Tara Smyser, MS

Clinical Lab Manager

Tara Smyser is a Clinical Lab Manager in the Department of Psychiatry and has been a member of the Washington University Neonatal and Developmental Research Team since 2008. Tara earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering and her Master of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Iowa. As part of her work for the WUNDER team, Tara analyzes both neuroimaging and developmental assessment data in neonates and children in order to better understand the relationship between brain development and childhood outcomes. She also helps coordinate research across several WUNDER studies in order to help facilitate best practices for conducting human subjects research.

Mary Haman, BS, AMS

Clinical Research Supervisor

Mary is a Clinical Research Supervisor in the Department of Psychiatry. She oversees developmental testing for young children in several studies, coordinates the eLABE study and manages staff administering assessments, MRIs, EEGs, and eye tracking. Mary graduated from the University of Iowa and as a Biologist, focused on both basic and product-oriented research projects in Immunology and Infectious Disease at The University of Chicago and several pharmaceutical companies. She is an avid runner, mother of five and has her Early Childhood Credential from the American Montessori Society/Maryville University. She taught Montessori preschool and kindergarten and also adults in an accredited teacher education program (UMSL, Webster University). Mary is especially interested in parenting and early childhood development.

Jessica Perkins

Clinical Research Coordinator II

Jessica Perkins is a Clinical Research Coordinator with the WUNDER Lab. She has been a team member since 2012. As part of her work with the WUNDER Team, she keeps in close contact with all of our research families. She enjoys working with all of our wonderful families at all of the developmental time points!

Janika Grimlund, BA

Clinical Research Coordinator

Janika Grimlund (She/Her/Hers) is a Clinical Research Coordinator for the CUDDEL study and has been a member of the lab since 2019. Janika earned her degrees in Biology and Health Psychology from Greenville University and worked in clinical settings before joining WUNDER. As coordinator, Janika is responsible for staff management, data management, study projections and ensuring CUDDEL is meeting all regulatory requirements. Her professional interests include best practices to prevent violence toward children and how rural communities experience this violence.

Kristin Korte (Kri), CPS, MAADC II, MARS

Peer Navigator

Kristin (Kri) is a Certified Peer Specialist who currently works on the HBCD Study and at Barnes CARE Clinic. She has her  MAADC II (Missouri Associate Alcohol Drug Counselor II) and MARS (Medication Assisted Recovery Specialist) credentials and just received her CADC (Certified Alcohol and drug counselor) credential. She has worked with CARE for a few years with a former position at Gateway Foundation in the EPICC Program where she outreached clients suffering from opiate overdoses or severe withdrawal symptoms and needed hospital attention. She is very fond of participants in the CARE program needing Recovery Coach services because she remembers being in their same shoes. It’s extremely important to her that she works to give them a better experience then she had. Kri is a single mom of three and has a granddaughter who is her pride and joy! Her family has two pit bulls and a cat that thinks she is the boss! She is honored to be a part of such meaningful work in the WUNDER Lab and CARE Clinic!

Shannon O’Hara, BS, MS

Senior Data Control Coordinator

Shannon O’Hara joined the lab in 2018 and has filled many roles throughout her time with the eLABE study. Her work has supported follow-up visits, MRI scans, processing for EEG, eye tracking, and neuroimaging data, and data management. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Psychobiology with a minor in Evolutionary Studies from Albright College, and a Masters of Professional Studies degree in Applied Data Analytics from Pennsylvania State University.

Jim Alexopoulos, MS

Data Analyst

Dimitrios Alexopoulos is a Data Analyst in the Department of Neurology who specializes in the management, archiving and analysis of data acquired using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). His research focus is primarily on using advanced neuroimaging techniques to better understand brain development in infants born prematurely. Mr. Alexopoulos earned a Master of Science degree from Washington University in St. Louis.

Richard Nagel

MRI Technologist

Rich graduated from Barnes School of Radiology Technology and began working in diagnostic radiology at Barnes Hospital in 1994. Rich then moved into research at Washington University School of Medicine in 1999. He currently works for the Department of Psychiatry and Department of Radiology and helps several other departments. Rich is responsible for conducting MRI scans for eLABE participants.

