Kennedy Neuroimaging of Aging and Cognition Lab

Principle Investigator

Kristen Kennedy, Ph. D.
Kristen Kennedy, Ph. D. Principle Investigator | kristen.kennedy1 at utdallas dot edu

Associate Professor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Center for Vital Longevity

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Advanced Imaging Research, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center



Post-doctoral Students

Chris Foster, Ph.D.
Chris Foster, Post-doctoral Student Post-doctoral Student |

Dr. Foster graduated from Western Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Biology in 2007. He entered graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2011. There, he was a graduate student in Dr. Kelly Giovanello’s lab where his research focused on the effects of healthy and unhealthy aging on relational memory processes. Since starting in the labs of Dr. Rodrigue and Dr. Kennedy, Chris has been focusing on incorporating new methods into his research, including the impact of, genetics, amyloid, and structure on aging, brain function, and cognition. In his free time, Chris enjoys hiking, camping, and cooking.



Graduate Students

David Hoagey, B.S.
David Hoagey, Doctoral Student Doctoral Student |

David graduated from Penn State in 2011 with a BS in psychology. As an undergraduate he worked as a research assistant with Dr. Nancy Dennis looking at memory changes across the lifespan. After graduation he worked as a research assistant for Dr. David Madden at Duke University, investigating age related changes in attention. David is interested in how structural brain changes result in cognitive decline during healthy aging, specifically the role of white matter health and degradation in neuronal pathways. Outside of the lab, David enjoys running, playing sports, and Penn State football.



Maria Boylan, B.S.
Maria Boylan, Doctoral Student Doctoral Student |

Maria graduated from Virginia Tech with a BS in Psychology, where she developed an interest in neuroscience studying in the labs of Dr. John Richey and Dr. Anthony Cate. After graduation, Maria was a post baccalaureate fellow at the Brain Imaging and Analysis Center at Duke University, under the mentorship of Dr. David Madden and Dr. Chunlei Liu, she explored healthy aging and visual attention. Maria is interested in the relationship between neuroimaging, cognitive assessments, and aging; more specifically, the functional and structural changes seen during healthy aging and their relationship with cognitive outcome measures. Outside of lab Maria is interested in bouldering, yoga, running, and reading.



Giuseppe Miranda, B.S.
Giuseppe Miranda, Doctoral Student Doctoral Student |

Giuseppe graduated from the University of Dayton with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. At UD, Giuseppe worked as a research assistant under Dr. Susan T. Davis studying memory, vigilance, and aesthetics. Giuseppe also interned under Dr. Greg Funke in Applied Neuroscience at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base studying team cognition and synchronicity. Giuseppe is interested in human brain aging and how cognitive functioning can be preserved as we age. Specifically, Giuseppe is interested in neuroimaging and how changes in brain structure impact cognition in aging. Giuseppe enjoys playing sports, traveling, painting, watching his Cleveland sports teams, and spending time with friends and family.



Research Staff

Marcelle Morrison, B.S.
Marcelle Morrison Lab Manager |



Linh Trieu, M.S.
Linh Trieu, Research Assistant Research Assistant |

Linh graduated from UTD with both an MS in Applied Cognition and Neuroscience, and a BS in neuroscience. She previously worked in Dr. Maguire's Developmental Neurolinguistics lab as a research assistant. Her current research interests center on the relationship between structural changes and cognitive decline that occur with healthy aging, as well as structural differences in mental disorders that contribute to differences in cognition. In her spare time, Linh enjoys playing sports, knitting and crocheting, playing video games, scripting, and reading fiction.



Undergraduate Students

Lab Alumni

Colleen McNamee, B.A.
Colleen McNamee Lab Manager |

Colleen graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in Psychology and English. She is interested in executive function, emotion regulation, decision making, and culture. Colleen hopes to gain experience working with neuroimaging techniques and plans to pursue a PhD program in Psychology in the future.



Jennifer Rieck, Ph.D.
Jenny Rieck, Post-doctoral Student

Jenny graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy in Cognition and Neuroscience from UT Dallas where she completed her dissertation work under the supervision of Dr. Denise Park. Jenny spent time as a post-doctoral researcher in the Kennedy lab before accepting the same position with Dr. Cheryl Grady at the University of Toronto.



