Faculty and Staff

W Brooks William (Bill) Brooks, Ph.D., Director
Department of Neurology
913-588-9075, wbrooks@kumc.edu
Research publications

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Dr. Brooks was awarded his Ph.D. by Griffith University in Australia. His research work focused on technique development in MR spectroscopy with a specific focus on biological systems. He built on this in post-doctoral work during which he designed and patented one of the first techniques for spatially localized spectroscopy to be employed in humans. In 1991, he joined the Center for Non-Invasive Diagnosis (now MIND Imaging Center) at the University of New Mexico and spent the next decade applying MR imaging and spectroscopy to the study of injury and disease. These studies have shown that biological markers of brain metabolism can predict cognitive function in both normal brain function and in disease. Dr Brooks’ specific research interests include normal function and recovery from traumatic brain injury. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, 3 patents, and is funded to study traumatic brain injury.


I Choi

In-Young Choi, Ph.D., Associate Professor& Director, Magnetic Resonance Science
Department of Neurology

Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology

913-588-0174, ichoi@kumc.edu

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Dr. Choi received her Ph.D. in Biophysical Sciences and Medical Physics at the University of Minnesota. Her doctoral and postdoctoral training included the development of hardware and software for high field magnetic resonance systems for clinical and preclinical research, with emphasis on neural metabolism, at the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research at the University of Minnesota. Prior to taking a position at KUMC in 2005, she was a Senior Research Scientist and Section Leader for Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy at the Center for Advanced Brain Imaging and Department of Medical Physics, at the Nathan Kline Institute in New York.  Dr. Choi's current research focuses on 1) the identification of quantitative, objective biomarkers of the brain in aging and neurodegeneration, and 2) the quantitative, noninvasive assessment of the effect of lifestyle choices and interventions on the brain with a variety of neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, stroke and Alzheimer disease.  Her research utilizes advanced noninvasive in vivo magnetic resonance techniques that her team has developed for the detection of, e.g., glutathione and vitamin C.  With over 10 years at KUMC, Dr. Choi has been very active in sharing her expertise with a considerable number (over 50) of collaborators and investigators at KUMC and the region.  Dr. Choi is an active member of several international scientific societies including the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, the International Society for Neurochemistry, the American Academy of Neurology, and the American Diabetes Association.

K Gustafson Kathleen Gustafson, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor, Director of Fetal Magnetoencephalography, Director, Electrophysiology Core
Department of Neurology
913-588-0065, kgustafson@kumc.edu

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Dr.Gustafson was awarded a Ph.D. in Visual Electrophysiology in 1994 for describing abnormalities in retinal signal processing in human subjects with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and mouse models with dystrophin mutations. Dr. Gustafson joined the Hoglund Brain Imaging Center in 2003, and is currently Research Associate Professor of Neurology, Neurophysiology Core Director and Director of the Fetal Biomagnetometry Laboratory. She has published more than 40 peer-reviewed journal articles, co-authored 4 book chapters and holds 5 patents. She is currently funded by the National Institutes of Child Health and Development to study the effects of maternal DHA supplementation on fetal and infant behavior and brain function.


J Harris

Janna Harris, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor, Director, Animal Imaging Core

Anatomy and Cell Biology
913-588-9076, jharris2@kumc.edu

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Dr. Harris received her PhD in Neurobiology from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. Her doctoral research focused on the role of specific extracellular matrix proteoglycans in adaptive synaptic plasticity following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Dr. Harris joined the team at Hoglund in 2008 as a postdoctoral fellow. In 2014 she accepted a faculty position at Hoglund and KUMC's Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. Her current research focuses on the effects of age and biological sex on pathophysiologic mechanisms of TBI in animal models. The Harris Lab studies the effectiveness of targeted therapies for TBI using magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy, along with behavioral, biochemical, and histochemical measures. Dr. Harris also serves as director of the Animal Imaging Core at Hoglund.


S Lee

Phil Lee, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Director, Magnetic Resonance Technology
Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology 

Bioengineering Program (University of Kansas, Lawrence)
913-588-0454, plee2@kumc.edu

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Dr. Lee received his Ph.D. in Biophysical Sciences and Medical Physics from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Lee received his doctoral and postdoctoral training at the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research at the University of Minnesota.  The goal of his research was to understand the physiological bases and signal source of functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI).  His research continued at the Nathan Kline Institute in New York as a senior research scientist and focused on the development of advanced MR techniques and their applications to the early detection of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer disease by visualizing ß-amyloid plaques and quantifying iron accumulation in the brain.  Dr. Lee's current research interests are the development of novel MR techniques to assess the integrity of structural, functional, physiological and metabolic aspects of the brain with a range of neurological disorders including Alzheimer disease and multiple sclerosis at the cellular and molecular level.  At present his team works on overcoming the multiple constraints of currently available MR techniques in regards to spatial resolution, quantification accuracy and scan time by employing a totally new framework, namely spectral localization by imaging based MR methods.  Since Dr. Lee joined the University of Kansas Medical Center in 2005, his leadership role as Director of Magnetic Resonance Technology includes working with over 70 investigators regionally and nationally for both clinical and preclinical research.