Jeanette Kenley

Neuroimaging Engineer

Jeanette Kenley is a programmer in the Department of Neurology and a member of the Washington University Neonatal and Developmental Research Team since 2010.  Jeanette earned her Bachelors of Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri St. Louis – Washington University Joint Engineering Program. Jeanette’s areas of interest include neonatal, child, and young adult resting state functional connectivity and how various computer applications and clinical research can help shape future diagnosis and treatments. As part of her work in the WUNDER team, Jeanette develops and executes processing codes to analyze resting state functional connectivity and diffusion weighted imaging data.

Joe Dust, BA

Neuroimaging Research Technician II

Joe graduated from the University of Missouri with his bachelors in Psychology. He started research at WashU in 2017 with the Human Connectome Project as an RA and then transferred to the WUNDERLab in 2020 doing MRI preprocessing. He is interested in social cognition, executive function, and brain connectivity and how they relate to one another. Joe will be pursuing his PhD in Neuroscience at American University starting the fall of 2022.

Sydney Kaplan, BS

Neuroimaging Engineer

Sydney Kaplan is a engineer in the Department of Neurology and joined the Washington University Neonatal and Developmental Research lab in August of 2018. Sydney earned her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Computing and Analysis from Case Western Reserve University. Her role includes processing and analyzing neuroimaging data, as well as investigating new processing techniques in neonates and children.

Karen Lukas, RN, MSN, RNC-NIC, CCRP

Clinical Research Specialist

Karen Lukas is a Clinical Research Specialist in the Department of Psychiatry and has been a member of the Washington University Neonatal Development Research Lab since 2007. Karen has her Masters in Nursing Education and is a certified nurse specializing in caring for neonates in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. Karen’s most important role in the lab is being present at baby’s MRI visit. Karen’s familiarity and expertise caring for babies allows us to safely and effectively obtain the quality images that are needed to help us understand early brain development.

Sloane Wolter, MSW, LMSW

Professional Rater II

Sloane Wolter joined the lab in 2020 and primarily works with the eLABE study. Her work includes administering developmental and mental health assessments and providing support and resources to participants. She obtained her MSW in 2020 from The Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, concentrating on mental health. She is a licensed master social worker in the state of Missouri and obtained a Post Master’s Certificate in Family Focused Interventions to Promote Child Well-Being in 2022.

Andrea Lee, MLS, MA

Professional Rater II

Andrea Lee is Professional Rater II in the Department of Psychiatry, who joined the WUNDER Lab in September 2021. Andrea holds a Master of Library Science and a Master of Arts in History from Indiana University. She administers neurodevelopmental assessments for children and adolescents in addition to managing data acquisition and transfer for the WUNDER Lab.

Nicole Lashley-Simms, BA

Professional Rater II

Nicole joined the lab in 2021 after earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cognitive Neuroscience, as well as Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Washington University. She works on the HBCD Study as a Professional Rater II and administers the Bayley for several other studies in the lab. Her interests include exploring how traumatic life events can impact neurodevelopmental outcomes of those affected. In the future she is interested in pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology.

Nawadir (Nosa) Ali, BS

Professional Rater I

Nosa joined the WUNDER Lab in  2021 and works under the CUDDEL and HBCD studies. She graduated from Saint Louis University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences and a minor in Public Health. In her roles she recruits participants, helps with MRI scans, follows up with participants, conducts developmental assessments, and assists with other tasks as needed. Nosa is grateful for the opportunity to be apart of the WUNDER Lab as she is really interested in exploring the intersection of neuroscience, social inequalities, and health disparities. Nosa hopes to attend medical school in the near future.

Denye Mickens, BA

Professional Rater I

Denye Mickens is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and minored in Religion and Politics. She joined the WUNDER Lab in March 2021 and has worked across the eLABE, CUDDEL, and COPE studies during her time here. Her responsibilities as a Research Assistant include working with study participants and their families, as she administers behavioral, EEG, and Eye Tracking tasks, assists with MRI scans, schedules developmental assessments, and more. Denye is passionate about the intersection of healthcare and policy and intends to pursue medical school in the near future.

