through MGH and Harvard, conducting MRI along with physiological and behavioral analysis testing. Additionally, Briana volunteers in the Neurology department at Boston Children’s Hospital and aspires to become a Pediatric Neurologist.

Lucca Juvele Zampolli

Graduate Student Intern

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Lucca is currently finishing medical school in Brazil, ​and is really found of Clinical research. This year, he is an intern of the NIRS group, and he is working on clinical research, such as the Encephalopathy Score for subjects.​

Fan-Yu (Ivy) Yen

Graduate Student Intern

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Fan-Yu (Ivy) Yen received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering from National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan, and is pursuing her Master’s Degree in the same field. She is interested in signal processing and data analysis. At the FNNDSC, she is currently working on the development of the next generation NIRS device.

Marina Solti

Graduate Student Intern

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Marina is a medical student at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. In 2020 she’s working as a Graduate Student Intern at the FNNDSC on the MRI team, focusing on Diffusion MRI and Tractography.

Ji Wang

Graduate Student Intern

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Ji is a PhD candidate from Huazhong University and a graduate student at the FNNDSC. She works in the Takahashi lab and currently assists with using DTI technology to track white matter fiber in children.

Francesco Nasta

Graduate Student Intern

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Francesco is a graduate student in Biomedical Engineering at the University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome.
He received his Bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering in 2018 from University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome. His role at FNNDSC will focus on methods to optimize non-invasive electrical and
magnetic source imaging of epileptiform activity in patients undergoing surgery.

Giulia Iandolo

Graduate Student Intern

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Giulia Iandolo is a graduate student in Biomedical Engineering at Campus Bio-Medico of Rome. She received her Bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering in 2018 from University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome. She did an experimental thesis with the title “Gait analysis through M-IMU sensors in patients with Parkinson’s Disease”, where she analyzed different parameters, both in the time domain and in the frequency domain. She did an internship at Laboratory of Measure and Biomedical Instrumentation at the University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome for two months (Aug-Sept 2019), where she analyzed experimental data, designed electronic boards (PCB) and she worked on the mechanical characterization of strain sensors. At the FNNDSC, she will be working on investigating changes in the EEG of children with epilepsy following repeated surgery.

Roberto Billardello

Graduate Student Intern

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Roberto Billardello is graduate student in Biomedical Engineering at University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome.
He received his Bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering in 2018 from University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome. For his experimental thesis he worked on blood glucose level predictions in patients with insulin-dependent diabetes, using fuzzy systems. From August to September 2019 he did a two months internship at Laboratory of Measure and Biomedical Instrumentation at University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, where he made a mechanical characterization of strain FBG sensors. At the FNNDSC, he will be working on developing a novel automated method to identify the epileptogenic zone in children undergoing intracranial EEG before surgery.

Assia Chericoni

Graduate Student Intern

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Assia Chericoni is a graduate student in Biomedical Engineering at University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome. She received her Bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering in 2018 from University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, her project of thesis focused on newborns​ nutritive sucking. At the FNNDSC, her research project will be on new methods to analyze sleep EEG in patients with epilepsy.

Diana Pereira

Graduate Student Intern

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Diana is a medical student at University of São Paulo. During her time at FNNDSC, she has worked on downloading and collecting information about large, publicly available datasets of brain MRI. She has also worked on the construction of brain atlases that aim to optimize brain imaging analysis and contribute to neurological research and healthcare.

 
ALUMNI
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Tomo Tarui

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

2009-2011

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Tomo Tarui holds an MD from Keio University in Japan. During his time at the FNNDSC, he led the Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) Study with Dr. Ellen Grant, Pediatric Neuroradiologist, Dr. Omar Khwaja, Fetal-Neonatal Neurologist at Boston Children's Hospital, and Dr. Julian Robinson, physician in Maternal Fetal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Tarui aimed to develop novel quantitative fetal MRI measures with significant prognostic validity, thus to be able to direct in utero intervention and early implementation of developmental support postnatally. He is now an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology at Tufts Medical Center.

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Daniel Ginsburg

Principle Software Architect

2009-2011

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Daniel received a B.S. in Computer Science from Worchester Polytechnic Institute and his MBA from Bentley University. He worked at the FNNDSC from 2009-2011. During his time here, he was a co-developer of the early prototype version of ChRIS with Dr. Pienaar. Currently, he is the owner of Upsample Software, LLC.

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