L Martin Laura Martin, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Director, Structure and Function Core
Department of Preventive Medicine
913-588-7279, lmartin2@kumc.edu

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Dr. Martin received her Ph.D. in Psychology with an emphasis in Cognitive Neuroscience from Rice University. Her training included coursework in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience. In addition, she has attended the Dartmouth Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience and MGH’s Functional MRI Visiting Fellowship. Dr. Martin’s graduate work focused on the neural systems of reward processing and individual differences related to impulsivity. Specifically, her doctoral dissertation, which was funded by a predoctoral NRSA training fellowship, examined both event-related potentials (ERPs) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as related to reward prediction and action-monitoring among high and low impulsive college students. This line of research is currently being expanded to clinical populations with impulse control disorders such as nicotine addiction and obesity. Dr. Martin’s research has been presented at meetings of the Society of Psychophysiological Research and Cognitive Neuroscience meetings.

A Bruce Amanda Bruce, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, (Affiliated Faculty)
Department of Pediatrics
913-588-9070, abruce@kumc.edu

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Dr. Bruce received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University after completing an APA-accredited internship in Clinical Psychology at the Boston VA Healthcare System. Currently, Dr. Bruce is doing research related to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and childhood obesity. Her interests also include neuroeconomics and neuromarketing of food-related stimuli. Clinically, Dr. Bruce has experience with psychoeducational and cognitive-behavioral interventions in a wide variety of patient populations (i.e. obesity, mood disorders, anxiety disorders).


Senior Scientists and Post-Doctoral Fellows


Peter Adany , Ph.D., Senior Research Associate, Magnetic Resonance Science
913-588-9070, padany@kumc.edu

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Dr. Adany received his PhD of Electrical Engineering from the University of Kansas in 2012. His doctoral research focused on development of biomedical imaging techniques for nonlinear optical spectroscopy. Dr. Adany joined Hoglund Brain Imaging Center in 2012 as a Postdoctoral Fellow. His research interests center on developing new signal processing strategies for magnetic resonance spectroscopy/imaging (MRS/MRI). The aim of his research is to develop innovative signal processing techniques that will allow quantitative measurement of tissue-specific brain metabolism and physiological processes in the living human brain to advance our understanding of disease processes and the efficacy of treatments.

Christifano Danielle Christifano, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Neurophysiology Core
913-588-9080, dchristifano@kumc.edu

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Dr. Christifano received her Ph.D. in Medical Nutrition Sciences from the University of Kansas Medical Center in 2014. Her doctoral research focused on metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and sedentary behavior among overweight and obese breast cancer survivors.  She holds a bachelor's of science degree in biomedical sciences from Marquette University and a Master's degree in dietetics and nutrition from the University of Kansas Medical Center.  Her research interests include weight management, insulin resistance, and the effects of DHA supplementation during pregnancy on infant neuro-developmental outcomes.  She is currently working closely with Dr. Gustafson on a large federally funded prenatal DHA supplementation trial (PANDA[WU1] ; NCT02709239).  In her spare time she enjoys yoga, gardening and cooking.

Paul Keselman, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Animal Imaging Core
913-588-9079, pkeselman@kumc.edu

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Dr. Keselman received his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from University of California, Berkeley. His doctoral work focused on design and implementation of a novel catheter-based Magnetic Resonance technique for safe imagining of coronary arteries in patients with Chronic Kidney Disease. While at Berkeley, Dr. Keselman was also involved in development of a new imaging modality called Magnetic Particle Imaging MPI, specifically studying pharmacokinetics of contrast tracers used in MPI. He joined the Hoglund team in June of 2016 as the manger of the 9.4 Tesla Varian small animal MR system.

Rebecca  Lepping Rebecca Lepping, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Structure and Function Core
913-588-0287, rlepping@kumc.edu

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Dr. Lepping received her doctoral degree in cognitive psychology at the University of Kansas in 2013, and was a graduate research assistant at the Center for Health Behavior Neuroscience at KUMC. She holds a Master of Arts degree in psychology of music (2004) from the University of Sheffield in Sheffield, England, and a Master of Arts degree in piano performance (2008) from the University of Missouri - Kansas City Conservatory of Music. During her research career, she has been involved in a variety of neuroimaging studies of obesity, traumatic brain injury, and memory in aging musicians. Her dissertation work used music as an affective probe to study the neural basis of emotion processing in depression and other psychiatric disorders. She uses both fMRI and ERP methodologies in her research in affective neuroscience, studying emotion by examining the cognitive and affective etiology and symptomatology of depression. She is currently exploring additional neuroimaging and data analytic techniques, including arterial spin labeling (ASL), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and brain morphometry (VBM).