Samantha Owens, B.S.
Samantha Owens, Masters Student Masters Student |

Samantha is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Psychological Sciences with concentrations in cognition and neuroscience. She graduated with a B.S. in psychology from Texas A&M University-Commerce in 2014. At TAMUC, Samantha was a member of Dr. Benton Pierce's Memory & Cognition lab and Dr. Lavelle Hendricks' Addiction lab. Samantha is interested in how brain health and white matter are related to memory and cognition as we age. She will be applying to PhD programs this fall. Outside of the lab, Samantha enjoys Blogilates, painting, making candles and soaps, and spending time with her family.



Montana Northcutt, B.S.
Montana Northcutt Masters Student |

Montana graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from UT Dallas, and is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Applied Cognition and Neuroscience from there as well. He is interested in how the brain ages with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, compared to how it should normally change with age. After completing the Master’s program, Montana hopes to enter a Clinical Neuropsychology PhD program where he can apply knowledge learned in the lab to his daily practice. Outside of the lab, Montana enjoys tennis, working with the Dallas Zoo, and spending time doing photography.



Stephanie Matijevic

Stephanie Matijevic, B.S.

Stephanie graduated from UT Dallas in 2016 and worked in the KNAC lab for over two years. She is now pursuing her PhD in Cognition and Neural Systems at the University of Arizona with Dr. Lee Ryan.



Patricio Viera Perez
Patricio Viera Perez Research Assistant |

Patricio is a junior at The University of Texas at Dallas studying Neuroscience. He hopes to gain valuable experience working in the research lab and to continue on with his education in pursuit of a Ph.D in Cognitive Neuroscience after graduation.



Ashley Stephenson
Ashley Stephenson Research Assistant |

Ashley is a Cognitive Science student at The University of Texas at Dallas and will be graduating with her BS in the spring of 2018. She's currently interested in how social factors impact brain structure, cognitive development, and information processing. After graduation, she plans to pursue a PhD in Neuropsychology. In her free time, Ashley enjoys biking, reading, and petting dogs.



Amanda Ebersberger
Amanda Ebersberger Research Assistant |

Amanda is currently pursuing her BS in Neuroscience with a minor in Psychology at the University of Texas at Dallas and will be graduating in the spring of 2017. Her current field of interest revolves around white matter connections in the brain in relation to cognitive functioning and learning, as well as the role of the gut-brain axis in the development of neurological disorders and stress. She intends to continue her educational career either in medical school or in graduate school to obtain a PhD in Neuroscience. Beyond the lab, she indulges in hiking, writing, drawing, and playing with her three rats.



Revanth Madina
Revanth Madina Research Assistant |

Revanth is currently pursuing a BS in Neuroscience from The University of Texas at Dallas. He plans on going to medical school after he graduates and is interested in pursuing an MD/Ph. D. Revanth is interested in neuroimaging techniques along with cognition, specifically memory and processing speed. In his free time Revanth enjoys playing sports, video games, volunteering, and spending time with friends and family.



Neeraja Narayanan
Neeraja Narayanan Research Assistant |

Neeraja is currently pursuing a BS in Neuroscience and a minor in Biology at UT Dallas. Her lab interests include brain cognition related to hypertension, the effects of aging on brain size and function, and neuroimaging techniques related to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's. She aspires to attend a medical college in Texas to earn her MD. In her free time, she enjoys photography, reading, hiking, and traveling.



Elizabeth Reese, B.S., B.A.
Elizabeth Reese, Research Assistant

Elizabeth is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, studying neurobiological and behavioral mechanisms of addiction and emotion.




Asha Unni, B.A.
Asha Unni, Research Assistant
Asha is attending Texas A&M University to pursue a Ph.D in School Psychology. She plans to focus on peer relations and the use of neuropsychological assessments in schools. 




April Sizemore

April Sizemore, B.A.
April received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas in 2012.





Michael Meerbrey

Michael Meerbrey, B.S., M.S.
Michael graduated with a masters in neuroscience from the University of Texas at Dallas and is pursuing a career in intraoperative monitoring.



Jennifer Chi

Hannah George

Rachelle Akpanumoh

Aisha Iqbal

Nick Jones

Lydia Kersh

Erik Yarmey

Nikhil Akuthota

Kevin Kadado

Veronica Pena

Sheina Mauntana

Athea Harris

Sarah Buch

Emma Preston

Ariella Cohen