Logan Waight, BA

Professional Rater

Logan has been with the WUNDER Lab since June 2021. He currently schedules, conducts testing during follow-up visits, and attends MRI scans. Logan received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Southern Illinois University and is currently receiving his Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from University of Missouri – St. Louis.

Takisha L. Jethroe, BA

Professional Rater I

Takisha joined the Wunderlab in 2021 as a Rater I for the CUDDEL study. Takisha is a Louisiana native with a BA degree in English from Louisiana State University. She is an outgoing and personable Dean’s List graduate with a passion for people. She is a dedicated mom and wife and enjoys helping people whenever she can. Her objective is to ALWAYS MAKE A DIFFERENCE in all that she does.

Liliana Mueller, BS

Professional Rater I

Liliana Mueller earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Saint Louis University in 2020 and has been with the lab since 2021. Her responsibilities include administering developmental assessments, collecting EEG and eye tracking data, leading child MRIs, tracking study surveys, processing EEG data and Parent-Child Interaction tasks, and maintaining expense related items for the lab. Coming from a background in mental health, she is interested in translating research into clinical and community practices.

Michayla Ruscitti, BA

Professional Rater ll

Michayla Ruscitti joined the eLABE Study in the Fall of 2019. She graduated from the University of Missouri – St Louis with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Her current role involves data collection for toddler developmental assessments and MRIs, including collection of prosocial behaviors and EEG. In addition, Michayla is also involved with the behavioral coding of parent-child interactions. Future plans involve learning the Bayley developmental testing and continued interaction with study participants.

Aidan Richard Latham, BS

Programmer I

Aidan joined the lab in late 2021 and works mainly on processing lab data.

Destinee Webb, BA

Professional Rater 1

Destinee graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2020, where she earned her B.A. in Psychological and Brain Sciences with a minor in Children’s Studies. She joined the eLABE study in March 2021. Destinee administers behavioral and developmental assessments, including EEG and eyetracking data. She helps with toddler MRIs, which is one of her favorite parts of the follow-up visits. She also transcribes, codes and organizes behavioral and developmental data for Dr. Lean.

Jordan Drake, BA

Professional Rater I

Jordan Drake joined the lab in 2021 after earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, as well as minors in Spanish and Communications, from the University of Louisville. She works on the eLABE Study as a Professional Rater I. Her responsibilities include scheduling assessments and MRIs, EEG data processing, and conducting developmental assessments. Her interests include identifying factors that contribute to poor mental health and behavioral outcomes in young children, as well as the development of emotion regulation in children. Jordan is interested in pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology.

David Loseille, BA

Programmer I

David Loseille is a Programmer in the lab and joined in August of 2021. David earned his Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from Saint Louis University. His position includes processing neuroimaging data in neonates and toddlers.

Genevieve Jacquot, BS

Genevieve Jacquot joined the lab in 2021 and is a Professional Rater I in the eLABE Study. In her position, she schedules study visits, administers behavioral assessments, collects Eye Tracking and EEG data, and assists with MRI scans. Genevieve earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology, with a minor in Neuroscience, from Drake University. She intends to attain higher education in the field of clinical child psychology.

Lourdes Marie Bernardez, BS

Professional Rater II

Lourdes joined the lab in Fall 2020 to pursue her interests in using different neuroimaging modalities to better understand the brain and its relationship to the mind. Specifically, the relationship between aberrant brain development and poor mental health outcomes. Lourdes works across studies as an MRI technician, running the scanner and collecting data, as well as processing structural MRI data and processing/analyzing EEG data. In her free time, Lourdes enjoys hiking with her dog, cooking, and planning her next trip home to the Dominican Republic.

Rachel Ramos, BA

Professional Rater II

Rachel joined the lab in 2021 as a Professional Rater for the CUDDEL study. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology with an emphasis on neuroscience at University of Missouri – St. Louis. Her main responsibilities are to assist in scheduling and facilitating MRI scans and developmental assessments, following up with participants and providing them with support and mental health resources. She is very interested in developmental psychology and the impact of social and economic factors on development throughout childhood.