Ke Liao Ke Liao, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Fellow
913-588-4373, kliao@kumc.edu

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Dr. Liao received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Sichuan University, China in 2006. His PhD dissertation research work was supported by the Chinese National Science Foundation. After that, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher in Institute of Acoustics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing. Before joining Hoglund Brain Imaging Center KUMC in 2012, he finished his postdoctoral research work at University of Oklahoma in computational neuroscience. He is membership of Chinese Association for System Simulation and IEEE. The focuses of his research are on the design of novel cortical source reconstruction algorithms for MEG/EEG inverse problems and the design of human-brain interface. He is currently working on the event-related potentials (ERP) responses of children with different levels of nutrition.

Ke Liao Chu Yu Lee, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Fellow
913-588-0060, clee5@kumc.edu

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Dr. Chu-Yu received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University. His PhD work focused on developing robust, high resolution diffusion weighting imaging (DWI) techniques. He then did his postdoctoral training at Medical University of South Carolina. He investigated microstructural abnormalities in diseases by using one of  the advanced biophysical models of DWI. He is currently doing his second postdoctoral training at Hoglund. He is developing Fluorine-19 MR spectroscopy to measure antidepressant and antipsychotic drug levels in the brain with a goal for optimize pediatric drug-specific dosing algorithms. His research interests include MR imaging methodology, biophysical modeling, and clinical applications.

Andrew Fox, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Fellow
913-588-4373, afox3@kumc.edu

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Dr. Andrew (Drew) T. Fox received his PhD in Applied Experimental Psychology from Central Michigan University in 2011. He spent 3 years as a postdoctoral trainee at the Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies at the University of Kansas, where his research focused on animal models of chronic aberrant behavior induced by negative incentive shifts. He joined the Hoglund Brain Imaging Center in October of 2014 as a Postdoctoral Fellow to work with Dr. Laura Martin on using fMRI to explore the brain mechanisms underlying nicotine addiction and smoking cessation, thereby informing the broader quest to improve smoking cessation treatments.

Raeesa Gupte, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Fellow
913-588-4373, rgupte@kumc.edu

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Dr. Gupte received an MS in Cellular and Molecular Biology from University of Missouri Kansas City (2011) and a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Iowa (2015). Her doctoral research focused on peptide-mediated modulation of potassium ion channels in the brain to provide neuroprotection following stroke. Dr. Gupte joined Dr. Janna Harris's lab at Hoglund Brain Imaging Center as a Postdoctoral Fellow in early 2016. She is interested in investigating the pathophysiology of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in animal models using MRI and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) as well as behavioral and biochemical assays. The goal of this research is to identify differences in TBI pathophysiology based on age and sex in order to design effective treatment paradigms targeted towards specific populations.


Graduate students

Sean Ellis, Student, Magnetic Resonance Science (Mentor: In-Young Choi, Ph.D.)

Bioengineering Program, University of Kansas (Lawrence)

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Research Support personnel

F Hunsinger Franklin Hunsinger R.T. ® (MR) ARRT, Senior Magnetic Resonance Technologist/Laboratory Director
913-588-9090, fhunsinger@kumc.edu

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Frank graduated from the U.S. Army's X-Ray School in 1991, were he spent 16 years working for an Orthopaedic group doing X-rays and MRIs. He spent the last three years working for mobile MRI companies performing MRIs for the military and a veteran’s hospital. Frank is affiliated with ARRT and ASRT. He joined HBIC in 2010 and is currently involved in research MRI scans.

Morgan Brucks,  Research Assistant
913-588-9070 mbrucks@kumc.edu

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Morgan received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a concentration in Research from Avila University in May 2014. She spent four years in Avila's Neuropsychology lab, focusing on Public Speaking Anxiety and neurofeedback. Morgan joined HBIC in January 2014. She is responsible for assisting both Dr. Martin and Dr. Harris in their respective labs.  Some of her duties include: recruitment, scheduling participants, scanning via 3T and 9.4T, collecting behavioral data, and analyzing data.


Sarah Christian, B.A., Research Assistant

913-588-9070, schristian@kumc.edu 

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Sarah Christian earned her B.A. in Neuroscience and Biology at Carthage College, in the Spring of 2016. Her background includes PTSD research using expectancy avoidance in Sprague Dawley and Wistar-Kyoto rats involving the amygdala and the interpositus nucleus of the cerebellum, as well as neuroblastoma work to develop a cellular model of stroke. She joined the Hoglund team in September 2016 and is engaged in studies involving the 9.4T Varian MRI and assisting with Dr. Harris' research.

Rainer Karcher, BA., Research Associate
913-588-9070, rkatcher@kumc.edu

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Rainer received his Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Alabama in 2013, with emphasis in Chinese language and literature. Previously under the direction of Drs. Honea and Burns at the Alzheimer's Disease Center, he joined HBIC in February 2016 and now assists with multimodal (VBM, ASL, DTI, MRS) data processing & analysis on several studies, also aiding in IT infrastructure management and imaging data organization for projects using the 3T MRI platform.


Vlad Papa

Vlad Papa, B.A., Research Assistant

913-588-0173, vpapa@kumc.edu 

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Vlad received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Kansas in December 2010. He focused on brain function and behavior and was the first Undergraduate Research Assistant to complete the entire process of creating a study through data analysis at Hoglund. Vlad joined HBIC in January 2011. He is responsible for assisting Dr. Martin with tasks involving her research: such as programming, recruiting participants, and analyzing data.

Mariad Thatcher, M.S.,  Research Associate
913-588-9070, mthatcher@kumc.edu

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Mariad Thatcher received her Master's of Science Degree in Bioengineering - Biomechanics from the University of Kansas in May 2015.  Her thesis focused on fatigue in Fibromyalgia patients through intervention with measurements in force and EMG data at KUMC.  Having a background in physics helped her become more interested in MRI and research development and led her to Hoglund in 2016.  She is currently working in the MR Science unit with Dr. Choi.

Sara Touchette, AAS, Medical Assistant
913-588-4373, stouchette@kumc.edu

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 Sara Touchette graduated from the University of Montana with an AAS degree and High Distinction award in Medical Assisting.  She maintains national registration and accreditation with American Medical Technologists. Sara has previously worked in the plastic surgery and reconstruction field for the last 9 years. At Hoglund, she is in charge of providing clinical support to imaging research studies as well as coordinating research studies. Sara volunteers with several non-profit organizations working toward providing the underinsured and uninsured population in the greater KC area with quality healthcare.A member of Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors and Friends of Art at the Nelson Atkins Museum, Sara is passionate about the Arts Community in Kansas City.



Administrative personnel

Justine Karungi Justine Karungi, MBA, FACHE, Assistant Director
913-588-9067, jkarungi@kumc.edu

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Justine received a Bachelors degree in Statistics and Quantitative Economics and has an MBA in Healthcare Administration from Avila University, Kansas City, Missouri. She directs the operational, administrative, financial, human resources and research administration functions of the Hoglund Brain Imaging Center. Justine is leading several strategic planning initiatives and process improvement efforts at HBIC. She is an ardent supporter of professional development and life-long learning and is very passionate about Research Administration and advancing the work of Research Core Facilities. She is focused on using business tools, such as the balanced score card and the Baldrige Model of Excellence to help core leaders and managers in strategic planning, streamlining operations and creating efficiencies. Justine is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and is a Board Member of its Kansas Chapter, the Kansas Association  of Healthcare Executives (KAHCE). She is also involved in several institutional and professional leadership and service activities, including serving on the Core Administrators Network Coordinating Committee (CAN-CC) of the Association of Biomolecular Research Facilities (ABRF), the program and mentoring committees for the ACHE (KAHCE and KCLPC chapters) and the National Council for University Research Administrators (NCURA). She previously served as Vice Chair for KUMC's School of Medicine Administrators' committee and currently provides administrative support for KUMC's Moms in Medicine and Science (MIMS), a sub-group of Women in Medicine and Science (WIMS)

M Thorp Melinda King, Administrative Assistant

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Melinda earned her Bachelor's degree in Behavioral Science, with an emphasis in Psychology from Sterling College in 2005 and her Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Counseling from Mid-America Nazarene University in 2014 and holds a Professional Counselor License in the State of Kansas. She joined HBIC in 2009 and currently works as an Administrative Assistant where she assists with the Center’s various administrative functions, including general office administration, processing purchasing requisitions, faculty and staff travel and reimbursements.

Pamela Hansen, Financial Analyst/Senior Coordinator
913-588-0045, phansen3@kumc.edu

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Pam received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Business Administration from the University of Kansas. Her research and grant administration career started on the KU-Lawrence campus, and includes 10 years at the KUMC Research Institute, joining HBIC in November 2015.  She manages the HBIC research and grant activities, performs general accounting, assists with clinical and research billing, and provides business analysis support to the HBIC leadership.


Last modified: Jan 19, 2017